For those not familiar with them, both Hotline Miami games are essentially top-down, action-arcadey shooters drenched in an 8-bit aesthetic,
While it's unsurprising that both games would share plenty of similarities - what with revolving around pretty much the same core gameplay formula - it's probably fair to say there's a curious "crossing of paths" in how their qualitative evolution has come to be perceived by the general gamer consciousness. By this I mean that most appear to agree that HM1's story seemed much more coherent and focused (following the path of a disturbed vigilante, and later on shifting to one other person), while its soundtrack could at best be characterized as experimental, ambient or inconsequential. Flip over to HM2 now, and most people will tell you that its plot was barely comprehensible at all, as this time the game attempted (and, predictably, failed) to juggle up to
While it won't take long for anyone to figure out the roster of composers for HM2's OST isn't one of uniform caliber across its tracks, the highlights were still plenty and of great enough quality that, for me at least, they also helped put two of the more talented among them in my sights and gave me the opportunity to later peruse their other works with just as much appetite (and there's plenty there), namely the "dark 80s" synth/electronic composers Carpenter Brut and Perturbator, both brilliant and both frenchmen ! To be clear though, I don't mean to imply here that those two were the only standouts in the OST, as others like, say, Mitch Murder, Magna, MegaDrive and Magic Sword also turned in great work that critically helped expand the set's tonal variety; it's just that the frenchies' brand of electronic, errr, grit seemed to resonate more with me, so among the 12 tracks I ended up keeping, those two feature in the lion's share of the lot.
Anywho, I hope the above piqued your curiosity enough to check out (some of) the following four, very characteristic tracks from Hotline Miami 2's OST, if energetic electronic music and/or "80s synths" are your jam. Even if not though, I'd still urge you to give at least one of 'em a try; they're pretty good tunes all the same . Enjoy.
Roller Mobster (Carpenter Brut): the one I stumbled into and convinced me to dive into the HM2 OST rabbit hole; probably still my favourite track.
Le Perv (Carpenter Brut): mastering's a bit too heavy on the bass in a few spots, but damn if this isn't the most relentlessly menacing track I've heard in a while.
Remorse (Carpenter Brut remix): could easily picture this more uplifting piece as the closing score to a retro/80s-themed cop drama movie
Sexualizer (Perturbator): few faint moaning samples 'round the 3rd verse bring out the ingame "strip joint" chapter's sleaze, but IMO the slappy bass n' later guitar solo are the true sexy stars here
For those who liked what you heard and care to check out more good tracks from the HM2 OST, here's another 8 recommendations, which you can sample from its entire YT playlist:
- Future Club (feat. Noir Deco) (Perturbator)
- Technoir (Perturbator)
- Divide (Magna)
- Dust (M|O|O|N) (Carpenter Brut remix)
- Slum Lord (MegaDrive)
- In the Face of Evil (Magic Sword)
- Frantic Aerobics (Mitch Murder)
- The Way Home (Magic Sword)