A high-octane action game overflowing with raw brutality, hard-boiled gunplay and skull crushing close combat. Set in an alternative 1989 Miami, you will assume the role of a mysterious antihero on a murderous rampage against the shady underworld at the behest of voices on your answering machine.
Soon you'll find yourself struggling to get a grip of what is going on and why you are prone to these acts of violence. Slip on one of 25 unlockable animal masks to conceal your identity and tweak the gameplay in your favor or crank up the challenge.
First off, everything is faster. The player moves faster, enemies move and react faster, guns fire faster and have greater ammo capacity, and melee weapons swing and execute faster. I've added additional features like a multidirectional aim system, in which you can lock onto one enemy while having your mouse elsewhere on screen, so when you kill the enemy you're locked onto you automatically snap to the location of the mouse cursor itself, meaning you can rapidly adjust to, say, enemies approaching you from all angles. Every single weapon also has at least one execution, as well, meaning that you won't ever have to worry about losing your weapon in combat. Currently, I'm trying to figure out ways to 'fix' the weapon pickup system, since one of the biggest complaints was having to cycle through piles of weapons just to get to the one you want, but it's certainly proven more than difficult, and I'm not sure if I can guarantee anything feasible.
In terms of different kinds of weapons, the whole breadth of weapons has been expanded, and there are many, many more weapons now. Rather than go into the specifics of what exactly has been added, I'll just say that there's about as twice as many weapons as HM2 and HM1 combined (duplicates not counted, of course), and a lot of them are environmental, meaning that they'll occur naturally and organically (ie, hammers, drills and nailguns will be in toolboxes, pool cues on racks, statue busts on shelves, trophies in breakable cabinets, etc) rather than being tied specifically to arbitrary weapon spawns or enemies. On that note, weapon spawns and weapon unlocks have been completely removed, and the player will be expected to pay attention to the environment in order to access some of the more esoteric and interesting of weapons. Using certain weapons and their executions grant more points due to their rarity, and the player will be rewarded accordingly.
There are three factions of enemies: various low-level gangs dealing in the lowest levels of the Russian syndicate's operations, which are virtually identical to those encountered in HM2 (laziness strikes again, hm?); the Russian syndicate and respective agents themselves, who utilise much more sophisticated weaponry, and generally react faster and more accurately; and Fifty Blessings agents, who wield advanced and sometimes experimental weaponry and have a number of unique enemy types which will be level-specific.
In terms of enemy types, there are the four regular ones - normal enemies, fat enemies, dodger enemies, and dogs - but there are also several other ones which are slightly stronger variants; for example, there are upgrades to dogs which are panthers, and can take two hits. Similarly, the ninja bodyguard from the first game is a variant of the dodgers respective to the Fifty Blessings faction, and must be first downed with a throwing weapon, and then executed. There's also radio enemies which will alert enemies to the position of the player, and a bunch more.
Level design is a bit weird in terms of the traditional HM1 vs HM2 argument, since the way combat works has been amplified in every way; there's a much larger focus on gunplay, which naturally lends itself to larger spaces and longer hallways, but the guns are also viable as close quarters weapons through things like executions (gun executions now work as they did for Pardo in HM2, and every execution is much faster) and expanded magazines.
Instead of focusing on the 'closed rooms vs open spaces' debate which is very prevalent amongst HM players (especially those who create content with the level editor) and giving into the inherent weaknesses of either argument, I simply came up with a new paradigm through which to address the level design, which can basically be described as dividing certain spaces into 'combat zones' in which first I identify every single possible permutation of predictable behaviours which they can react with, and then place enemies based on it.
A single one of these zones takes into account walls, furniture, enemies, and weapons, in that order; and basically goes something like, 'if the player is here, and shoots a gun, these enemies are alerted, and if they're here, they'll go here, and if they're there, they'll go here, and the player will react like this or this or this or etc'. And each one of these zones is isolated from one another, not by walls, but by the ability of the player to move fluidly through the space and react to both the enemies and the environment; so that in order to get a high combo, it requires a lot of forward thinking in order to make sure certain enemies are in certain places so that you can kill them with certain weapons in a certain timeframe. Consequently, levels can be fun regardless of size or type, so long as each zone is designed meticulously; for example, in the second level, the first floor is a symmetrical series of smaller rooms divided by two long hallways, leading into a more open area with many enemies with guns, which then, on the second floor, transitions into a massive gun battle in a wide-open area with minimal cover save two walls. This would typically be the antithesis of fun in these kinds of games, but with the updated combat mechanics and a more organic understanding of level design based on intuitive reasoning, the combat progresses much more fluidly and might I even add fairly despite what would otherwise be recognised as critical design flaws in previous games.
The mask system is similar to the one from HM1, since it's one player with many different masks. I'm working my absolute best on making each mask have an individual feel, whether aesthetic or combat-oriented, which is unique to that mask alone, and speaks in some way about the mask's owner and their personality. Some start with unique weapons, others with interesting passive/active abilities, others with distinct filters and visual effects. That being said, no matter what mask you start with, you will ALWAYS be able to finish the level, and in a way that's not only feasible, but more importantly, (hopefully) fun. I play through each and every level using the above process with each mask to ensure that the playstyles are unique and fun enoug; and while certain masks are definitely MUCH easier to complete levels with (for example, the flamethrower makes a definite return as many have noticed, and is mostly for people who want to get through levels as quickly and easily as possible), there's no particular bias for each one, and the more OP ones have been nerfed in terms of their effects on score. That being said, every mask can be learned to a point where you could feasibly get high scores with them; I want it to be based on player skill more than anything else, and each mask serves as an opportunity for a different kind of playstyle.
In terms of how masks are unlocked, they will no longer be unlocked through artificial game-y methods such as getting high scores and such, but will instead be scattered throughout the environments, and will require the player to actively seek them out. It's entirely feasible to go through (and complete) the entire game without finding a single mask save the base one, which is given to the player at the beginning of the game. I wanted to make the unlocking system feel fair, and offer the player an opportunity at really exploring the environment, which I've put a lot of work and effort into; so having the player intentionally search through the world simultaneously persuades them to actually pay attention to the environment, while also making them feel like they truly earned the masks they got. Some will definitely be more difficult to unlock than others, though; and the player must make sure to pay attention to environmental cues and such lest they miss an opportunity.
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