Half-Line Miami: A Top-Down Arcadey Approach To Half-Life 2

I have just booted up Half-Line Miami [official site] – a mashup of Hotline Miami and Half-Life as created by student Thomas Kole.

As someone who has never really played Half-Life 2 or Hotline Miami (I did about one level of Hotline Miami at a demo booth one time and apparently own it on this here PC – who knew? As for the Half-Life games, I played the original until a bit where you have to climb into a ceiling vent which you reach by dragging a box over. I’d killed something directly below the vent and their corpse became an immovable object so I couldn’t put the box in the right place to climb up. After trying all the solutions I could think of I gave up rather than restart at my last save which was ages away. I tried the second game as part of the Orange Box on XBox 360 and got as far as Water Hazard.) I feel well placed to explain Half-Line Miami.

From my limited experience I’d describe it as more a Half-Life 2 version of Hotline Miami. By that I mean the top down perspective, the loud, rowdy graphics and music and the graphical style are rooted in Hotline Miami. The fact that your weapon is a gravity gun and the setting of the opening level is the rail station thing is where Half-Life comes in. It was far clunkier to control than Miami, from what I remember, because you’re sucking up objects like rubbish bins and briefcases with the right mouse button then throwing them at enemies with the left. The extra step in that process makes it far less smooth than bullets and cudgels would be.

I also did not encounter any hinged doors with which to smash other people so far. I believe that was a Hotline Miami thing, yes?

BUT it was a fun thing to poke about in and I’m guessing the nostalgic pull for the Half-Life 2 devotees amongst you (I’ve heard it was Quite The Thing back in the day) might make it rather a nice playspace to inhabit on your Friday night. Here’s the link to the free itch.io download page.


  1. FreeTom says:

    As someone who has never really played Half-Life 2 or Hotline Miami

    *Coughs mouthful of tea over monitor*

    • Sarfrin says:

      Perhaps you’d like a rubbish bun to go with your cup of tea?

      • FreeTom says:

        A rubbish bun? That doesn’t sound very appealing. Have you got any flotsam croissants?

        • Sarfrin says:

          Bin au chocolat?

          • FreeTom says:

            Right, that’s it – sell your house, we’re starting a detritus-based bakery.


          • Sarfrin says:

            I can already see the TV tie in – The Great Rubbish Bake Off. It’s a winner!

          • Harlander says:

            I’m not sure what just happened here, but I know it’s beautiful.

          • Sarfrin says:

            Pip corrected the “rubbish buns” typo, thus turning a series of bad cake puns into pure surrealism.

          • gunny1993 says:

            First I was like, wtf are these references and why do I know them, then I was like:

            Ahh, dats da bunny

    • Jediben says:

      She’ll be telling us she doesn’t have a penis next. What depths have RPS plumbed now?

      • FreeTom says:

        Actually, I’ve got a USB peripheral that makes that pretty essential. I have it mapped to ‘jump’.

      • metric day says:

        She could really shock us by denouncing and swearing off lazy, unfunny doodling over jpgs.

        • Arathain says:

          Why would you want to make my day less bright? Don’t you like me?

    • ansionnach says:

      Never played HL2. Maybe it’s good. Didn’t particularly like the first one and probably stopped playing it before Pippa. Perhaps my exquisite taste detected the red line past which the FPS genre went into decline…

      Hotline Miami was great, though.

      • Frank says:

        I didn’t really care for the first one either, but HL2 is good fun, and still very pretty to look at.

        • ansionnach says:

          Would never play it without forcing myself to play the first one. Maybe the main reason why I don’t own it and haven’t even had a look is that I think it was the first (or close to) game that required Steam? While I do have an account since I bought a few games that I didn’t realise needed it, I usually try and avoid them. I do criticise gog for things I don’t like (sometimes butchering releases) but other than getting a game cheaply in a box, it’s where I’d look first.

          Have New Vegas in a box but haven’t played it. If there’s some way to remove the Steam requirement, I will do it.

  2. dontnormally says:

    I was most relieved to see your end to that parenthetical.

    Also, I’d say give Hotline Miami an hour or two of your time just to get it in yer noggin.

  3. Skabooga says:

    At first I thought this was a mod that allowed you to play Half-Life 2 from a top-down perspective. I should be more impressed that someone went through the trouble of creating a whole new game, but I’m still a little sad that I don’t get to play that mod. Oh well, at least it’s still free, so I’m not too sad!

    • Sarfrin says:

      Me too. Not sure it’s even possible but I’d love to play it if it were.

  4. JFS says:

    “Back in the day”? I’m 29 and surely not the youngest on RPS who ever played HL2. It’s not really an excuse for not having played it (unless one really is about 10 right now).

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      No excuse needed really. The game is extremely over-hyped as it is.
      There I said it.

      • shadybearfaced says:

        It is definitely over hyped, but it’s still a really good story-driven FPS and when it came out, it was mind-blowing from a technical standpoint.

        I still remember being a little kid and watching those E3 videos of reflective water and realistic physics and non-scripted AI (which seemed to be lacking from the actual game) and the freaking gravity gun. I must’ve watched those old E3 videos dozens of times.

        I think everyone’s nostalgia of how technically amazing the game was at the time is the reason it’s still pretty overhyped today. But it’s still a really solid, satisfying old-school shooter.

        • MikoSquiz says:

          I didn’t find it a particularly solid or satisfying shooter even at the time. There’s a lot of shooting generic enemy dudes in a generic sort of way, and there’s a bunch of batting down annoying flying buzzy things with a crowbar, and .. well, those are my primary impressions of the bits that aren’t walking around triggering showy prefabricated animations and admiring the scenery. Or putting things on one end of a teeter-totter and admiring the rudimentary physics on display.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            It sounds like you left after the first two or three levels.

          • lokimotive says:

            I remember thinking that it was rather boring compared to Far Cry.

          • Jalan says:

            lokimotive – Funny, given that (the first) Far Cry slides into generic FPS territory as you continue to play (and I write that as a fan of the game, even if I have a hard time looking at its warts/etc).

  5. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Great preview that. Well done.

  6. kika says:

    Here’s a little interview with the creator of the mashup. Hope you guys like it. link to 80.lv

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Surely it’s less of a mash-up, more of a Combine-ation?

  7. LTK says:

    Apparently I’m missing MSVCP120.dll and the game won’t start, anyone else have that problem?

  8. theblazeuk says:

    All you had to do was gib the corpse! Hit it with your crowbar till it explodes into meaty chunks. Is it odd that 10 year old me knew to do that instinctively?

  9. Premium User Badge

    keithzg says:

    Windows’ silly lack of dependency management strikes again!

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      Err, that was *supposed* to be in reply to the person pointing out that the other person needed to install a VS C++ redist. I clicked “log in to reply” and just naively thought that once I had the text box it threw in front of me was the reply field. I swear that’s how it has worked in the past!

    • Nasarius says:

      They’re fixing this particular problem finally (sort of) with the Universal CRT in Visual Studio 2015.

      Also there’s something called OneGet now, I think? Microsoft seems to be attempting package management, about 15 years after Linux had thoroughly demonstrated just how incredibly useful that feature is.

  10. Blake Casimir says:

    Trying to enjoy this, in fact I do very much, but my enthusiasm is waning every time I accidentally click outside the game (it doesn’t seem to be true full-screen which needs fixing) or when it crashes which has happened twice now within about half an hour.

  11. Artificial says:

    The music is amazing, ended up buying the album.