God's Trigger is out now, and unmistakably a big, loud tribute to Hotline Miami. Developed by One More Level, it takes the formula of Dennaton's hyper-lethal top-down shooter and bolts on (local now, online next month) co-op play, magic powers and a modern-day mythical story. Controlling a remarkably fragile angel-and-devil duo (tag-teaming if you play solo), there's a whole lot of shooting to be done between them and their targets; the four horsemen of the apocalypse. See the launch trailer below, focusing on the horsemen and their big set-piece boss fights.
The levels in God's Trigger do look a lot more complex and involved than Hotline Miami, but the player has a big bag of magic tricks to compensate and combo with to rack up big scores. Characters can dash-step, shoot through walls with heavy attacks and one character can turn invisible for easier melee. More powers and character perks are unlocked RPG-style over the course of the game, including the ever-useful ability to survive one more grazing bullet before dying. Still no health bars, though, and anything bigger than being winged by a pistol is still instant death.
Instant death gives the game a very different dynamic depending on whether you're playing it solo or co-op. If you're alone, death brings you back to the last checkpoint, but you can swap between the two characters with a button press, giving you access to all of their powers. In co-op, you can revive a downed teammate, giving you a lot more room for mistakes. On top of the main story mode, there's also a separate set of score-chasing Arcade levels (using your story progression), and plans for some big updates, including online co-op next month, and more arcade stages in June.
Initial reviews for both the PC and PS4 versions of the game look very positive. As a Hotline Miami fan (and one of the few that preferred the second game), hearing that folks are happy with all the extra stuff added to the mix has me intrigued. Hotline 2 was criticised heavily for its divergence from the formula, especially in its larger, more complex levels. I'm interested to hear what folks think of this one, and whether it's doing Hotline Miami: But More better than the original.
God's Trigger is out now on Steam for £10.16/€14.99/$14.99, and published by Techland.