I would like all of you lovely readers to take a look at this trailer before reading my review:
This is the launch trailer for Milanoir. A game with a concept that I instantly fell for through this trailer and knew I just had to play. The trailer is essentially also the intro for the game itself, albeit in a much more indie-pixel aesthetic.
So, this game for those of you who don’t know yet, is inspired heavily from cheesy crime films… But no, not just any B-movie with a main character dumber than a bag of bricks but comes off like the coolest guy ever, or any dumb action thriller with a stupid revenge plot and dialogue written by a 16 year old who’s really into movies… Well, it does have all of that but this time it’s ITALIAN.
This games concept is entirely focused off of these aspects, and for the most part I believe they really tried their hardest to pull it off… And for the most part they did. The game is really charming and the main character, Piero, is one of those characters that you root for, but if you really think about it, he’s just kind of a murdering psychopath (Similar to many other action heroes, ironically…).
The story is, quite honestly, as cliche as Italian crime stories go – It’s a revenge plot full of angry mob bosses who bang their tables, along with really poor attempts at humour that fall flat on it’s face – There’s the trope of that one bad guy who just won’t let up, and some mysterious sexy badass lady who you’re not sure if they’re trying to push a love story or just add more sex appeal. It feels like Milanoir, honestly, is trying to just check boxes here.
I played and enjoyed this game with the idea that all of these stupidities in the story are intentional… But I think it works either way as it wouldn’t have ruined the experience for me if I didn’t have that in mind.
Now let’s get to the gameplay… It’s honestly just okay – I’m not really sure what to say besides that. The easiest thing to say is that it’s kind of like Hotline Miami – even down to some aesthetic choices – where you control your character and your crosshair to navigate various levels, with the aim to gun down any foes that oppose you. You can move around freely and even roll around with the right trigger to dodge attacks; I find that taking cover behind things is the most effective strategy in this game, but it does end up making it really easy in the long run.
The gameplay ends up being slow paced and uninteresting after a while, however, since the game becomes so easy. Having regenerating health was kind of a poor move since it really makes you invincible throughout as long as you sit behind cover for a while. Another gripe I have with the gameplay is that the crosshair is probably one of the most awkward things I’ve ever had to control in a game. Like seriously, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s both floaty and very unreliable at times and at the same time it’s way too fast and just hard to get a good aim on an enemy.
Now when it comes to looks I once again have to draw comparisons to Hotline Miami – The character portraits resemble that same aesthetic to an almost creepy degree, but the rest of the game is much larger in scope. Not everything is as restricted like in Hotline Miami, but other than that the game looks great with its pixel art style and it has a really neat attention to detail throughout the areas you explore.
So all things considered, I had a pretty great experience with his game. The gameplay can get somewhat repetitive and there are some things here and there which can play to Milanoir’s strengths… But also it’s weaknesses. The fun characters of Milanoir and their interactions with each other, the fun and dumb world established in this game, and the environments explored is what made it for me. If the gameplay was a lot better, this game would have gotten a better score but I’d still give it a decent: