Hotline Miami 2 leaves me conflicted. There's lots to love here, but the structure makes it difficult to explore and exploit. It's still an absolute riot to play, and the urge to press on remains compulsive, despite the narrative hi-jinx. Its failings are never enough to truly spoil things - Hotline Miami 2 is definitely to be recommended. It's the sequel that everyone expected, perhaps. But I'm not sure it's the sequel the original truly deserved.
But this is really a game for a subset of an already small audience. It's hard to see total newcomers, or fans of hardcore strategy, won over by Empires' strategy-management RPG blend, in much the same way that you wouldn't expect fighting game specialists to be entranced by the Musou combat system. It's a strange compromise really, yet somehow it manages to work. As such, it's certainly worth a spin, perhaps with the upcoming F2P version, if only to get a taste of the Musou series' most complex and thoughtful offshoot.