Genre: First-Person Shooter, Puzzle
Release Date: 2/25/2016
Superhot is a game that takes everything you know and love about the first-person shooter genre, and completely flips it upside down.
The game’s concept is pretty simple, a first-person shooter where time only moves when you do. However, it’s much more than run around, shoot enemies and move on to the next level. Instead, it takes quick thinking, anticipation and a level of skill that I’ve never seen before from a first-person shooter.
The best way to describe it would be making the player plan out a fight scene for a movie in full.
The game starts with the main character (you) being sent a cracked version of a new game, Superhot, in a few sets of chats that take place on a system that looks like a modern interpretation of DOS The story then continues to unfold, but really doesn’t do anything for me. It’s just pretty lame. That being said, it really doesn’t take away from where the game really shines, the gameplay.
Each level takes about five seconds to complete if it were being played in real time. But that’s not what you do here. As you stand still, everything stops. It gives you the ability to plan out your course of attack as different enemies with different weapons charge at you from all sorts of directions.
Players have to decide which enemy to attack first, how they should go about disarming enemies and anticipating what each enemy on the screen is going to do next. The situational awareness required for some of the later levels really can have you wondering what to do. The fact that you can be killed while simply looking to the left or right may leave some players pretty frustrated, but never to the point where you feel your deaths are unfair. Every death is a result of a mistake made by the player rather than the game being too difficult. It really messes with your head when you’re surrounded by four/five enemies, and have no idea what to do next.
It’s a gameplay style that will take players who didn’t play the prototype, and even some who did, a few levels to get the hang of. Once you figure things out, though, watching back your play in real time will have you feeling like you just watched a pretty awesome, and choreographed, fight scene. It really makes the challenge of the puzzle-like gameplay worth all the mistakes.
The game takes just a few hours to beat, but players do get rewarded with a couple extra modes to keep the replay value moderately high. Challenge mode allows you to play through the campaign with some added twists and restrictions. Endless mode is a horde mode that has players trying to accumulate the highest amount of kills in rooms with a never-ending supply of enemy units.
Visually, Superhot, like the rest of this game, is something I’ve never seen before. You would think that a game with primarily white and red visuals would be terrible, but it really stands out with its unique look. The enemies stand out, and the design just works for a game like this.
The game never steers away from what makes it so special, but it also doesn’t overdo it. Though every level seems similar in many ways, there is enough to make each of the 30 or so levels feel unique. It just seems like a game that had no need to become repetitive, and it didn’t attempt to be.
Superhot is a game that does so many things right, and comes so close to being a perfect new IP. But a lackluster story and short length keeps it from being the best it could be. Still, the combination of simplistic art as well as an incredible gameplay experience makes this a must-play for any fan of the first-person shooter or puzzle genre.
Superhot was reviewed with a Steam code provided by the Superhot Team.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Superhot Team