Developed and Published By: SUPERHOT Team
Release Date: 08.19.2019
The FPS genre is a mainstay of the gaming world, and with juggernauts like Call of Duty and Battlefield breaking down the sales charts you can see how important these titles are to the gaming community. There is no lack of titles out there if you are looking for a good shooter, as it is arguably our most common genre. Although, wouldn’t it be nice to have a title that takes that tried and true formula and adds something totally out of left field into it? Well, the wait for that is over. SUPERHOT is a movement-based FPS in which the enemies and bullets around you only move if you are moving. This makes for an adrenaline-rushed 80’s action flick that has you fighting as the underdog through wave after wave of enemy as you punch, shoot, and slice your way through this one.
One day a friend of yours hits you up and asks if you have been playing this crazy new game called “superhot.exe”. You haven’t, so he sends the file right over to you. You download the filed and enter this computerized world that draws you in deeper and deeper as you let yourself become immersed, and somewhat lost in the depth of polygonal massacres. There is something odd going on here, and as you go further into the level’s things seem to be weird. There might be more to this than a simple video game…
However, in the wise words of Yoda: A video game this is. With that being said, we have to jump into the intense mechanics of this Matrix-level bullet dodging simulator. As previously stated, you are a lone wolf character who is working through the levels defeating nameless, faceless enemies. You grab guns of all types, bats and swords, as well as getting down and dirty with your fists. Through all of this you are basically playing a turn-based strategy game as you can stop movement and plan out what you are going to do next before doing it. This makes for one of the most unique combinations of genres I have ever experienced. Do you dodge around and wait for the enemies to get close so you can steal a gun and go to town, or do you run in head first and discover a weapon hiding in the level that you can use to take the fight to them baddies? You have several options as to how you can beat each stage and all of them have a high level of excitement attached to them.
The weapons in this game are all one hit kill, and that goes for your own character as well as the enemies you will encounter. Handguns, shotguns, machine guns; the works. You will have a lot of ways you can move through, and ammunition is something you will have to keep track of as well. The first time I was working through a horde of enemies and has my gun make a clicking noise with a prompt saying I was out of ammo, I was shocked. I didn’t understand how a game that piles the odds against you could also take your only way of winning from you halfway through, but this is really what makes this game special. You are forced to continue forward and plot out how you are going to get a replacement weapon. Punching through the enemies or launching your depleted pistol at an enemy to stun them allows for you to send their weapon flying for you to grab onto and continue your onslaught. The melee that is forced onto you makes this game more Jet Li and less Stallone, which is what makes this game more important that most copy-and-paste shooters we have on our shelves.
That is pretty much the gist of it. We have an action title that is light on story (in a “mysterious man with a trench coat waiting in a dark alley” kind of way) that has you plowing through baddies with the most finesse you will have ever experienced. However, what is the best part of this game? Not playing it at all, in my humble opinion. What I mean by that is at the end of each level you get a little recap video that takes your slow and plodding gameplay where you were stuck trying to figure out what to next and speeds it up by about 10 times, making for your mini action movie experience. This is by far the coolest addition to the game, as you really will most likely spend each level moving rather slow, thus making for this speedup to make it feel like what you just did was even more incredible than how it felt just playing through it.
Minimalism is the best way to describe the graphics in SUPERHOT. You have stark white levels that are fairly barren, outside of the random locations taken out of the real world. Cars and signs and the like are present, but mostly you are running through empty, white hallways with nothing but glowing red enemies coming at you with bullets bouncing off the walls. This can be a bit jarring but allows for you to focus on dodging the bad stuff (deep red in color). Bullet paths and enemies are both red in color to allow you to really take note of them, and the white level design allows for an emphasis on this. Besides that, you have weapons that are black, and that is where the color palette begins and ends for the most part. Character design utilizes low poly baddies with no detail to them in order to make the matrix/computer story make more sense. The game wants you to feel like you are stuck in a simulation of sorts, and the design throughout makes that feel like a reality. Immersion is set to about a 12/10 and I can see where this game in VR is incredible.
SUPERHOT is one of the most unique experiences I have had the pleasure of playing through. Action mixed with slow-down strategy makes for the number one Jet Li simulator of 20XX. As long as being Jet freaking Li doesn’t sound like something you would get bored with then you really don’t have a list of negatives to add in here. Monotonous gameplay? Nah, crazy fun action that gives you a fully immersive experience. Empty environments? Nah, a focus on moving fluidly from enemy to enemy that deepens the strategy element by being completely straightforward with you. Too difficult? Nah, make it as hard or easy as you want by moving as quickly or slowly as you wish. SUPERHOT is special and is one of those transformational experiences that cannot be ignored; it imposes it’s will on you.
Buy Now – $24.99
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*The Switch Effect was provided a review code for this game*