Disclosure ‐ I am a backer of this game on Kickstarter. However, this review is written entirely from my experience with the retail version. This is the first version I have played, I never played any early copies.
SUPER HOT… SUPER HOT… SOUPER HOT… HOT SOUP
Time moves when you do. Your actions literally pull the game forward. If you make no action, the game will respond in kind. In essence this is a puzzle FPS game. There are more enemies than you could possibly imagine. It is time to enter the matrix, and like the Matrix, there is so much more than you ever realised…
I backed Superhot on Kickstarter just because I thought that the gameplay mechanic was really cool. What the Superhot team have actually developed has astounded me. It is so much more than I ever expected.
When you start the game for the first time you are thrust straight into the story. The interface is built to replicate a computer interface. One which reflects a computer whch both you and your character are using. You are walked through discussions with a friend as you find you way into a program called Superhot. As you play you start learning more about it. You think it is a game but as time moves on you are noticed. Something is changes and it is you.
The way this game breaks the fourth wall in ways that just astounded me. I came for a fighting and shooting game, but instead I was more amazed by the awesome tale that was spun before my eyes. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the core gameplay, I was just more surprised by the story that they managed to weave into the game.
Within the main game you will find yourself in place where time appears to stand still. Any action that would would represent movement will see time advancing. While running and gunning can work, it is the least wise approach to killing all the red guys. Instead players are rewarded for being clinical about their movements. You have to know where the enemies will come from and guess where they will go to. You then plan your actions so that you can kill all the baddies in the best time possible.
While it helps to know who you need to disarm and who you can just shoot, many missions are completable on the first run. Just having an understanding of the main game mechanics makes navigating unknown challenges quite straight forward. This combat is made nice and varied thanks to the inclusion of a wide range of combat weapons and techniques. There are plenty of guns that the team gives you to play with. You have a pistol, which has a reasonable fire rate, shotguns, which are take much longer between shots, and an assault rifle which is fast. None of these can be reloaded. So often these ranged weapons become valuable things to throw.
Weapons are not the only thing that can be tossed at the enemies. There are plenty of surrounding decorations which are often within arms reach. Enemies that are hit by a thrown item are stunned and drop their weapons. This short respite is often long enough to take their arm and turn it on the owner. This combat is really fluid. It just feels really nice.
The melee weapons in the game are quite fun to use. They have included a simple combination of sticks, bats and katanas. These too can be thrown, the most fun of which to toss the sword and make Kababs of the foe.
The way these weapons then interact with everything is amazing. Some of the interactions are quite simple. For example if you throw an item at someone, it can get shot out from the air. And what about bullets? You can shoot these out of mid air too… or if you prefer and have a sword you can do what I have done above, and slice the thing in twain.
The story is not where this game ends. There are plenty of challenges available to keep people slicing time (and enemies) for quite a decent amount of time. For example I really enjoy the Katana Challenge where you only have one method of killing enemies. Those who live by the sword… rarely die?
There are some strange inclusions into this game. Most notable of which is the huge file structure which will undoubtedly be full of Easter eggs. While some are not hidden, they are still quite fun. For example there is this tree chopping simulator. While not difficult it is a nice little time waster.
Graphically, this game is stunning. The red and white stark contrasts are quite satisfying to look around while at the same time directing the attention of the player where it needs to be. This stark look does not mean that the world is not full of life and detail. Amazing effort has gone into ensuring that the places you visit feel complete.
While I was disappointed at the lack of connect between the various places you visited, I can see how the story accommodates it. There were many locations that I really enjoyed the design of and I would have loved to have seen some more. I would have loved to see some kind of map where you have to get from one point to another. Within the scope of the game however, I can understand why they stopped where they did.