Superhot is the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years. I was told to say that. It’s in the rules of the game. Even if it wasn’t though, I’d probably still say something similar. I won’t spoil too much of the story, but you start off receiving a message about playing a new game: superhot.exe. As you play through the various stages, a seemingly complex plot develops, blurring the lines between the game and reality. If you’ve played anything like Pony Island or The Stanley Parable, it’s that kind of subversive plot.
Superhot has a really stark art style with few colours that highlight everything that is of interest.
As soon as you begin the first stage, the game presents you with its unique feature. TIME MOVES WHEN YOU MOVE! it exclaims on the screen, and it really does mean it. Everything is frozen until you begin moving. Slower movements mean the world gradually starts moving whilst moving at full speed makes the world follow suit. It gives you a lot more situational awareness than you may be used to. Having played rather a lot of first person shooters, this forced me to change my play style quickly. It plays more like a puzzle game as you are faced with multiple enemies at once and need to plan how to disable each one without leaving yourself exposed. The way time works allows you to dodge bullets as you ‘rush’ down an opponent and take their weapon before turning it on them. Watching back the full speed replays makes you look like some sort of ninja in The Matrix. It really is very satisfying.
I wouldn’t normally put a video in, but I just can’t help myself with this game. It makes you look awesome in every replay.
Now, the story took me about 2 hours to finish. In a game that costs £20, that seems really rather short and I wouldn’t blame anyone for saying it’s not good value for money. The meat of the game comes after the main campaign though, as challenges and survival runs open up, as well as the obligatory collectables. The challenges range from simple speed runs, to playing through using only melee weapons. Some of these are really rather tough and take a while to master. The collectables are very well hidden in the stages and are tough to find whilst avoiding enemy fire, even with your time bending powers. If you’re only after a story then this is not good value, but if you’re interested in a challenge or you’re a completionist, there’s a hell of a lot of content here. It’s great to dip into for a 10 minute blast. Just don’t be surprised if it turns into a much longer session as ‘just-one-more-go’ kicks in.
The game’s style allows it to get away with what would be really rather graphic violence if it aimed for realistic graphics.
Superhot was developed and published by Superhot Team. I played the game on XBox One (in fact I’d suggest playing this with a controller thanks to the analogue sticks allowing you to control your movement more gently!) and I’d recommend this to pretty much anyone. If you like first person shooters but find them a bit samey these days, this is a hell of a breath of fresh air.