Review: SUPERHOT (PC)

I’m one of the people who unfortunately didn’t get to play the beta a while ago, but I did however manage to see some of the game play footage of SUPERHOT and the concept definitely tickled my fancy.

The game is pitched in one sentence as “Time moves when you move” and to be fair that’s extremely accurate. Regardless of this, there is a lot more to this game and a lot of fresh features that I hope get exploited in the future in a sequel or even moderately priced DLC.

The trailer, marketing and reviews for this game portray it as quite shallow, as in there is no story and all you have to do is kill the red guys whilst dodging bullets and taking your pick of the litter with weapons. There is definitely more to this game in terms of story and the kind of action you are going to face.

Within the game you play as a PC gamer with a DOS style interface where you are chatting with a friend. Your friend then sends you the files to a “new game” which then is installed and you go ahead and play. You are then thrown into the game, and in no time at all you find yourself picking up the simple yet dynamic controls and mechanics of it. A lot of people seem to be saying thinks like “I can just stop halfway through a fight and go to the toilet, come back and then carry on”, don’t listen to these people as they are wrong. Time doesn’t stop, it simply slows down to the point where bullets travel at a little slower than walking speed. This gives you just enough time to decide if you should jump, dodge or stay still.

Dodging bullets in SUPERHOT

In the first level I found myself feeling a lot like Neo from The Matrix, dodging bullets and bouncing empty guns of peoples foreheads, its been a long time since I got that sort of feeling from a game. It feels like a cocktail of┬áthe original Max Payne, a thumb of mirrors edge and a hint of Portal, served shaken and not stirred. The simplistic nature of the game makes it so anyone can release their inner action hero within minutes and for that I can’t fault it.

As I said, you can bounce guns off peoples heads and its this kind of game play which will define the differences from one player to another. For example, whilst in slow motion you will have to wait for your pistol to load the next bullet into the chamber, so what are you going to do in this time? Are you going to continue to dodge bullets and wait? My favourite option is to throw the loading or empty gun at the next enemy and take their loaded weapon. With strategies like this you can simply walk through a room of enemies without having to reload a single time. Another option would be to find a katana and continue in full ‘Kill Bill’ style action and leave the room looking like the house of blue leaves.

Some of the levels seem to have an efficient linear path through them, but this doesn’t mean you have to stay on the tracks. You can go onto YouTube and see how other players have handled the same levels and everyone seems to have their own style, their own method of cleaning up shop. This is something I have loved doing as you aren’t just watching someone complete the same level, you are watching how people would handle the same situation.

Katana strike in SUPERHOT

Going back to the story, I obviously don’t want to ruin or reveal any of it, but would I would like to say is the game definitely has a story which was quite entertaining and concerning at the same time. Once the game is over you can then play through the challenge modes. One of the first challenge modes is to complete the game with only a katana which is as much fun as it is challenging.

When it comes to scoring this game out of 5 stars I feel conflicted. For the level design and feel of the game I would give it a straight 3/5, but this score has to be enhanced by the slow motion action mechanics of the game, so for this I will give it a 4/5. Some would say I am too generous but play the game for yourself and see what you think. Never take anyone’s reviews as gospel, in the end this game is what you make of it.

Oh, one final warning. Playing this game will cause you to become annoying to your family, partners and friends as you will be left for days citing “SUPER……….HOT……….SUPER……….HOT”.


 

Author: Dale Wright

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