Editor’s Note: Couple of month after the game’s release, this review has been updated following the release of the Xbox One version which reflects on the overall score, and final verdict.
SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT. The words boom as I blow away another red man and he shatters to a million little pieces. And I’m tossed into another scene, ready to fight for my life. I punch a guy, sending him into the oncoming train, snatch his gun, shoot his friend, toss the gun at his other friend, snatch that guy’s gun and throw it at the last man in the room before punching him to a million little pieces. SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT. And get used to that voice shouting SUPERHOT because you’re going to hear it every level.
How, you may wonder, am I able to pull off all these deft combat moves when I don’t even have the reflexes to switch to iron sights before the other guy in most online shooters? How do I have the time? Well, in SUPERHOT, you control time itself. Time only moves when you move. So you have all the time in the world to think it through, but the minute you move, the room full of bright-red bastards who are coming for you starts to move as well. Frame by frame, you have to accomplish a very simple objective: Kill Them All.
SUPERHOT’s unique gameplay mechanic means that, as a shooter your main challenge is moving very slowly and deliberately in order to overcome the overwhelming odds. And you end up taking out your enemies with style. You can punch enemies to disarm them, steal their weapons in midair, and then when you run out of ammo you can throw weapons and empty objects to stun enemies. The time manipulation gives you the ability to pull off amazing combos, and it makes it feel infuriating when you get shot by a guy who crept up behind you, because you control time and you still got shot.
you start to learn that this ‘game’ you’re playing isn’t what it seems.
In terms of story, SUPERHOT was really cleverly constructed. You get an anonymous message telling you to check out this crack file superhot.exe, and it turns out to be a hacking tool that lets you get into the server of this corporation and play the game. You’re dropped into levels with simple white backgrounds, and your enemies are faceless red figures that shatter once they’re shot or beaten to death. At points, your hacking is discovered, and you’re pulled out, and you start to learn that this ‘game’ you’re playing isn’t what it seems. It’s really meta, and throughout the story the lines between reality and fiction become blurred. Seeing the mystery unfold was a really fun aspect of the game for me, and I liked how they integrated the story with the gameplay
In terms of content, SUPERHOT is still kind of light. It’ll take you a couple hours to see and do everything, but it’ll definitely come off as a fairly unique experience. There’s lots of fun to be had in endless mode, and you can perfect your slo-mo murder skills. If the game manages to pick up mod content it’ll definitely get more longevity, but as it stands you can expect a fairly short experience.
SUPERHOT was reviewed using an Xbox One and PC downloadable code provided by the SUPERHOT Team. The game was tested on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Unique and clever gameplay mechanic
• Minimal aesthetic that stands out
• Time manipulation allows for seriously cool combos
• Levels present different challenges that call for quick thinking
• The game plays as smoothly on Xbox One as it is on PC
• Level transitions can be annoying
• Game is short overall
• Weapons could have been more varied
• The console control scheme is not intuitive