In 2013 the internet was graced with a small prototype FPS called SUPERHOT and it quickly took the web by storm. Many people played through the prototype and found it to be a totally original take on the first person shooter genre, thus wanting more.
Fast forward to today, February 26th 2016, the day that we get the full version of SUPERHOT. In short it’s a much longer and expanded version of the prototype that has also been given a story. In many ways this helps the game succeed but it does also hurt the game in small ways.
I’m going to do my best to avoid actually covering the contents of the story, because truthfully the story is great. The story is pretty damn incredible and is told through an interesting way. SUPERHOT’s main menu actually acts as an operating system, with you the user. In between levels you’ll instant message with your virtual friends about SUPERHOT. It’s an interesting technique which makes the game, a game within a game. It becomes clear pretty quickly that the game is that much better when played in VR but it’s not bad at all when played on your computer. The story spans about 2 to 2 and half hours. This length isn’t bad, I’d argue it’s actually the perfect length for this type of game, however SUPERHOT has launched at $25, which is rather pricey for a game of this length.
Once you complete SUPERHOT’s story you are able to play through Endless mode as well as challenges but whether those two help justify the game’s price tag is really up to you. Challenges essentially place you in a level but will require you to complete the level in specific ways, for example you are only able to use a katana, etc. It’s a good addition to the game though it’s not something I will personally play too frequently. Additionally, endless mode allows you to choose a level and play through until you die, as enemies will never stop spawning. Again, it’s a fine addition though not particularly my cup of tea. In my opinion the reason to play SUPERHOT is it’s story and the game play, but the real question you should ask yourself when considering it are whether the amount of time you’ll put into the game is worth your $25.
Enough about the game’s modes though because what makes SUPERHOT shine is the game play. It’s incredibly rare that a game launches and brings out a new take on a classic genre, but SUPERHOT is absolutely the game that does this. It puts the FPS genre on its head and it’s incredibly well done. SUPERHOT is not the best looking game ever. It certainly has its own style and it isn’t by any means bad looking, but it is somewhat bland. The world is mostly white and gray with all enemies standing out in a bright red color. The game is a first person shooter however the catch is that the world only moves when you do. This creates a really interesting sense of game play where you can literally run through clouds of bullets and catch the enemies’ guns midair while also giving yourself time to think about how to proceed. Though SUPERHOT is 100% a shooter it’s also very much a puzzle game and you’ll find yourself repeating the same level over and over trying different methods until you find success on the other side. There are a few different weapons from guns like the handgun, shotgun and assault rifle as well as the melee weapons which consist of the katana and your fists. Each level presents something new and the game never ceases to be fun.
Additionally upon completion of a level you will watch a re-run of your successful play through without the slow pauses you’ll make completing the level. It’s a cool idea because though it may take you a minute or two to play through the level, you can watch what it would then look like in 30 seconds, almost like it would look in a movie. SUPERHOT also allows you to edit or cut down your video and upload it to a website the developers set up called Killstagram.com. This is actually one of my favorite features of the game because it encourages players to get the coolest run they can, and then instantly allows them to share it around the world.
Note the following video is not me playing:
SUPERHOT didn’t run without issues however. I kept getting hard frame rate drops seemingly out of nowhere. It’s a strange thing too because I was actually playing the game prior to its official release with no problems, but since the launch day update I’ve had plenty of frame rate issues. I have to assume this will be patched and fixed up real quick but it is another thing to take note of for now.
SUPERHOT is a really fantastic game, and it’s the kind of game that truly re-defines a gaming genre. It’s a game that everyone should play at some point in time. At its current price, however, you really need to determine how much money your enjoyment is worth. At 2-2.5 hours for the story that’s rather pricey in the current gaming age we live in, especially for games on Steam. Now that isn’t to say the game isn’t worth it. It’s an incredible game that packs a lot of fun into a short time. Additionally the current release is available only on Steam (Windows, OSX and Steambox) but it will be coming to consoles soon with the Xbox One first sometime in March 2016.
Overall I think you should definitely play SUPERHOT. It’s fun and original and well worth your time. The only thing you need to decide is when to buy it. If you’d like to play the original SUPERHOT prototype, click here. You can purchase SUPERHOT via Steam.
SUPERHOT gets an 8/10