Superhot

Superhot puts an interesting spin on traditional first person shooter games. As opposed to using the "run 'n gun" method you'll typically see in the genre, each level is an intricate puzzle with plenty of different ways to advance.

Superhot's plot is minimal but I was surprised at some of the mature themes the short story did explore. You are sent a message on your DOS prompt containing the cracked version of a game called Superhot. Being suspicious of the game initially, you eventually boot up the file. What appears at first to be a normal video game, quickly evolves into something a bit darker when the game realizes that your are playing it.

The selling point of the game however, is the unique gameplay mechanic that revolves around a time system that completely freezes gameplay until you move your character. This mechanic slows down the pace quite a bit allowing for you to carefully think about your next move as well as evade projectiles such as bullets, baseball bats and other melee weapons. Every movement, not just walking or running, moves time forward. Actions such as reaching for a weapon on the ground or even reloading your current weapon will cause time to keep moving.

Your character will die in one hit so each decision you make is literally a life or death decision. Deciding to pick that assault rifle or shotgun off the rack will cost precious seconds of time that could be the difference between success and failure. These small things aren't something you would think about in other shooters, but Superhot forces you to monitor every move you make.

The small margin of error the game allows leads to some pretty tense moments during some of the later levels. I did wish that the time mechanic evolved more as the game progressed, as you eventually unlock an ability to shoot your consciousness into another enemy, but outside of that, there's no real change from beginning to end.

The level design does get more complicated as you progress. Enemies begin to flank you with guns as opposed to melee weapons and utilize cover more. I was able to finish Superhot's story in about 3 hours but, after completion, you unlock a relentless Endless mode, which can add a lot more value to the game if your into competing with friends. Endless mode works just like it sounds, a never ending stream of levels filled with opponents attempting to kill you. I played it a couple of times and it is something I could see myself coming back to every so often just to try to beat my score. 

Superhot feels like it is meant to be played with a virtual reality headset. That's not to take anything anyway from this version which still plays and performs exceptionally well, but if I decide to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon, this is a title I'm sure would be worth playing again.

Superhot's time manipulation is a fun mechanic that allows you to play a first person shooter in a way you couldn't elsewhere. Despite a few shortcomings, the game does a superb job of mixing the first person shooter genre and puzzle games into entertaining experience.

Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday.