SUPERHOT Review – PC

“Hi, [FRIEND_NAME_HERE], you have to check out this game. It’s the most innovative shooter I’ve ever played in years.”

Anyone who has played SUPERHOT knows what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, I would be remiss if I didn’t start this review off by saying that I highly recommend this game. It is well worth the price tag. While it might cost a little more than some indie games at $24.99 USD, I really think it is well worth every penny.

I watched videos of people playing SUPERHOT back when it was just a gamejam demo. I remember thinking that it was just such a cool concept and that I couldn’t wait to see more. It is a testament to the idea that some of the best ideas are the simplest ones. For anyone unfamiliar, the way the game works is that you are presented with a level where everything is basically white except for your enemies, who are these red humanoid figures intent on killing you as quickly as possible, and black items that can be picked up and used as weapons. These range from everyday items like coffee cups and bottles to rifles pistols and shotguns. You are imbued with something akin to a superpower and that is that time only moves when you do.

This power allows you to dodge bullets that you see careening toward you in super-slow motion, until you move to avoid them and you see them whiz by you. It also allows you to plot your path through the swarms of bad guys as they relentlessly try to murder you. One hit from them means death for you, just as it does for them, so you have to plan carefully. You’d think that having this power would make a shooter too easy, but in actuality, the enemies are so aggressive and accurate that if it weren’t for this mechanic, it would be near impossible to complete the game. After you complete a level, you are rewarded with a replay, in real-time, of everything you did, which just adds to the feeling of how amazingly awesome everything you did was, and how impossible it would have been had you been forced to do it in real-time.

Needless to say, I was impressed by the very nature of the game and couldn’t wait to experience it first-hand. What caught me completely unawares, was just how creative and unexpectedly “meta” the story mode was going to be. Holy crap. It drew me in from the very beginning, as you receive a chat message from a buddy telling you about this file he found called superhot.exe and that you should check it out.

I don’t want to give away too much, because experiencing all the twists and turns of this unique story on your own are what make it so excellent. Suffice it to say that the game just keeps drawing you in farther and farther, making you feel paranoid, confused, and trapped, even though you are given this amazing power. At one point, the game actually forces you to quit the program altogether. Yes, you read that right. It makes you shut the game down completely. I won’t say any more about the story. It’s just fun.

It’s also one of those games that is just really good at making you feel like a total badass. I mean, how awesome is it to smash someone in the face with a bottle and then snatch their gun out of the air, turn and shoot the guy behind them in the face, all in a matter of moments? The game is full of moments like this. Moments where you are encouraged to find creative and innovative ways to play with your time-bending abilities and absolutely destroy everyone unlucky enough to try and come after you.

The story took me about two hours to complete. I wish it were longer, but only in the way that you wish your favorite movies were longer. Or that your stomach was big enough to eat another helping of your favorite meal. You know that more doesn’t necessarily mean better, but you enjoyed them so much, you just can’t help but want more. Luckily, beyond the story mode, there are challenges where you can go back and do the levels from the story over again, but with a speedrunning twist, where you try and complete it in as quick a time as possible. There is also an “endless mode” that allows you the freedom to play SUPERHOT forever.

I really tried to come up with serious criticisms for this game, but it is just a solid presentation. It benefits from the fact that it is very unique and quite simple in its execution. But it is done so flawlessly that it is a pure joy to experience from beginning to end…and then some.

Screenshot Gallery

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