SUPERHOT Review – Xbox One

Your body is holding you back.

That sentence is the core of Superhot. What started off as a weekend experiment has grown into a full-fledged game on PC, and now finally the Xbox One. The core concept of the game has always interested me- bullet-time done right- and I’m happy to report that the end result is a game that will infuriate, invigorate, and astound every step of the way. If you want something inexplicable in a game that leaves you feeling cool every step of the way, look no further. Let’s get into Superhot.

Superhot is equal parts puzzle game and first person shooter. That being said, it never feels like a puzzle game in the traditional sense. Since time only advances when you move, navigating the web of bullets heading your way can become tricky, and that’s putting it lightly. The stark red/ black/ white stylized look of the game helps it to already stand out more than it would have, allowing you to easily focus on the two core elements of Superhot: weapons and foes.

As the complexity ramps up, you’ll find yourself doing more and more complex actions that would have been impossible in real-time; punch a guy in the face, grab his katana, kill him with it, throw the katana and another guy killing him instantly, grabbing that guys gun to use on three others headed your way… and so on. This is the hypnotic loop of Superhot, and it very easily develops a tight grip on you. The fact that the game can be completed in 3-5 hours means that the mechanics never overstay their welcome or grow repetitive. Put simply, Superhot is the perfect short-burst of video game hyper-violence and innovation.

The best parts of Superhot are it’s mechanics. Bullet-time has always been a long-sought-after mechanic in games, but even the best examples (Max Payne) haven’t fully realized it as a concept. Superhot gets it right, and builds an entire gaming experience around it. It’s been awhile since I’ve come across a game that makes the player feel as empowered as this one does; stepping between bullets, stealing an enemies weapon… these actions never stop felling and looking cool from start to finish. Superhot drips style, and makes you feel like an action movie star every step of the way.

If I had to say anything negative about the experience, it’s that the game tries a little too hard at times with its vague, self-aware, trying to look cool attitude, and that bleeds over into the story. To be blunt, you’re here for the amazing gameplay. That is a-ok, but if that’s the case, I almost wish they’d totally abandoned trying to build a narrative around it. Still, this does little to take away from the actual experience.

In the end, Superhot is a game that should appeal to just about everyone who loves video games. This is the first time in a while that I’ve seen a game claim innovation, and actually been able to back it up. Get your hands on it, and dodge some bullets. Your body is holding you back.

Screenshot Gallery

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