Superhot originally began as an entry from a 7 day FPS challenge during a game jam. The idea proved immensely popular that the team decided to try create a full game, relying on Kick-starter for the funds. Having seen a few videos on it, I decided to investigate the game and even tried the demo for myself. Needless to say I was hooked and loved the concept behind the game, so much that I actually pre-purchased the game last year and waited agonizing for the day the game would be officially released. On February 2016, the game was finally released as a full game to the public.
Superhot was full of surprises (and frustration) for me. Not only did it have a game concept that was executed so well in the game, but had a rather intriguing plot in regards to control and freedom within a game. I won’t spoil the rest of the game but that was one hell of a plot, even if that plot has rather disturbing implications.
With the world being bleak full of whites and grays, Superhot teaches you visually on what is important to look out for. The enemies and the bullet trails are bright red that is hard to miss, weapons and other items that could be picked up are black, including your character. The simple approach in color ensures the game communicates to the player what they need to know quickly in a new level; without going through needing to give a long tutorial or text box to tell the player what they need to do. Not saying there is no tutorial at all, there are tutorials. Only within the first few levels to teach you the basic concepts and later on maybe a level to teach you how to use a new ability then afterwards it lets you free to finish the levels how you see fit.
The plot receives a boost from the key game mechanic of the game, which drew a lot of attention to the game itself. While Superhot itself is a first-person shooter, time only flows in the game when you move. When you stand still, time slows down to a near crawl. Those stretched out seconds give you the opportunity to think about your next move. Only moving again at normal speed once you begin to move. This gives you the chance to plan your next kills, dodge bullets and attacks with ease.
Timing also helps, as most enemies are able to kill you with a single hit so while are you are able to control the flow of time…if you mess up by mistiming a move then you restart the entire level from the beginning. Once you get used to the mechanics of the game, it becomes relatively easy. It goes without saying that I died a lot in my play-through of the game. Thankfully most of the levels are short so while the frustration kicked in due to my many deaths and not the level length, the sense of accomplishment for when I did finally beat a level I had gotten stuck on is a wonderful feeling.
Even then, the game keeps things interesting by ensuring each level (over the span of 30-ish levels) starts differently with other challenges. Some has you equipped with a pistol, a katana or even just nothing but your bare fists at times. Other times you may be standing on top of a moving train, in a building car-park or an empty corridor. Every level is different and the difficulty of the levels increase as you progress further along the levels towards the finale. You even gain some new skills along the way!
Overall, the game took me less than 5 hours to complete. It was a sense of satisfaction when I completed the last level, knowing I managed to complete all those levels despite some of the frustration and difficulties I had with some of the levels. It was my fault and not the game since I occasionally became impatient, was not aware of my surroundings and so forth. Once you finish the game, you unlock a bunch of challenges that allow you to keep playing the game or experiment with new methods of completing a level. The only challenge I managed to complete was the AD2013 challenge sadly. I got stuck on one of the levels for the Katana only challenge and didn’t really look into the other challenges. If you aren’t interested in the challenges, you could always play in the endless arena mode. For endless arena, you are spawned in a random location and you just begin to rack up the highest number of kills possible with never-ending enemies spawning in till you are killed.
While the product deviated slightly from its demo, the overall concept and style of the game remained the same. The wait was well worth it and I loved the challenge the game gave me in the end. More so when it unlocked the challenges and endless area modes for those who wanted to extend their game-play or wanted a new challenge. It even allowed players to replay the main campaign levels if they so wished.
You have to try this game, Superhot out. It’s the most innovative shooter game I’ve played in years. *smirks*