SUPERHOT review

Written by Jake Tucker

February 26, 2016 | 12:30

Tags: #fps #puzzle-games #violence

Companies: #indie #superhot

SUPERHOT review

SUPERHOT isn't much more than a single mechanic polished till it shines, but don't hold that against it - I couldn't leave it alone, completing its three hour campaign in a single sitting.

This campaign is probably the weakest part of the entire experience, framed with a bizarre Matrix-esque campaign that plays on the horrors of virtual reality. Conversations are held through a fake IRC client and revolve around conspiracies, cracked games and whispers about who's really in control.

While the game seems to have designs on being a deep and meaningful

SUPERHOT review

It's not terrible, but I found myself frequently desperate to get back to the action instead of reading another faux IRC chat. It should be commended for a couple of the fun things around user interaction in cutscenes, with you having to mash keys to type messages, and one cutscene involving you having to quit and restart the program to progress. This sort of poke at players is amusing but it just made the gaps between combat ever more tiresome.

Once you get past SUPERHOT's campaign, you get access to the real game: a series of challenges and an endless mode that let you experiment with the combat systems as you fight to stay alive second after second. At its most hectic moments it resembles a puzzle game rather than a shooter.

SUPERHOT review

The screenshots accompanying the review are doing a better job of showing it than I could, but aesthetically it's broken down to be as simple as possible too - red is danger, things that can hurt you, things you can hurt. Black is weaponry, items you can throw, shoot, or stab with. Everything else is the same shade of white. It looks glorious but also delivers a solid abstraction of the place: you fight a man in a bar, or break into a board meeting and decimating its attendees. It's never recognisably any specific place, but you tend to layer your own imagination over the top of the vague levels.

We've known SUPERHOT was coming since the Game Jam demo, so the fact it feels so fresh and innovative now shouldn't be a surprise, but there's so much more to it - different guns, melee, jumping between characters… it's surprise after surprise and manages to create an FPS outside of the AAA sphere that's one of the most interesting I've played not only this year, but of this generation.

SUPERHOT review

Buy this game. Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.
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