Superhot is immediately recognisable from the plain white backgrounds, and iconic orange gem-like enemies. Whether you’ve seen a screenshot or replay, you’ll have an idea of what it looks like, and if it’s the latter you might be under the impression this is a fast, frantic and challenging first person shooter.
Actually, you’d be wrong, Superhot is far from it, you’re not going to require unreal responses to score a kill. Instead Superhot is a slow, methodical and puzzling game which tests you with short missions against all odds with a bullet time mechanic which tips the table in your favour.
The main element of gameplay is that the world moves slower than a snail when you’re not moving, stand still and you’ll see bullets moving through the air inch, by inch giving you plenty of time to sidestep them matrix style.
It’s not quite that easy though, and there’ll be plenty of frustration as time and time again you take one wrong step, because as soon as you move, the world moves with you. Back into real time, bullets whizz past your head and enemies chase you down.
The first few levels are relatively simple, using the stasis to aim your shot, then side stepping an incoming bullet as your own flies into it’s target causing them to shatter into thousands of orange shards. Clear all enemies and you move onto the next mission.
Soon enough the enemies are numerous and you’ll be dodging between obstacles as you prepare the next shot. Even at this early stage it’s evident that your accuracy and judgment are going to be tested far more than how responsive you are, but soon enough even bullet-time won’t help a guy without a gun, especially when a single shot or punch will end your game.
This is where you’ll find that you can pick-up and throw items which are as clear as black and white, being as these are all black, and the surroundings white.
You will be throwing a wine bottle at one guy, before grabbing his gun mid-air, spinning round to shoot a few others, before throwing the empty gun at another assailant before using his gun to finish clearing house and the resulting full=speed replay will be sure to impress.
It’s a unique FPS style which is neatly embedded into a game within a game, using IRC style chat’s to introduce you to the game, hide away hidden backstory, humorous banter, mini games and a system that isn’t afraid to break the 4th wall, you’ll soon get sucked into the story constantly trying to figure out what exactly is going off.
Gameplay isn’t the only thing that’s borrowed a little from the Matrix because just as you think you’re trying to fathom out the story, it’s all over, you’re watching the end credits and there’s still plenty of questions left unanswered, While a short blast at 2-3 hours, it’s also disappointingly short, however the mass of post-completion modes come to save the day.
Firstly there’s endless modes which throw continuous enemies your way, and finally the hundreds of challenges allow you to get all the fun of the game without the story and narration.
It’s nothing new for a game to rely on content to occupy gamers after completion, so it’s good to know there’s plenty available, although I still would have preferred the initial story to last a little longer.
Onto the aesthetics, and SuperHot looks good, very good.
Sure it’s simple, plain white textures, make the worlds plain and simple, but there’s still more than enough detail to keep you localised with little enough that you can pick out very red streak behind a bullet, and easily spot any enemies taking aim at you. The iconic enemies don’t need detail, they mean nothing, they’re simply an obstacle and the clarity of the orange/red glow against black and white makes them stand out nice and clearly.
Sadly the audio didn’t impress me as much, with little to write home about, both as soundtrack, effects or music. Though the lack of such makes the clarity of the plain white worlds feel almost as clinical as the run you’ll be striving to obtain.
Prepare to be saying super, hot, super, hot, super, hot.. along with the voice-over as you watch back your end of mission replays, and these are very watchable, they don’t seem quite as fast as the P.C version, which is both good and bad, because personally I felt the PC replays ran a little too quickly, however now they don’t seem to pack the same urgency and smoothness (call me awkward and picky, but somewhere between the two would have been perfect)