I’m standing in front of a bar, gun pointed at my face, more enemies bursting into the room on my left and right. I’m outgunned and out manned as the words “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” flash on my screen; the only thing I have on my side is time. I pick up a bottle from the bar and throw it at my attacker, disarming him and allowing me to grab the gun as it flies through the air. I turn back to my attacker and shoot him as I jump over the bar his head shatters into a thousand red pieces and his body falls to the floor. More adversaries pour into the room and I dispatch them quickly till my final attacker approaches, a message flashes on my screen: “No Ammo”. I throw my pistol at my attacker as his gun flies up into the air I jump to grab it, I miss, falling in front of my opponent. I unleash a barrage of my fists and finish the level, one final message appears: “Super!” “Hot!”.
All of that took place within about five minutes of game time, however afterward I’m shown my feats in real time which boils down to less than 20 seconds of pure action. Superhot bucks the trend of adrenaline fueled fast-paced FPS games and puts time in your hands, time only moves when you move. But to be more precise when standing still time is slowed to a crawl, meaning that you have time to stop, think and plan out your every action. Your only goal: eliminate everyone without getting hit yourself. If you fail you restart the mission from the beginning again forced to re-think your game plan and attempt the scenario over again. If you are successful you treated to a chorus of SUPER! HOT! until your proceed to the next level. However even better than that you get to see your feats in real time making you look like the slickest action movie bad-ass ever.
Superhot rarely gets more complicated than this in it’s 32 story levels however each sequence is still unique and memorable in it’s own way. Stuck in an elevator with 3 guys pointing guns at you? Check. Car coming directly at you with people ready to fire behind it? Got that. Running down a hall way unarmed as a firing squad shoots at you? Good Luck. Working out the correct sequence of events to overcome each situation is always satisfying, at times the game becomes more of a puzzle game than an FPS, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Every level is intricately designed allowing me to solve it in almost anyway I could imagine. No matter your weapon of choice from shotgun to katana, every kill looks incredible as the enemies shatter and dissolve into tiny particles.
The premise is set up as a hacking game that an online chat friend sent you. All of the menus and chat logs take place on an ASCII-based OS, which has a few other menus to play with, including some ASCII wallpapers and games. The ASCII system also is a base for launching the all important Superhot.exe and while none of this is a substantial part of how the game interfaces it’s story telling. Jumping from the curved and tubular look of the 90’s style ASCII system to the sharp and crisp polygonal world of Superhot gives the whole game an underground cyberpunk feel. With each time that your drip fed information about what’s going it truly feels like your part of large network, where you feel truly connected to the system.
After beating the story mode, you unlock an endless and challenge mode. The endless mode also comes with various modifiers and levels such as only using katana or how many kills can you get in 60 seconds etc. All of this adds a few reasons to come back to what is essentially a rather short main campaign, I got through it in about 3 hours. At the end of any mission in any mode you also have access to simple editing tools in order to edit your real time play backs and upload them to a site known as “Killstagram“. This is where players can share there most amazing moments and creative take-downs with the community. I spent a lot of time replaying missions and trying to complete them in the most stylish rather than efficient ways just to upload them for others to see.
Superhot is one of the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years, but more than that it’s also an immersive puzzle game with a thought-provoking narrative. The greatest joy from Superhot comes from experiencing every scenario for the first time, then cautiously planning out your tirade of death and executing it with extreme proficiency. The combination of solid core mechanics, stylish presentation and compelling plot make Superhot exceptional and definitely something everybody should experience for themselves.