“Superhot” review

Superhot

A parking garage. It’s just you, but suddenly your vision fills with red bodies armed to the teeth and sprinting to your position. You’re unarmed, but that’s not a problem. A few steps and the gap is closed between you and one of your foes weilding a pistol. A punch knocks him off balance enough that you grab the pistol from his hand and fire point-blank. His face shatters like glass as you stop and observe the bullets around you frozen in mid air. Just a side-step and you’ve dodged two projectiles. Time stops again, and you notice there’s an opening if you can hop over that car to your left. You make your move. You forget to check behind you. You’re hit by a shotgun. And just like that, you’re back in the parking garage, and here they come again. You’ve only done this two or three times, you’ll get the hang of it soon.

“Superhot” is another Kickstarter darling-that-could that is gaining a lot of attention from Let’s-Players and some Youtube circulation. This first-person shooter has a unique mechanic wherein time slows almost to a stop when you stand still. It returns to normal speed when you begin moving again. You’ll punch, shoot, throw and bash your way through levels full of red mannequin-esque baddies who spawn and try to kill you.

There’s a story here, very meta and a little confusing, but it’s better experienced than explained. It’s short enough, however, that the game has a secondary mode, which is unlocked after story completion, that is purely endless killing. Frankly, this is the best mode in the game and really allows the gameplay mechanics to shine.

The visuals in "SUPERHOT" are very striking.

Visuals in “Superhot” are simple and striking, allowing players to focus on gameplay.

If you want to get an idea of what other games “Superhot” feels like, I’d have to say “Hotline Miami” is the closest thing you’re going to get. The gameplay is fight, die, repeat. You’ll get frustrated, you’ll get confused, and you’ll feel the glory of victory when you complete a mission and the game chants “Super. Hot.” ominously at your face as you watch your own replay.

This game’s fun. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy wading through swaths of red guys with swords and guns. There’s a level of cleanliness to the game because of the lack of blood and faceless nature of your enemies that makes everything seem, for lack of a better word, safe. There’s some strategy in choosing when to throw your weapon, when to hot switch, and when to take cover during fights. There’s not much of a reward for hiding behind walls and crates, but it does give you the advantage of breathing room to think about situations a little more.

Is “Superhot” worth your time? That’s hard to say in my honest opinion. There is no question about its replay value and uniqueness from the beginning. The real issue for me is the cost of the game. I know this is a Kickstarter project, and I know some others have been more expensive than “Superhot,” but I’m not certain that a $25 price tag is really justifiable for a game that I’ve literally played with for around two hours. That’s not counting the time I played on endless mode.

There’s just not a whole lot here. This is great for streaming, great for high-score challenges, and an interesting concept to boot, but that’s not enough for me to spend that much money and feel like it was worth it. “Superhot” is available on Steam right now should you feel like trying something a little different ans weird. You’ll definitely enjoy “Superhot,” but how long you enjoy it is up to you. On my end, I’m glad I played it, but not so glad I spent so much money on it because I definitely find myself playing other less-expensive games more often than “Superhot.”

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