Review by ShadowWarKing
"Super" is an apt description.
The indie title Superhot has a unique premise - time only moves when you move. So when you stand still, time stands still too. Not completely, of course, as bullets can still whiz towards you, albiet in slow-motion. Superhot is a first-person shooter, and it's obvious that Superhot wouldn't work nearly as well as an action game or a platformer, as only a first person shooter could provide the experience that Superhot creates.
The game's story is minimal, but it's there. The story is told through old-fashioned chat rooms, where you communicate with a friend, who recommends that you download something called "superhot.exe". You open it and discover it to be a programme called "Superhot". I won't reveal any more, as there are some twists and turns that the game offers.
The sound is minimal - no music, only sound effects - but it works suprisingly well. The sound of gunfire and breaking glass are very distinctive and can be easily recognised throughout the entire game.
The graphics are a similar story to the music. The buildings, environments and areas are white concrete, while enemies are bright red and weapons are black. Not only does the white concrete environment make the game look better than it actually is, as any low-res textures don't show up very well compared to other games, it also provides a minimal environment that doesn't distract you.
The gameplay is very well thought out and I would be astounded if there was an aspect of the game that hadn't been playtested at least three times. The game is split up into several different aspects. There's the main campaign, which consists of 34 levels. There's the Endless mode, which pits you against an endless wave of enemies. Then there's the challenge modes, which task you with going through the campaign, but with certain restrictions, which include using only a certain weapon, doing the campaign under a time limit, and so on. There's also a secret to find in most levels, so that will keep you going for a good while.
The game plays out very well. Most levels start you empty-handed, although there are weapons scattered around the levels. Remember, the slower you move, the slower time will pass by. Standing still, as I mentioned before, slows things to a crawl, although it's still possible to die by a bullet whizzing towards you in slow-motion. You can slowly walk up to enemies, carefuly dodging bullets before killing the enemy with a melee and taking their weapon, which you'll use to kill the remaining enemies, until you run out of ammo. One hit will kill you, so you need to be careful, but you can dodge bullets by stepping to the side as the go towards you at slow-motion. The whole system is thought out very well, so while you may seem overpowered, slipping up will result in death. Because you'll be dying a lot, it's crucial that the levels feel unique and don't blend into each other like the levels in some first person shooters. Superhot manages this feat exceptionally well, with levels set in subways stations, on moving trains, in bars, in offices, in car parks and more. In Superhot. you use a variety of weapons, such as pistols, shotguns, katanas, throwable objects and more, many of which can be found on the floors and tables around the various levels, meaning it's your pick as to what to do first, what weapons to get and what enemies to defeat first.
I've praised the game thus far, but it's time to be a little harsher now. There are several things that Superhot lacks. Firstly, there's no way of pausing the game. Pressing the start button takes you to the main menu, not to a pause screen. I guess the developers thought that the crawling speed when you stand still is enough to subsitute as a "pause" function. It would be nice to see a real pause function, though. Another thing Superhot lacks is enemy variety. They're all exactly the same, just using different weapons. It would have been nice to see an enemy type that did something different, but the stellar level design, excellent graphics and an abundance of weapons make up for the loss. There's also, at the time of writing, an achievement which is glitched and doesn't unlock at all. Even after several months, this still hasn't been fixed, which really annoys me. If you don't care about achievements, then you won't be too bothered about this. Lastly, I feel the game would have benefited from online multiplayer. It would've been awesome to watch, but I get why it's not there: online multiplayer would have been seen as gimmicky and tacked on, so maybe it's better off not being there. Still, I think it might've been an area worth exploring. Maybe a co-op mode?
Lastly, Superhot also offers quite a lot of content for the price tag. It has a campaign of 34 levels, a secret to be found in most levels, an endless mode and a challenge mode. The entire game will take a good while to complete.
- Excellent, well thought out time mechanic.
- Game is very well balanced despite the main mechanic seeming overpowered.
- Stellar level design which makes every level feel unique.
- Endless modes and Challenge modes offer a lot of replayability.
- Graphics look very good and stop the levels from feeling cluttered and distracting.
- Sound effects are distinctive and work well.
- No way of pausing
- No enemy variety, although there are other things which make up for it.
- Glitched achievement still isn't patched
Verdict: Buy it. It's a game I strongly recommend to anyone who has an Xbox One.
Product Release: SUPERHOT (US, 05/03/16)
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