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SUPERHOT Review: Super Hot Slow-Mo Killing

/ Feb 25th, 2016 No Comments

SUPERHOT

Society has long had a fascination with slow motion. It makes athletes look more athletic, home videos look like film productions, and action sequences more exhilarating. It’s no surprise then that slow-mo is nothing new to the first-person shooter genre of video games. However, it has never been used like it is in SUPERHOT.

In SUPERHOT, players determine how fast the action proceeds. The less your character moves, the slower the action around him will go. This isn’t the typical shoot-em-up, Michael Bay-style action FPS; it involves strategy and critical thinking, and it comes together to create a unique shooter experience.

Step By Step

“First-person shooter” and “puzzle” aren’t typically terms that go together, but this has been attempted before. In fact, the Portal franchise achieved great success with its puzzle-intensive take on the FPS. But SUPERHOT differs from Portal because it embraces the FPS genre much more than it does the puzzle-solving.

The objective of each level is very straightforward; kill all the enemies within the level before they can kill you. However, there is a difficult twist: a single hit will kill you. Passing levels becomes a trial-and-error task, requiring players to learn the tendencies of each enemy and where weapons are located.
 

SUPERHOT

Murder is the game, and the game is good.

There are near limitless ways to complete a level, but it all boils down to constantly being aware of the environment and being patient. Attempting to rush through levels will get you killed almost immediately, especially because this means enemies will also move quicker. Taking advantage of slow motion abilities is not only important, it is necessary.

Because slow-mo is such an integral part of the game, SUPERHOT offers players a way to enjoy the game in real time. After each level, a replay shows players actions in real time. This gives players an entirely new perspective of the game and makes them look like total badass killing machines.

Tell Your Friends

There is a lot more to SUPERHOT than just a first-person killing frenzy. There is a game within a game that players must solve to discover what SUPERHOT truly is. Traversing the game’s menu reveals hidden data regarding the story, and opens up some odd mini-games. Some of the extras found in the depths of the menu are just meaningless time wasters, but other coding shows some pretty lofty aspirations for the secret behind SUPERHOT.
 

Superhot review

There’s something more to Superhot.

This plot also helps explain the graphics (or lack of graphics), as players are told that they are actually in a beta version of the game. An unknown friend who gave you access to the beta contacts you through messages, and this back and forth dialogue reveals more about the playable character and the game as a whole. While playing, you will discover more about the company behind SUPERHOT.

Polygonal Payback

Graphically, SUPERHOT has an incredibly unique look. The low-res art style almost looks like an incomplete game, but that is explained through the plot by being in a beta version. This seems like somewhat of a copout, but the game delivers some appealing art when polygonal person-like figures slowly fall apart. Fighting against semi-rendered enemies in near colorless environments makes the whole experience incredibly surreal.
 

SUPERHOT

How quick is your reaction speed? (Spoiler: Not Very Fast)

The dial-up and typing sounds heard in the main menu sets an eerie ambiance that seems to be the tone of SUPERHOT. It fits well with the seemingly mindless killing of the game. Sadly, there isn’t much music or a soundtrack aside from the sounds of bullets and melee weapons penetrating enemies. The score is paltry at best. It makes sense given the game’s premise, but some environment-setting music would have done the game some favors.

Overall

SUPERHOT manages to differentiate itself from other FPS games by using slow motion in an innovative way. The game-within-a-game premise gives SUPERHOT depth that many FPS games lack, and it gives players a deep level of immersion. SUPERHOT is one of the most innovative shooters in recent history.

SUPERHOT was reviewed on PC using a code for the game provided by the publisher.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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SUPERHOT REVIEW: SUPER HOT SLOW-MO KILLING

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall80%

GAMEPLAY9

SUPERHOT is different than any other first-person shooter you've played, and that's why it's so interesting.

GRAPHICS8

The game's unqiue art style is viscerally satisfying but it also looks unfinished.

SOUND6.5

Developers wasted an opportunity to match the adrenaline-pumping nature of the game by adding some good music and more sound effects.

STORY8.5

The discovery of the company behind SUPERHOT is a great mystery to pursue.

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