When I was in college, there was a little movie that was released named, The Matrix. At the time, it set a new precedent on how action movies are made. Regardless of how old the film is now, it will always be a classic in the eyes of moviegoers and critics alike. A couple of years later, Remedy Entertainment created Max Payne; a game that took “bullet time” and made it more interactive. Since then there have been many movies and games that have used this formula, and while most of them are fine games, there hasn’t been anything that has allowed me to become more immersed in a shooter like SUPERHOT has.
SUPERHOT is a first person shooter with a bit of a twist; your enemies do not move unless you do. Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn’t. From looking at trailers for the game, I will admit it seemed intriguing, but nothing that I thought would keep my attention for more than a couple of hours.
From the get go, SUPERHOT has a very meta feel to it as you are looking at a DOS prompt. You are sent a file from a friend that’s a game named, appropriately, SUPERHOT. You choose the file and it sucks you into a VR like simulation game that seemingly has no overall plot to the game, but rather scenarios that you must get out of by maneuvering your attacks using what is provided in the level; a gun, your fists, a vase, a cue ball, and so on. While it won’t seem like there is an overall plot, there is one with the character operating the DOS prompts; a game within a game sort to speak. In fact, the options for the game are located in that same DOS prompt during the campaign.
The enemies are glass like figures, colored with a warm color scheme, that have access to the same weapons you do. Not every level starts you off with a weapon though. Some require you to obtain the weapons yourself by dodging bullets and using physical attacks. Let me tell you this; when you shoot your enemy and get head shots, the slow motion nature of the game makes you feel like you are in a John Woo action film.
In fact, many of the scenarios you are put in are reminiscent of a scene from an action movie you have probably seen at some point in your life. Bar brawls, alleyway gunfights, crashing through windows, jumping over cars; if you can think of it, it may very well be in this game. Watching yourself do what would normally be impossible will make you feel like the biggest bad-ass, and what makes it even better is saving the clips to watch later at normal speed.
There may be a bit of a hurdle that some gamers may have to get over, and that is the fact there is very little color in the game…or detailed graphics. The levels are white with some grey, and the red enemies fire red bullets that leave red streaks for you to see the trajectory of the bullets that are coming your way. There’s a Mirrors Edge like shine to the game as there is no blood that sprays on walls because the enemies shatter when “killed”. Seriously, you could eat soup of the floors if it were real; that’s how clean the levels look.
While the game doesn’t necessarily tell you this, you are being timed in a sense. When you complete a level, you are either “SUPER” or you are “SUPERHOT”. While I did not feel the need to go back right away to get a better title, that didn’t keep me from wondering how I could have completed the level in a different, more entertaining way.
You will die.
You will probably die a lot until you get the levels figured out. While you do have the essence of time on your hands, not everything is put right in front of you, and your patience will be the biggest virtue. Right when you think you have a grasp on the level, an enemy can come out of nowhere and knock you out or shoot you. It’s like an old Nintendo game in a way; memorizing the sequence of when and how enemies attack will be how you beat the level. Maybe that’s why it’s go gratifying in when you beat a level, knowing that you mapped out your plan of attack. Then again, there is nothing wrong with some chaos. Like a movie scene, watching bullets whiz by you, shooting through glass in the middle of it shattering with the hopes that you hit your target, and watching your enemies fall to pieces while shooting through their remains in order to obliterate the enemy behind them is invigorating.
Simple in design, clever in its plot, and engaging in its gameplay, SUPERHOT is a brilliant, must have for PC, and eventually the Xbox One. Different is good and sometimes it’s great, and while the simple color palette and graphics may detour some gamers that want their games more realistic, SUPERHOT can take our action fantasies from our cinematic classics and makes us the action star we have seen in the movies, over and over again.
You can purchase SUPERHOT by clicking HERE.