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Superhot (PC) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC, Linux and Mac
 
Genre: , ,
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

We liked?


  • Looks gorgeous in a clean and 90's cyberpunk way
  • Fresh new mechanic turns an FPS in to a puzzle game
  • 90's Hacker interface is a genius stroke and amused the hell out of me... a former 90's hacker type
  • Killstagram interface shows some truly beautiful death ballet

Not so much?


  • Main story feels like it has short shrift - more content would've been appreciated
  • The story is more than a little trite and needlessly cheesy despite my appreciation for 90's cyberpunk
  • Difficulty spikes and the odd collision glitch proved annoying


Final Fiendish Findings?

Superhot is a game that takes a beautifully pure core mechanic and throws no needless filler around it. It feels fresh throughout and offers up a challenge worth taking.

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Posted February 27, 2016 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 
S

uperhot started as a neat concept.  A prototype shown at trade shows and indie showcases that seemed to excite any that noticed it.  Fast forward a little and the team from SuperHot have put together a fully-fledged release for the PC, Mac and Linux.  Can that pure mechanic service an entire game?

Superhot is like nothing you’ve really seen before.  It’s like Hotline Miami, an RTS and a puzzle game had a mutant baby that looked suspiciously like Mirror’s Edge (NB: paternity test pending).  Superhot is, at it’s very core, a strategic puzzle title that does it’s best to fool you that it might be a first person shooter.  It also brings a heavy 90’s era vibe to it with a large dash of Stephenson/Gibson Cyberpunk thrown in.

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You are presented your world in first person view.  Everything is very stark, very white and grey.  Then, some bright red dudes show up and want to mess with your stuff.  Each level requires you to eliminate the enemies before they eliminate you.  The environments these “puzzles” unfold in is far from bland, with the designers achieving a sharp and clean look that just works so well.

It sounds simple but the real kicker is that time has slowed to a crawl; literally you can see projectiles crawl across the screen.  It starts to progress once again if you move or perform an action like picking up an object or weapon.  This means you have time to study your environment and pick the best course of action as long as you stay still.  Most of the time you’re hugely outnumbered and you’re always out gunned.

So rather than just run through these small levels (25 in fact) gunning and punching with no regard you actually need to plan every single movement you take.  Dodging bullets, leaping cars, throwing vases, punching an assailant; all these things require a level of strategic thought and space awareness that other games don’t.

This slow, almost ballet, of movement just feels super fresh (and hot!) and maintains a level of tension throughout.  Once you clear a level you are presented with a fast looping replay of it that runs in real time.  You can then skip to the next level or edit the clip and upload it to the site Killstagram.  This is a site dedicated to collecting your best runs and showing them to the world.  As they play back in real time it often looks like such beautiful carnage.

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Seeing how others have approached a level is often eye opening. Some will try and melee through it all, others will always go for the gun.  Later levels let you use object to stun enemies as well as block bullets.  Every so often a new mechanic is layered on to keep the experience feeling fresh.

Superhot does have its frustrating elements though.  Sometimes small glitches come through where it feels like you might just have been unfairly killed by a bullet you know you’ve dodged or that’s clipped through something.  It also really pushes up the difficulty at later stages with the final encounters being somewhat trial and error.  Thankfully it’s seconds to get back in to try again.

That said Superhot takes these neat concepts and runs with them.  The main story can be run through in around two to three hours depending on your proficiency. After this some challenge modes are opened up – things like “Do all levels using weapon X”.  As well as these there are Speedrun challenges and an “Endless” mode too.  The game could do a little better in surfacing some scoreboards so you can challenge friends to beat your runs but that’s not really a big deal overall.

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Final Thoughts

Superhot is a game that takes a beautifully pure core mechanic and throws no needless filler around it.  It feels fresh throughout and offers up a challenge worth taking.

The niggles around a couple of bugs, the repetition of the core mechanic and the brevity of the core story all do weigh in against an overall “score” but the fact remains that Superhot is one of the more important releases this year in regards to design and mechanics.

Superhot is something that’s hard to fully appreciate until you get your hands on it and feel how fresh it is and I’d recommend you all do just that.

 

The product under review was provided by the creator, manufacturer, publisher or their PR representative free of charge and without caveat. Please see our site review policy for more information.

 

Family Fiends Findings?

  • Action strategy gameplay requires you to solve puzzles to eliminate opponents
  • Weapons such as shotguns, rifles and pistols are used to “shatter” glass assailants – no blood is present
  • No sexual content

Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.