Superhot has had its name out there for quite a while, generally in a loud and commanding voice. Originally created during a seven-day game jam, the prototype they launched online was praised to high heaven and one successful Kickstarter campaign we finally have the full game. So can it live up to the hype?
On one hand, yes, because Superhot is ridiculously fun. This game’s core mechanics are brilliant, and I could play around with them all day. The idea is simple, the enemies only move when you do, the rest of the time they crawl forward but at a pace that prevents them being a threat. You then have to work your way through various rooms, disarming them, shooting them and throwing things at their head to get round to doing those other things. It is such a simple idea, and yet it feels amazing. Suddenly you can be Jackie Chan as he disarms an entire room in a variety of badass ways.
The problem is there is so much shit surrounding that, that it threatens to get in the way. Central to that is the main campaign, which in among fun challenge rooms that you have to figure out how to get through, has an awful story. It’s the kind of crap that a 15-year-old would write up and think was really edgy, as it raises the question of whether the game is the one playing you. It serves no purpose but to get in the way of the fun you are having.
Alongside that is a new mechanic, where you can leap into the bodies of enemies to kill them and take their position in the level. You can see where the idea came from, but it ruins the flow of the game. It takes away that feeling that you are one guy calmly and efficiently disposing of your enemies.
When Superhot is at its best, it is essentially a puzzle game with guns. Where you are dropped into a room where you have to dispatch everyone in it and survive yourself or in some of the post-campaign challenge modes, just survive for as long as possible. When it is at its worse, it’s a pretentious pile of crap. Thankfully, that central mechanic is so good that it is easy to ignore all of that and just enjoy playing the game for what it is. An innovative shooter that will keep you coming back for more.