Towards the end of my time playing Superhot, the game told me to go on and tell everybody that it was the most innovative first person shooter in years, and, although it seems like the easy way out for a review, that’s the line I’m going to go with. Superhot is the most innovative first person shooter I have played in years.
Superhot runs with the idea that action scenes in films are the coolest parts of those films. We all love those action sequences, and always wish we could pull them off ourselves, yet, video games have largely struggled to recreate them, outside of cutscenes. They’re just largely too complicated to do, as controls are generally too clunky. Well Superhot has decided to hell with that, it’s time to make a game where you can be the coolest action star in the whole damn world.
© Superhot Team
It manages to do this via the use of a concept that is so smart and unique that, looking back, it’s shocking nobody has thought of it before. Time moves only when you do, meaning that all of your moves can be incredibly thought out. It allows you to pull of cool stunts that normally would be impossible to do. You can dodge bullets with ease; you can punch men and then shoot them with their own gun; you can even jump over a car whilst simultaneously shooting men on the other side of the car. The game does a great job in making you feel like a total badass. The system is so intuitive to use that it encourages great creativity on the part of the player, as it never gets old discovering what crazy hijinks you’ll be able to pull of next. In terms of gameplay, Superhot is practically faultless.
What isn’t as great is the story mode, which feels incredibly tacked on and almost entirely unnecessary. Although it’s a convenient way to introduce you to the mechanics, the story isn’t particularly interesting. Its tale of an online murder cult by way of video games is alright, but, as it goes on, I began to begrudge every time the game pulled me away from the fun levels to experience more of the plot that I just couldn’t give a damn about. It’s perfunctory, and isn’t at all memorable.
Luckily though, the story only lasts a few hours, and the majority of it is the gameplay, which never gets old. Once you’re done with that though, the game really hits its stride. Moving away from the pointless exposition, the game introduces challenge modes and endless modes that dramatically increase the longevity of the title. Thanks to the superb gameplay, playing through these modes is a great way to pass the time. They become very addictive, with me finding myself playing over and over desperately trying to improve my score.
© Superhot Team
Superhot must also be commended for its graphical style. Although quite a simple style, it is quite stunning. The juxtaposition between the clean white environments and the red, angular enemies makes for a stunning looking game. The graphics didn’t need to be anything flashy, but what is on display here works particularly well.
In a world where first person shooters have largely become stale and vanilla, the existence of Superhot makes for a refreshing change. Superhot really is like nothing else out there, and thanks to its utterly brilliant core mechanic, it will make you feel like your favourite action star in a way that no other game has achieved before. It never gets old, and marketing spiel be damned, it is the most innovative first person shooter I have played in years.
Format: Xbox One (also available on PC)
Time played: (5 hours on story mode, a further 5 in the extra modes, with more still to go)
Value-for-Money Score: 9/10 (The low price as well as the addictive game modes make for a highly replayable title, although the story mode feels awfully barebones.)
Overall Score: 9/10