+Time management and use is extremely important
+Combat puzzles are a blast and creatively unique in the FPS Genre
+Subliminal messages, narrative, and gameplay are insanely immersive
+Don’t expect ammo regeneration, that’s what adds to the puzzles
-Missions can, at times, overwhelmingly difficult.
If you’ve ever struggled to find a unique shooter outside of all the big names, it’s hard, and it’s hard to find one that’s actually innovative in a genre flooded with Call of Duty and Battlefield knock-offs. It’s even harder to find one that’s a knock-out-of-the-park by utilizing more unique mechanics than any other title out of the currently available ones.
This is because a lot of games don’t take time to bring out new mechanics by creating puzzle-esque moments where weapons will be thrown while players bob-and-weave out of Matrix style combat slow-mo’s, and neither do most even utilize in-depth mechanics.
Due to our inability to obtain a PlayStation VR headset, we decided to opt for a non-VR build of SUPERHOT, a creative, but rather unique take on the FPS genre. For those wondering about SUPERHOT VR, it’s a entirely different game, one that will root you to a spot and require you to teleport around a room of whitewashed environments, and avoiding bullets as they fly your direction.
This makes the non-VR experience more frantic, more chaotic, and even more enjoyable than the games VR counterpart. Unfortunately, unlike VR, you can’t move your body in odd directions in order to bend around bullets (Matrix again anyone?) and dodge the slashing of enemy swords as they come at you. Since both games are rather diverse and uniquely different, it’ll be difficult to draw parallel’s between the two, and thus dignifies the reason as to why we won’t
Unlike the VR version, our limitation to the view of these unique crafted stages and the fact our mind is trying to become controlled by a rather nefarious AI, seems limited and not near as immersive as one would hope compared to the VR experience. The game itself breaks the fourth wall as almost as hard as Wade Wilson would in Deadpool with reckless intents on immersing the players as a character within the game.
This perception of the games faux reality is served up in an interesting dish thanks to the faux-chatrooms, subliminal messages, and even a menu system, that one would recognize from the early 90’s (if you were young enough to game back then on PC). What it also does is serve up the idea that players are connected to an operating system, and have lost control of what they are doing after the first few missions (again, Matrix anyone?).
While I was able to complete the game in about three hours, the games package run time thanks to its additional modes, can become quite endless if players decide to delve into the games “Endless mode”. Some of these modes even task you with beating the game with a single weapon, others improvise it with you not dying, or something of the sort, which truly drives home that unique feeling of replayability and enjoyment.
However, there’s something we need to talk about, and isn’t the games copious amount of playability options, but rather its mechanics. As stated, you may notice my hints at the smash-hit movie series The Matrix. It’s for good reason. Time is going to be you worst enemy. You move, time speeds up. You do an action such as throw a bottle, a gun, shoot a gun, slash a sword, or even turn? Time moves with you and at equal ratio’s.
It’s a game where you will want to plot out your every movement. It is not a game where you’ll want to go balls-to-the-wall like games such as Call of Duty where combat is fierce. This game is about being precise. It’s about careful planning and player awareness, which also provokes the need for players to have the volume up, and or a pair of headphones in order to listen to your surroundings.
Since the game is about precision, you’ll also want to take note that every action you do comes with consequence. Every moment you spend moving, fighting, or even going at an enemy could mean your demise, which puts you into the spot of replaying each moment you’ve failed.
While you’ll blast through the campaign in about three hours, the package’s running time is extended with additional modes, like Endless – which transforms the core gameplay loop into an extremely compelling arcade game. And there are also copious challenge options, which task you with beating the game in certain time frame – or with a single weapon, like the katana.
SUPERHOT – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and PC
Developer: SUPERHOT Team
Publisher: SUPERHOT Team
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $24.99 USD
Since the game itself may lack the immersion and realistic approach as the VR version, there’s no doubt that the games on-point menu system, mind-blowing story, and use of time-based motion is unique. If there’s anything that players should take from this, it’s the fact the game is truly just that. It’s mind-blowing and in such away players will find their heads spinning by the time that they complete the game, which drives home this very point: you need to go buy this and now.
Our review is based upon a retail version provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.