Superhot: Mind Control Delete once more takes fans on an FPS shooter turned puzzler that takes the idea of being a shooting title one step further by using time against the player. Here’s our official review for the mind-bending fun expansion to the 2016 sleeper hit.
+Encounters change drastically with new unlockable abilities
+The blue, red, and white color schemes truly pop and set the tone
+Pacing has been slightly slowed down
+Every encounter feels as unique as the other due to enemy variants
-Suffers from a minor repetition issue if played for hours on end
“Behind you,” you are warned, but you get hit by a bat. Bullet shot from the side, you barely get away. Toss your empty rifle, you have no weapon. Charge the nearest enemy: Take his weapon. Enemy around the corner nails you: The End.
This is the endless cycle we’d come to know and love sleeper hit Superhot back in 2016. It’s a game that brings in a fresh sense of much-needed situational awareness in a slow-motion, first-person puzzle shooter. The core loop hasn’t changed. You still shoot, die, repeat.
The stand-alone expansion has changed the formula just enough to keep us back, allowing fans to enjoy the game, but also, to experience something entirely new thanks to new abilities, plotted out skirmishes, and a story that is almost as hard to follow as combat itself.
Randomly generated encounters have been replaced by pre-programmed skirmishes
Unlike before, things have seen a slight change of pace. The faster you move, the faster encounters go. The rules, from before, still apply where if you stop moving, everything stops to a near stand still. If you begin to look around, interacting with the world, or running around without care, the game matches your pace.
The same can be said with the overall experience itself. Unlike before, however, the game itself does find itself getting slightly stagnant in the earlier bits. You’ll fight through wave after wave of enemy, taking out so many, before the skirmish ends.
Eventually, as you go through every level, you’ll find that some weapons can’t be obtained from enemies. Other enemies have only one vulnerable part of their body and your abilities will decide your chances of survival. You’ll find that hurling weapons isn’t always a bad idea, especially if you run out of ammo.
It’s almost like a slow-moving ballet of bullets and blades. The more precise your aim, the deadlier you are, but as are your enemies. Depending on the mission node you are on, you may notice yourself going through familiar locales rather often, but always, different encounters.
Alt Control and Power Up
In order to make the formula work better for the expansion, Superhot: Mind Control Delete, does see changes in how the game itself plays. Players get a new upgrade system where players get three chances in a single node (three life markers in the shape of hearts) and brand-new hacks that give players some power-ups that work in their favor.
These new Hacks allow you to pump up your health more, giving you more room for mistakes, some give you a randomized gun at the start of a mission. Another might make you move a bit faster without the cost of enemies being all the faster.
The hacks do get even better the further you go through the campaign, but it is worth noting, that you will refresh most of them as you travel through each and every node. The longer missions, you’ll find, is where you’ll really see the game change. In these missions, you earn Cores, cores allow you to apply traits at the start of every run.
Let’s just say: The Charge Core isn’t even the best one, but it is insanely fun to use as you’ll feel like Neo from The Matrix. Eventually, to keep gameplay balanced, you will find the game will begin creating enemies who can’t lose their weapons, some can’t take damage unless you hit a glowing red weak point. Others, just, they’re normal, but still irritating once you find your rhythm.
While fun, Superhot: Mind Control Delete suffers from a repetition issue
While the story itself can be rather hard to follow, which makes it an interesting story, regardless of the fact it is rather paper thin, it does make for an interesting time. It’s almost like watching Neo dive deeper down the rabbit hole until he actually folows the White Rabbit.
Now, the issue here, is that you won’t see much change in the actual maps you explore. They grow redundant after the first two hours. Outside of what feels like navigating your way through quick skirmishes, some of which are harder than others, it doesn’t feel like there’s actually just a whole lot going on.
The encounters in the base game itself feel a bit harder, which they are, but it doesn’t mean the maps are all that bad, just, they are revisited rather often. There’s no procedural generation of them. You’ll visit the same dojo, the same penthouse suite, and even the same Disco bar more times than you’d care to admit.
Sadly, it’s a pick-up and go title. One where you aren’t going to boot up your VR headset and immerse yourself in it for hours on end as you probably did the original. I can admit, I was one of them who soaked up everything the original had to offer for days on end.
It’s a damn shame really, as the base game itself, breaks this up through procedurally generated missions, which honestly, feel like they’re going to kick you in your teeth at any given second.
While the repetition issue sounds like it could actually hurt Superhot: Mind Control Delete, it really doesn’t do so all that much. Sure, a nice change of scenery from the maps within the stand-alone expansion would be nice, but let’s be real, it’s not the maps you are worried about. Rather, you’re there for the challenge.
Superhot: Mind Control Delete
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: SUPERHOT Team
Publisher: SUPERHOT Team
Release Date: Available Now
For what it’s worth, the standalone expansion is a step in the right direction in many ways for a future title and is truthfully a must-have experience for fans of the original.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.