SUPERHOT has one of the most intriguing starts to a game I’ve ever seen. Of course I’m not going to tell you what it is, mainly for ruining the surprise, but also because honestly I’m not sure I could even describe it. Make no mistake, SUPERHOT is as compelling as they come from start to finish. It’s also one of the best games I’ve played in a long time.
The game is a unique take on the FPS genre. There are red android like enemies called Dudes to take out in every level (or sequence may be a more appropriate description), but time only moves when you move. So step by step, you have to avoid bullets, whilst taking them out. Move too quickly and you’re dead. Move too slowly and you’re probably dead too. Games have of course covered time manipulation before, but SUPERHOT has a genuinely unique feel to its execution.
Every level is just as much a puzzle as a shooter. And whilst the game is unforgiving, instant restarts keep you coming back for more. It’s a credit to the developers that each level is short enough that if you die you don’t want to throw your controller out the window, but in fact long enough that you’ll actually find it hard to put your controller down at all. When you complete a level, you’ll hear the words ‘Super Hot’ said to you in a distorted voice, over and over. The whole experience is surreal. Even when you start levels your objectives flash on the screen in a blink and you’ll miss it fashion. But despite any other directions, really your manifesto here is simple – kill or be killed.
As you progress through the strange world of SUPERHOT more things are added. Jumping, melee weapons, obstacles and so on. They all add to the conundrums. It’s not easy, and will take practise, but crack each level and your game time will be clocking in around the 4 hour mark. That seems short, but the game takes you to another world. And if you’re like me, and on the lookout for new and innovative gaming experiences, then this ticks every box. From the second you start SUPERHOT, it really feels like one of 2016’s essential purchases.
SUPERHOT is the Black Mirror of video games. Surreal, warped and unique. Don’t miss it.