SUPERHOT Review – Enough Bang For Your Buck?

It was two years ago that a small team of indie developers have submitted the SUPERHOT prototype to the Internet, as the result of a 7-day development challenge. The original flash prototype first introduced the concept of “time only moves when you do”, a concept which made the game so popular, that it fueled enough hype for a Kickstarter to be successfully funded.

Now, after a long time in development, SUPERHOT has finally been released on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux. The game’s release brought a small amount of doubt from fans and followers of the game, as out of nowhere, before release, its price was upped from 13 dollars to 25 dollars. This, coupled with the fact that some early reviews stated that the game only has two hours worth of gameplay.

Is the latter statement true, though? Is the game so short? Well, yes, if you only play games for their story: the game’s story is extremely short, and your average player can definitely finish it in two hours, or in one long sitting. However, the game also packs up a lot of additional content, such as a great endless survival mode, a challenge mode, cheats for making the game behave differently, and a lot of smaller content, such as mini-games and art. This does not mean that the game is worth its 25 dollar price tag, though: it would be wiser to wait for a sale.

Now that we’re over the subject of price and quantity, let’s talk about quality: sure, SUPERHOT may not pack a long story, but it does offer one of the most innovative concepts in the FPS genre, with fresh gameplay and an amazing, mysterious subplot. What is so innovative? Well, if you haven’t heard by now, SUPERHOT is the first First-Person Shooter in which time moves only when you do. This means that you can take your time planning your attacks against the hordes of “red baddies” out to get you. This also means that you can pull off some insanely bad ass moves in the replay.

On the outside, the game is purely gameplay, with the plot only being the text displayed on screen in each scenario. Kill every enemy in the scenario, and you can advance to the following one. However, the game has a deeper subplot, which starts when a friend gives you access to a cracked version of “superhot.exe” on your VR machine. After you complete a few scenarios, you are booted from the game, only to get a better crack. This scenario repeats until you are discovered by the game, and someone, or something, takes over your computer and your messages. What happens next is up to you to discover, but the story gets incredibly eerie.

This isn’t the first time this story was released to gamers, though: in 2015, the developers have released a limited demo to Kickstarter backers, which presented the same story, and the same endless mode. So, why should players of the demo buy this copy of the game?

Well, the full release of the game features a lot more content, such as the challenge modes, which brings a new way to play old levels, keeping them fresh. The endless mode also has new maps, and fans are hoping that the development team will also add Steam Workshop support along with a level editor, in order to keep new content flowing into the game.

If you haven’t played the game yet, or if you’re on the fence about getting the full release, you should (re)play the game’s prototype, available here (the prototype requires Unity installed, and as such, will not run on Google Chrome).