Is ‘SUPERHOT’ Worth Buying? ($25)

SUPERHOT [official site] has taken first-person shooters, punchers, and throwers and recreated them with one new rule: time moves only when you move. Is it worth buying?

In a world where virtual reality has gone too far (the not-so-distant future, I predict), you are tasked with killing a bunch of enemies in any way possible in a game within a game. Watch your character having loads of fun playing with their brilliant rip-off of Sword Art Online’s NerveGear, then after completely disregarding a warning to stop playing the game because it “isn’t a toy”, getting drawn in and being unable to stop playing at all.

The concept of the game, where in order to make time move you must move yourself, is original. There have been some time manipulation games released in the past, such as reversing time, speeding time up, and slowing time down, but I don’t recall any games that use this sort of mechanic. It’s one of a kind – that’s something you don’t hear often!

SUPERHOT 2
Watch your head!

Although time doesn’t move (or rather, moves very slowly), it’s very easy to get caught off-guard and killed. SUPERHOT has taught me that Neo’s job in The Matrix might not be that easy, after all. To make your job a hell of a lot easier, you can either find melee weapons and guns or steal them from enemies holding them. Further, to assist you, there’s a cool feature called ‘HOTSWITCH’, which allows you to become one of the red guys (teleporting to them whilst simultaneously killing your previous character).

The whole thing is pretty fun to mess around with, especially with the ‘Endless’ mode; I’ve spent way too long listening to ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd in a daft attempt at recreating the church fight scene in Kingsman.

SUPERHOT 3
Absolute massacre.

In the basic Endless mode, you are placed in one of a small handful of locations, with random objects sat in convenient places. You are then ambushed by an ever-growing number of highly armed and well-trained red guys. Your job is pretty simple, just take out as many of them as you can before they take you out. There are also other Endless modes, like killing 30 enemies as quickly as you can in real time, killing as many enemies as possible within 20 game seconds, and killing as many enemies as you can within one minute in real time.

The game also contains a ‘Challenges’ mode, with a wide variety of quests that you can complete. This includes but is not limited to ‘KATANAONLY’, where you can only pick up and kill enemies with katanas, ‘FULLSTOP’, where time completely freezes when you don’t move but every gun you pick up has only one round and bullets fly faster, ‘GHOST’ where you get HOTSWITCH from the beginning and can kill enemies with one punch but can’t pick anything up (it also switches the colours around which is cool), and a bunch more. There are a lot of them, I’ve already spent hours trying to beat them and I haven’t even gotten through half.

SUPERHOT 4
If this game had any more gore it would be banned in Australia.

I must admit to a feeling of smug satisfaction while slicing through an enemy like a ripe banana with my mighty sword, watching the crystals that fall from their crumbling bodies dissipate. I’m not a psychopath.

Another thing I’d like to point out is the menu screen; it is very, very cool. It’s easy to navigate and has a retro/hacker aesthetic. It’s awesome, even though it’s filled with some nonsensical files that, as far as I know, have absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Just take a look at this:

SUPERHOT 5
Magnificent!

Having said all that, and even though the game is “THE MOST INNOVATIVE SHOOTER I’VE PLAYED IN YEARS”, there are times where it gets repetitive, and with a game like this, where the whole thing is based around one concept with not much breathing space from the main idea, that’s not something that you want. At the moment it’s the same thing, over and over again, without breaks besides a couple of different challenges. Add some variety, give us some mods for Endless that we can tinker around with (which were already there before but got removed), allow workshop support for people to build levels and make challenges and share them with the community, etc.

I’ve had fun, but after a few hours of play it did become a bit monotonous. It’s a great concept that was executed well, but the game needs more. At this point in time I feel that there isn’t enough content to justify a $25 price tag. Be that as it may, should the game go on sale, I recommend grabbing it – it’s great fun while it lasts and if you think you’d enjoy it, then I’m not holding you back, I just can’t recommend it at its current price. If there is a major update, I’ll definitely reconsider my opinion and re-review the game.

👎 SUPERHOT is NOT worth the US$25 it is available for.