SuperHot wants me to inform you, and I quote, “It’s the most innovative shooter I’ve played in Years.” But I’m not going to do that because it’s not technically true. It is however one of the most unique puzzle games I’ve ever encountered. It just also happens to masquerade as a Shooter. Because of this game’s unique position, it needs to be examined on a component by component basis. In true Past Due Review Style, we will be inspecting SuperHot’s Animation Quality, Modeling, Lighting, Level Design, Particle Effects, Audio, Game Mechanics, and more.
Many will find the Game’s simplistic art direction as stylistic and striking. while some game modes do introduce some fantastic spins on SuperHot’s art style, I feel it serves as a mask to hide the somewhat pedestrian models that are on display. Take away the shiny shader from the character meshes and you’re left with a basic humanoid mold that you could learn to make with Blender and a YouTube video. A lot of the game’s environments also appear as if the could have been modeled in engine. Again, despite this criticism, I feel this is done purposefully to highlight the systems that are built around these elements.
This is where SuperHot’s best elements really start to shine. Not only are the audio assets greatly beneficial to the feedback of the game, but are clearly defined from each other. Not to mention how satisfying many of the sounds can be when you finally pull off that perfect path to your enemy.
I thought for sure that the idea of time only moving when you do would wear out its welcome fairly quickly, I could not have been more wrong. And this is entirely because of the fantastic character controller the game put at your fingertips. Their ability to code such a solid script for how the player’s character functions while sticking with very standard input controls for the user is Award worthy. The character controller does very subtle things that you pick up on over time, training you to control not just yourself but also the world around you. An example is the extremely subtle movement speed acceleration that caps out once you move in real time. This little detail in the movement function really brings a lot of control to the player and it’s something you might not notice right away. I can’t tell you how easy this game would have been if it was exploitable, but the developers kept a perfect balance of being able to move slightly and precisely around bullets while still accelerating the movement fairly quickly to keep you on your toes.
Each weapon type serves a different purpose, and you’ll need to learn when their usefulness has expired before they break on you, that way you can toss them at enemies to make them drop their weapon. Shotguns and assault rifles can be great for eliminating multiple threats if you line up your movements well with the enemies. And pistols offer far more shots to be fired, allowing you to feel safer for longer periods of time.
SuperHot really stands out as brilliant however, when you start to realize the demographics the game can appeal too. People who love shooter will of course dig the game because they will think they are playing a shooter with Matrix Mode on 24/7, when in reality they are playing a meticulous puzzle game. And people who love puzzle games will enjoy it, because it really doesn't play like a shooter in the slightest. Instead of constantly moving around trying not to die while causing other people to die, you’re slowly navigating around objects to basically collect powerups to get through the level. And I wouldn’t be surprised if puzzle game enthusiasts end up being better at the game than most people. Regardless of your normal gaming preferences, SuperHot is a game worth trying. Solely because of how well crafted it’s mechanics are, and how satisfying it is to successfully navigate the puzzle laid out in front of you.
Overall SuperHot offers plenty of great variants to its base game, and the directions they take it really help change up your mental process to achieve victory.
I can not recommend SuperHot enough. Unless you only own a Linux machine.... Because while the game does have a port available for the platform, it runs absolutely terrible. Frame-rate rarely reaches above 20fps. And while this is a slow paced puzzle game, it is extremely frustrating when you can't even run the game well on the lowest settings. But running SuperHot on the same machine in Windows 10 with everything on high, I never had the game fall below 60fps. I was not able to try the game out on a Mac but if the Linux port is anything to predict port quality, I would be cautious. But again, if you're running Windows, pick up this title. If you're only really big on story in games, maybe skip it and watch someone play it. I guarantee, you will want to grab it. SuperHot doesn't just get a recommendation from me, it gets a gold star just from it's flawlessly crafted mechanics alone. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some puzzles that need to solved.
Audio and Video: Recorded in Game