Superhot is a game that many have admired from afar. Out this week on PS4 and PSVR, I preordered the bundle of both games. Despite the similar mechanics and gameplay, they are both very different and excellent games.
Starting with the standard version, Superhot is as close to being John Wick as it can get. You are dropped into an action situation where time moves incredibly slowly. When you fire a gun or make a movement time speeds up. Your enemies are red crystal humanoids that shatter into pieces when you hit them with a bullet or any other object you lay your hands on. That is basically the premise of the gameplay. You have to work your way through increasingly more difficult scenarios using anything you can lay your hands on.
Most people who watch you play the game will wonder what the fuss is about. It looks unrealistic and some would even say dull. Hand them the controller and watch everything change. I’ve yet to see a game that changes people’s opinions so quickly. The first time they squeeze the trigger and the head of an enemy explodes into a shower of broken red crystal, a sick grin usually comes over their face. As well as being the most abstract game to watch, Superhot is possibly the most violent game I have ever played.
A typical example starts with you in first-person with a gun sitting on the table in front of you and a number of enemies in your way. You lift the gun and that movement makes time move, the enemies react incredibly realistically by either drawing their weapons or rushing you if they have none. The choice for you the player is how to take them down. Do you shoot the enemy reaching for the pistol or the one rushing towards you? Do you fire a few shots off at their head then throw the empty gun at the next one, making him throw his pistol in the air for you to collect? Or do you lift an ashtray or bottle and let fly so it blocks a bullet in mid air for you? The endless choices are yours to enjoy.
The game has a story of sorts that follows a Portal sort of feeling, there is a deeper thing going on but I won’t spoil it. There are countless challenge modes and very well thought out trophies to achieve making it a decent package for the price. If you have PSVR though, the game moves to the next level.
Superhot VR on the PSVR with Move controllers is without a doubt the most visceral and pleasing game on the system to date. Vive and Oculus users have already experienced this at a much-inflated price. How well this works on PSVR has to be played to be believed. The move controllers while underdeveloped for most games are perfect for this. The triggers on them close your hands allowing you to make a fist, grab an object or pull the trigger, the large centre button is your throw. This is seriously all you need to know before stepping into the world. Stepping into the world is the exact term used for this game.
Taking the same premise as the standard version the VR version of Superhot puts you right in the action. The actual movement of your character is gone replaced by your head and arm movement to speed up time. This works even better than full movement, as the scenarios have been designed to compensate for this. A gun is floating in the centre of the screen, you reach out and grab it starting the level. One enemy is in front and you pull the trigger to eliminate him. After this, a switch appears for you to grab teleporting you to the next scenario. The genius of this is, it all happens in real time, after you are teleported you can see where you were before. Say the first enemy you killed fell through a glass ceiling to below, you start at the bottom of the next room and as you look up their body is still falling down. Originally set up as something to make it feel awesome it has another use. If you start the next scenario with no gun, you can with skill throw your pistol from the previous scenario to where you think you will be standing, meaning when you start next time if your aim is true you can reach up and grab the gun from the previous scenario before using it to wreak havoc and help you out. The thought behind this changes an already amazing game to a much deeper experience.
The feeling of grabbing a weapon with your actual hands, shooting it and having to throw it before catching a new one is just so damn cool. Whether you are firing a pistol, shotgun, rifle, throwing a ninja star or just using your fists, VR puts you right in the action. You have to vary out each action as described and then dodge the incoming fire. As it is in slow motion you can have your matrix moment where you move your head and watch the bullets sail right past your eyes. If you want you can even knock them out of the air.
Like the standard version, Superhot VR has a hidden story that reveals itself slowly as you move on, challenge modes and trophies are there so there is nothing to stop you playing this game. Compared to other VR experiences, this is a fully fleshed out game, that suffers no limitations from the hardware. It is a game that will change with every run through you do and keep surprising you. Don’t miss out on this even if you don’t have VR the standard version is among the best games on the system.