Superhot is one of the most unique first person shooters to hit the market, and it’s just been released for Xbox One. Developed and published by the Superhot Team, the game uses time in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Matrix. Dodging bullets, pistol whipping and punching people. What could be more fun?
The first thing I noticed with this game was just how unique it was. Before the game has even begin, the loading and menu screens are very retro. Giving the feel of a game within a game, you can actually choose plenty of the assets via the menu to view on their own, which was a cool little touch that added largely to the immersion.
After browsing through all those extra goodies on the menu, I started the game, and it does a fantastic job at introducing itself. It lays the foundation of being a gamer inside the game, and you therefore play Superhot as the gamer inside the game. Sounds confusing? It generally is at first. You’re told by a friend the game has been stolen and you only have a few levels available to you. These levels are the very first tutorial levels, and help you get a grasp on the games mechanics.
Gameplay and Graphics
Although it’s technically a first person shooter, you’ll probably find yourself defeating those evil red guys with the guns themselves more than the bullets that come out of them. Due to the extreme limitation on ammo in the guns you use, you’ll likely be throwing the guns at the enemy to stun them most of the time. Using time as an ally is something many games have tried, but as a first person shooter, this one nails it on the head. When it comes to games involving slowing down and speeding up time, they’re more often than not easy games, but the same cannot be said for Superhot. As you slowly progress through the levels, you’ll find that while the enemies don’t necessarily get harder, the ways in which you must deal with them do. Believe be when I say, dodging bullets isn’t as easy at it looks.
The way time works in this game is that time only really moves when you move. There’s a tiny bit of movement when you’re reloading or standing still but generally it’s not anything big enough to notice. The fun part about this being the case is that you can easily plan how to take out an enemy before they’ve even realized you’re there. With more enemies however comes more of a challenge. A pistol wielding enemy is always going to be easier to fight than 3 or 4 enemies with shotguns and assault rifles. The important thing is to always upgrade, and fight fire with fire. Throw your pistol at the enemy with the shotgun, grab his shotgun from him, and blow him into a million pieces.
The graphics in Superhot show that simplicity is never a bad thing, and the game itself is what matters most. Most levels are standard shades of grey and white, and any objects of interest are red. That’s generally all there is too the colour pallet. As for character and level design, it’s as simple as it gets. The levels don’t feature invisible barriers, but the team behind the game had a clever way of dealing with that. They just added clever secrets and easter eggs outside the map to say “well done for getting out of our game.” My favourite easter egg I came across has to be the fish weapon that flapped around when you threw them, although there are a few messages you can read placed on hidden computers outside the levels. I also managed to find an upside down phone box under a level. If you manage to “crack” the levels by finding all of the hidden computers, you’ll unlock a special easter egg in the main menu. I’m not going to spoil the surprise as to what it is though.
The game gets harder andharder as you go on, as expected, but the difficulty spike really just depends on how good you are at the game. If you struggle with planning, dodging bullets, or using your surroundings to survive, then you might need a bit longer to get through the game, but if you’re like Neo, and you can dodge bullets with ease, then you shouldn’t have a problem completing the main game. Plus, there’s the option to save your levels in real time, so if you’re good, you’ll look like a complete pro on your profile activity feed.
Additional Game Modes
Once you have successfully worked your way through the game the first time, you’ll unlock a large range of additional options to play through the levels with, as seen below.
I’ll quickly summarize each mode to give an idea of the differences between them.
- Katana only mode: Faster movement speed, punching is disabled, throwing is disabled, pickups are disabled, and shooting is disabled. Literally the only thing you’re allowed to do is use a katana.
- AD2013 mode: Playing superhot like it’s 2013. Classic graphics, one hit punches, no melee weapons, and no throwables.
- Ghost mode: You are able to hotswitch into enemies from level one. You cannot use weapons but your punches are one hit kills.
- Fullstop mode: Time stands completely still when you don’t move, but you can only shoot once from each gun. Enemy bullets are also faster.
- Killing throws mode: Every throw kills, but your punches are much weaker, and you cannot shoot from weapons.
- Barehands mode: No guns, no weapons, no throwing, just you and your trust pair of hands. This mode is limited to only punching.
- Speedrun mode: Levels are timed in game time, meaning when you move slow, the timer is also slowed.
- Speedrunrt mode: Levels are times at normal speed, meaning no matter how slow you move, the timer will still tick tock at real time.
- Hotswitch mode: Hotswitch is enabled on every level, and you are also timed in those levels.
- Hard mode: Time moves faster, enemy bullets move faster, your punches do less damage and enemies are stunned for less time.
- Impossible mode: The same as hard mode, but every gun has only one bullet.
- No restart mode: No deaths. You play the game as normal, but if you die, it’s back to level one.
- Funfunfun mode: All enemies have giant heads, they’re super easy to kill, and you get massively overpowered weapons. Oh and memes, lots and lots of memes.
This game overall is a masterpiece. I’ve played it for easily 30 hours plus, achieved over 100 kills in endless mode, and am still attempting to 100% the game. It doesn’t ever seem to get boring despite being so basic. Below is a video of some clips I’ve made while playing. Included are a range of levels and game modes so you can really get an idea of what the game is like.
(Images were taken by me, and taken from the Superhot Game Website.)
- Simple-yet-brilliant take on the shooter
- Interesting, subversive story
- Loads of extra modes outside of campaign
- Story is over just as it starts to get really good
- Xbox One version isn't 100% identical to PC version