The first-person shooter (FPS) genre is oversaturated with generic AAA titles these days. But some gems do slip through, such as 2019’s DOOM Eternal.
And then there’s unique takes on the genre that spin everything upside down, such as with the dramatically unique Superhot. Huzzah!
The Slow Motion World of Superhot
From the Superhot Team in Łódź, Poland, this indie game launched in 2016 and is now available for PC and all consoles.
Superhot plays out with a metanarrative, where you play a fictionalised version of a character in a DOS prompt.
The character’s friend has provided them with a game called superhot.exe.
Launching the game thrusts you (the player) and the character into a world of unconnected levels. Almost like it’s playing out in a stream of consciousness.
In Superhot, as a black character you have to kill red characters trying to take you down. But this plays out in a unique way.
If you stand still, time and movement comes to a total stop.
The red characters only move when you do, so you have to time your actions with taking everyone down.
As everything tends to flow in slow motion, you have time to dodge bullets, decide which weapons to pick up, and plan your attack.
It takes a little getting used to, but once you’re away the strategic nature of Superhot starts to get rather engrossing.
It’s clever stuff and full credit to the Superhot Team for such an intuitive system.
We’ve often very critical of the FPS genre, but titles like this and Slime Rancher help to shake up its generic image.
You need a great deal of situational awareness, although this helped somewhat by just standing still to give you time to think.
The way it plays, with unconnected levels, can disconnect you from the experience a little as there’s no real flow to the title.
Not that it’s a huge drawback. This approach does make Superhot quite brilliant for short bursts of play.
There is a story there, but it’s ultimately formulaic and dull. Kind of surprising, given the innovative nature of the game elsewhere.
We do consider Superhot a title you dip in and out of, rather than thumping huge chunks of time into. Again, this is no bad thing.
It’s fantastic fun at its best, although a rather concise experience at around four hours.
The game’s lack of variety and evolution of concept is also notable. But as it’s short and cheap we can’t complain with such a fun and engaging premise.