I knew I wanted to play the full SUPERHOT game after trying SUPERHOT TEAM’s prototype. It looked striking and played unlike anything I played before. It felt like an interactive puzzle shooter where lightning fast reflexes were cast aside in favor of methodical decision making. However, I don’t know why it took me so long to sit down and actually finish the game.
I was given a couple of free copies of the game (Prime Gaming and Epic Games Store) and even started the game a couple of times before I finally pushed through. My reluctance to commit to the game stemmed from the way it was presented. The terminal chats and Matrix-inspired story took a while to grab me and even when it did, it was a tenuous connection at best. I don’t know how to improve on the packaging, but it was far too easy for me to just walk away after each set of levels.
It was quickly evident that SUPERHOT was a bit of a one trick pony. The scenarios and situations changed, but the mechanics didn’t evolve beyond the initial set of rules:
- Time moved when I moved.
- I can shoot and throw weapons.
New weapons were introduced, but it was fundamentally the same game that I was presented in the prototype. There weren’t any bad levels, but there were plenty of filler levels that didn’t change it up enough. Some of the more memorable levels were towards the final quarter of the game where they ratcheted up the challenge.
I think SUPERHOT was at its best when I’m trying to figure out how to navigate a barrage of bullets and swarms of faceless baddies as they attack me from all angles. Dying and retrying until it finally all clicked was a rewarding loop. The kernel of the game was muddied by the set dressing and framing of its story, but it wasn’t terrible; it just got in the way. The idea behind SUPERHOT was truly unique and will continue to stick with me for years to come. However, I didn’t need to play the game to come to that conclusion; that prototype conveyed that same message without the fluff.
It was okay