Release date: 2016
Version played: Xbox One in 2018
Developed by Superhot Team, and originally released in 2016, Superhot is the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years! Players utilise a traditional first-person shooter view as they use firearms, melee weapons and various environmental objects to dispatch foes, but there’s a twist: time only moves forward as the player moves, which means bullets stay suspended mid air as the player can look around to play their attack (or retreat) as necessarily. Completing a 30ish stage story unlocks challenges and an endless mode across four different stages.
+ the game’s “story” mode is interesting, with some meta-narrative points that show the developers are aware that this is an innovative take on the FPS genre. I won’t spoil the story, obviously, but when your character says there is no point to the game, then you’ll probably assume there is a point to the game
+ the game play is a unique concept, but very simple in its execution. The cliff-notes of ‘time moves when you do’ is all you need to know. Seeing a shotgun blast coming at you, and having to decide if it is best to move, jump or throw something in the way is an exhilarating experience, even if it often doesn’t go according to plan
+ the art style is fantastic. I am a big fan of the ‘less is more’ approach, not unlike Sin City or the super underrated MadWorld on the Wii. The red enemies being so distinct against the white and grey background also means there is no colour issues for me (as I’ve written about before), and the items and weapons being black means you can always get to something to use quickly
– despite the trick being a particularly good one, this game does still feel like a one trick pony. After a ~3 hour story binge, I played around with the endless mode and the challenges, and generally I felt like I had done it all. I’m sure I’ll go back to it now and then, but for now I feel I’ve done it all
> I do wish there was a way to crouch, underneath flying bullets. Too often I feel they are going to fly over my head, only to end up having to restart.
Should you play this game: As a free game as part of Xbox Live’s Games with Gold, this was entirely worth the time it took to download and play. I can’t say it is necessarily worth the $33 AUD it would have cost, because I did finish the main story and experiment with the extras in just a few hours, but as an arcade game, this is well worth a few hours of your time.