‘SUPERHOT’ revitalizes stale First-Person Shooter genre

The ability to control time has grabbed people’s attention for countless years. It’s a concept that is completely baffling to humanity, as we can hardly handle time as it comes to us now, let alone being able to control it. How would we as a race handle it? Would we take advantage of it, or would we make mistakes with it? In “SUPERHOT,” a new game for PC, Mac and Xbox One, the player is able to control time to their whim, while annihilating enemies at an exhilarating rate.

Regarding video games, first-person shooters have gone a bit stale. They have started to become formulaic, as the player simply shoots enemies, hides for a bit while their health regenerates and rinse and repeat until everyone is dead. This unoriginality has made the entire genre run dry. Fortunately, “SUPERHOT” introduces something completely new to the genre. In this game, time only moves when you do. In other words, when the player moves, everything else in the game moves, making it so they have to time their moves carefully, otherwise they could end up dead. There is no health regeneration and more enemies than imaginable. It’s the player’s job to control time, hack and shoot through enemies and ultimately emerge victorious.

Although it is a difficult concept to convey well in a video game, “SUPERHOT”’s mechanics never seem objectively wrong. If something goes wrong, it’s entirely the player’s fault for not foreseeing it. The gameplay flows well throughout the campaign, with each move needing to be precise in order to survive the onslaught of oncoming enemies. “SUPERHOT” doesn’t have a plot, really, but the game’s primary focus is on gameplay, which it executes to near perfection.

Despite its stellar gameplay mechanics, the game is far from flawless. One of the biggest problems is the style of the models in the game. Everything in the game is cubular and makes the player feel like they’re in one big simulation rather than actually playing a game. The enemies shatter apart into unsatisfying blocks that quickly disappear, so it’s difficult to marvel at the amazing combo that could have been executed. It’s also painfully short with little replay value. As a whole, it lasts around two hours if you’re competent at shooters, and doesn’t really reward the gamer much replay value. In a sense, “SUPERHOT” seemed like a one-trick pony amazing for the short play-time, but ultimately not warranting any reason to come back to it.

“SUPERHOT” is mechanically beautiful. It lets gamers bob and weave through enemy bullets, controlling time in a precise fashion. Unfortunately, the game does have its shortcomings, feeling like a simulation and being over incredibly quickly. Although the game is loads of fun to play, it doesn’t provide enough gameplay to warrant the $25 price tag. Hopefully the developer takes what they’ve accomplished in this game and is able to develop it into a full-length game with characters and story to provide a first-person shooter experience unmatched by any other. My recommendation regarding “SUPERHOT” is to wait until summer time when Steam puts it on sale for $15. If they put it on sale with that price-tag, it definitely warrants a purchase.