SHORT REVIEW: PC VERSION
Super fop, Super mop, Super Cop starring Jackie Chan.
I’ve played some amazing games that break the fourth wall in recent times. Stanley Parable, Undertale, Pony Island and now Superhot.
The Stanley Parable was ridiculously clever and very few games have ever made me laugh as much. Undertale is an incredible adventure that has heart. Both of these games are special and toyed with the relationship between player and creator. Playing Pony Island soon after Undertale… juuuuust about got away with it.
Now we have Superhot…
As we’ve recently had a deluge of clever ideas, messing with the concept of player interaction, you’re going to have to be pretty fucking special to get away with fourth wall breaking. On booting up Superhot you’re introduced to an old-school computer interface and a sigh gently leaves your body. Within minutes of starting the game, with slow text dialogue dripping across the screen, I quickly realised “I’m a man playing a game, in a game”.
Out loud, I said “Nope, fuck off” and confess to skipping the story with a series of violent keyboard presses. Talking of violent keyboard smashing, Superhot forces you to mash the keys to reveal dialogue. You have to engage in a fake conversation! Bloody hell, just chuck it all on the screen you obnoxious bastard.
Maybe the poor sods that created this game were very unlucky and couldn’t get the game out the door quick enough, to capitalise on such novel ideas… anyway. I swiftly elbowed my way to gameplay. It didn’t disappoint.
In Superhot if you stop moving, time slows to an almost pause. This gives you time to plan your next move, as every shot matters. Big red stylised enemies rush you with fists, sticks and guns and it’s your important task to butcher them, have a breather, and maybe butcher them some more. One wrong move seals your doom. Good idea ‘innit? It’s hard to dislike such an original idea. Gameplay is smooth and you never feel cheated when a red bastard shoots you in the head, its not like you were in a rush. On reflection, Superhot is closer to a puzzle game rather then a traditional shooty shooty game, as you end up making choices and every now an’ then, these choices are linear. Further mechanics are introduced, keeping the game fresh, like erm, an apple, or maybe a pear. A fresh pear. The game’s good, yeah. I love playing Superhot in miniature bite sized, pear shaped chunks.
After each mission you can sit back and enjoy a replay of what you did in real time, making out that you’re a character from the Matrix. Obviously not Neo. Maybe that guy on the other ship… Ghost or something. Whilst initially exciting, the superimposed large words of “Superhot” repeat over and over the replay in gigantic letters, with an annoying voiceover crying “Superhot” completely ruining the moment. It’s like a fucking advert for a thing you already own. You can hit F5 to stop it, but bloody hell who thought that was a good idea? It would have been pretty cool to have a 3rd person camera showing you the sexy action, all fancy like, like you get in car game replays.
So there you have it. A nice idea ruined by a few gaudy ideas.
I had a lot of fun smacking people in the face with mugs. More games should encourage such things. A brilliant gimmick in desperate need of structural simplicity, as I would have been happy to clobber people for a few hours, without the incessant need to wave its arms screaming “Look at me, I’m clever me.”
Remember a 7 is not a bad score round ‘ere. If in doubt, please refer to the score guide for a further explanation.
Spoiler beyond this point
Superhot demands you turn it off… so I called its bluff and I did. On rebooting the game it demanded I turn it off, again! Fucking hell, was that not a golden opportunity to do something interesting,”Oh, you couldn’t stay away” or any kind of acknowledgement! I had to sit through the dreary signposted dialogue again. Shitarse.