Superhot - Review

Author: Andrea Maderna
Date: 2020-07-30 17:04:55
SUPERHOT is the umpteenth indie production that has come to fruition after having crossed the gates of Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter and it is also yet another indie production that deserves all the interest and love of the world, thanks to the incredible personality that it sprouts from every pixels and the effectiveness of an original and intelligent idea placed at the center of the game. The basic mechanics is that of a slow motion FPS, in which the whole game world moves almost in sync with our actions. If we remain motionless, the world moves very slowly. If we move our gaze, the speed of the game world increases slightly. If we move around the rooms and / or shoot, everything moves at our same speed. Not bad, right?

From the mechanics point of view, the whole game experience revolves around this concept and each level is configured as a kind of action puzzle that must be solved freely, studying the environments and reacting to changing situations. You are thrown in the middle of the action, but this stops and we have the opportunity to evaluate with relative calm how to behave, to approach situations in the most tactically appropriate way. The beauty lies in the fact that the structure is extremely dynamic, also because basically you are really in an FPS, so there are no mandatory actions or written solutions and you can really approach the combat as you prefer.

And the ways in which you can prefer to face situations are absolutely free, within quite varied rules and boundaries. We have firearms and cutting weapons, but also various objects scattered around that can be collected and used as a means of offense of luck. There are machine guns, pistols, rifles, all with a different range and time of reloading, itself influenced by the particular management of the game time: if we remain still, the weapon does not reload, but as we move to reload, well, the enemies will attack us. And again, it is possible to throw the weapons in the face of the enemies to hit them, or even take them directly to punches, land them in the head from above and so on, taking advantage of the fact that they drop the handled weapon, to collect it on the fly and turn it against them.

All this creates rather rich and, above all, extremely spectacular dynamics. We find ourselves setting up choreographies worthy of the most elaborate action films and the exhilarating examples are wasted: I shoot in the face of one, I throw the unloaded pistol in the face of his companion who misses the machine gun, I grab it before it falls on the ground and I turn around to fan the two on the balcony, then I turn again to the second guy, no longer stunned, to give him a coup de grace, and get ready to face his friends armed with katanas. Things like that. Add to this that towards the middle of the adventure a further mechanics is introduced, perfectly suited and capable of making everything even more spectacular, but very well balanced to avoid the risk of omnipotence, and the portrait is almost complete.

Clearly, SUPERHOT very quickly becomes a matter of challenge against oneself, as well as the game, and the search for the stylized slaughterhouse. Completing the adventure simply reaching the end is a fairly simple undertaking, resolvable within a few hours, but it is difficult not to get caught up in the desire to replay this or that level to perform it in a more spectacular way, or by placing shots and classy movements. The desire, among other things, is supported by the replay system, which is activated at the end of each mission showing us at normal speed how we dealt with it. Already, basically, observing the choreography that we have put together without pauses and slowdowns is quite satisfying, but if we add that it is possible to manipulate them through an editor and then upload them to a special site called KILLSTAGRAM, well, the omelette is done.

SUPERHOT therefore offers two different complementary readings of its gaming experience. On the one hand there is the "simple" resolution of situations, on the other there is the desire to try and try again to detach performances from the world of entertainment. Obviously, if you decide to try this kind of challenge, a good dose of trial & error comes into play, because to get everyone out quickly and / or in a spectacular way and / or using only this or that technique, well, it becomes fundamental know perfectly the layout of the rooms, the position of the objects and the times with which the enemies from here and there emerge. In short, from this point of view, SUPERHOT is two games in one and goes well beyond the main campaign. Not to mention that there are also all the extra elements.

Once the adventure is completed, in fact, you get access to a series of additional modes that are divided between time trials and assorted challenges and offer a lot more material, however based on the same levels, proposing situations, mechanical and substantially game areas quite different in spirit and commitment required. So, in short, the material to have fun is not lacking, even without being at stake all the extra minigames and the goodies scattered around the "meta" menus that characterize the game. SUPERHOT, in fact, fits like Pony Island and Her Story in that vein of video games with a transparent interface, which transform our computer or our console into a terminal located within the game world. And inside this terminal are hiding a lot of little secrets, distractions and inside joke just a click away.

Everything then goes into a slender story, but told in a very interesting way, which passes through the terminal itself, between communication chats and assorted hacks, to slip us into a disturbing and oppressive virtual reality universe. I have no intention of revealing what happens, because the pleasure of history is also and above all in discovering it by experiencing it in first person, but certainly SUPERHOT, despite transforming the narrative more than anything else into an exercise in style, still manages to deal with interesting topics and to say the right things, although already seen previously in other games. Other games that I don't want to mention. Because I don't want to reveal anything. In short, we are done, circular. Ah, no, I forgot: from the point of view of the audiovisual style, SUPERHOT is a bomb.

I played SUPERHOT thanks to a Steam code received from the developer and I completed the adventure in a few short hours, and then I dedicated myself a little to the modes and extra content.