Game Review: Superhot VR

If you’ve ever seen the impossibly cool intro to Casino Royale, you already have the tools to imagine how a gunfight in Superhot goes down. With line-trailing bullets, red outline hitmen long to kill you. Are you willing to die? If the coldest blood runs through your veins, they’ll know your name…    And that would be Bond. James Bond.

Because Superhot VR does a wonderful job at making you feel like you’re a super spy who can fight their way through a series of seemingly no-win scenarios. Take an early group of micro-levels as an example: you have to start completely unarmed and fight off groups of four attackers. Some of them are packing heat, many of them will be running in to king-hit you in the pancreas. It’s never ideal.

Piece of cake for us, though. Using our two Move controllers as hands, we scoop up a nearby ashtray in one mitt, and a wine bottle in the other. Mr ashtray is used to deflect a bullet aimed at our face, and we simultaneously bottle another attacker on our 5 o’ clock.

Foolishly, the enemy packing a gat has moved too close, so we physically lean in, disarm him with a quick judo chop and snatch his gun as it flies out of his grasp. Whirling to our 7 o’clock, we use it to smoke a third fool and limbo under the bullet he’s fired back.It’s a move that’d get Neo from The Matrix aroused. It’s also the slickest thing we’ve done in a video game in ages.

That whole scene sounds ludicrously difficult, but not when you factor in Superhot’s unique time mechanic. Everything is in super slow-motion until you make a move. Pull a fist back for a haymaker: the enemy is given time to wind up too. Fire a bullet at a hitman sprinting around cover: if you don’t lead that shot, it’ll sizzle through the spot he used to inhabit. Thinking fourth-dimensionally makes for a shoot-out like no other.

Survival belongs to the player who can quickly evaluate a scene – objects that might become makeshift weapons, bad guy positions and weapons, etc. Fail to be consistently awesome, five micro-levels in a row, and you’ll be thrown back to the starting checkpoint. It’s repetitive if you can’t adapt to a few control issues (the biggest of which being overly sticky hands when you try to hurl objects).

The second biggest problem: although most PS VR games seem to clock in at five hours worth of content, a skilled player can smash through this in two hours. That runtime would be acceptable if this was attached as an extra to the full, non-VR Superhot game, but that’s a separate purchase.

It’s such a shame. Superhot VR was a proof of concept that won the hearts and minds of any non-gamer we handed it to. But for serious gamers, this is an offering lazier than the bullets depicted. Bide your time and buy it at a discount.

Score: 7.5/10

Posted in Blog, Games