“Super Hot” by Piotr Iwanicki

*Warning many spoilers ahead*

Sometimes a video game surprises me; this does not happen often, so when it does I take notice. “Super Hot,” by developer Piotr Iwanicki and his team, is one such game. Advertised as a first person shooter, “Super Hot” came up on my console as a free game for a limited time and having heard relatively good things about the game play I downloaded it.

The game is described as “a first person shooter where time moves only when you move.” Slow motion non-player-characters move about the map. They are humanoid but faceless and made of red glass. The player is given a prompt to fight back, and when they do the NPCs shatter. The player, after completing levels, is automatically given harder and harder enemies to defeat, as well as more weapons and objects to utilize in their surroundings.

It soon becomes evident that this game isn’t really as straightforward as the prompts say and begins to morph rather quickly. There are cuts to a black “hacker” chat screen after finishing some of the levels. The text scrolls through, and the player is told that they are responding to the other “person” in the chat room. All of the responses are scripted, and the player is unable to type their own responses. After a few of these chat screens, the game reveals the true plot: the player is being mind controlled.

Dialogue: 5/10

“Super Hot” repeats the words “super hot” after each level, but other than that the game is void of actual voices. However, as I mentioned above, the game has chat screens and the dialogue within those screens is rather interesting. I am giving the game a solid five simply because I feel that some of the dialogue is a bit bland.

I think that if the game had options to type responses that are therein responded to by the bot in the game that would be more dynamic. I am aware that it is a bit harder for console to achieve this, but that is where the dialogue fell flat for me. What dialogue there was, especially when the screen flashed text prompts in game such as “Enter the core” or “It is pointless, do not try” were very interesting and I enjoyed them.

Story: 7/10

The story for this game was intense. I actually think that because “Super Hot” is advertised as a first person shooter, the plot twist is all the more intense. I was not expecting the game to have any plot whatsoever, but then there was one. Because the game was intense, and rapidly changed as I played it, “Super Hot” gets a seven from me.

The score would be higher if the game had escalated the story line further, or really tried to explain some of the plot a bit more. However, from what I was given in regards to “brain washing” and “we are actually watching you play this game in a facility is anything you’re seeing even real?” I applaud the game.

Plot accessibility/understanding: 4/10

This category is a bit difficult to rate for “Super Hot.” I felt that I understood the game reasonably well, and that the game itself had a good level of difficulty throughout, but I felt a bit confused at some bits. Because I felt confusion while playing, I bumped the score down a bit.

A casual gamer might be put off by the plot and perhaps have the impression that the game had lied to them in-store before they downloaded it. Simply because of this chance of confusion and frustration the score remains a four from me. I’m a sucker for plot twists, I just wish the game had fleshed out the narrative a bit more clearly.

“Super Hot” is a game that not only attempts a new game mechanic by adding slow motion to the mix of the first person shooter, but it also adds dashes of mind control and submersion. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and I think it is definitely worth a playthrough for any gamers interested in a new kind of shooter game.

 

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