This traditional version of Superhot doesn't have the same type of immersion as its VR counterpart but that doesn't make it any less excellent of a game.
Superhot begins by throwing you into a bizarre computer prompt menu where you can start up the game or explore a variety of other unusual files. You'll get used to seeing these menu screens a lot as they play an active role in the narrative. Once you launch the game, you'll quickly realize just how different Superhot is. The core gameplay mechanic is that time progresses only when you move. It's a first-person shooter and when you fire a bullet, it won't actually reach its destination until you start moving after firing. Otherwise, it will hang suspended in the air, essentially frozen in time. The same is true of the "Red Dude" enemies and their weapons as well. Their AI is generally very good as if they also understand the world they exist in and know they need to aim their shots where they expect you to move. This means that if you take things slowly, you can actually dodge their bullets.
The best way to describe Superhot is: Hotline Miami meets The Matrix. The campaign consists of a few dozen challenge rooms where you must kill all the Red Dudes using pistols, shotguns, rifles, and a few less-than-exciting melee weapons. Between each level (and sometimes during them), you'll be treated to the hyper-stylized presentation and story where an unknown being alternates between guiding you forward and encouraging you to quit playing.
When compared to the VR reinterpretation of Superhot, this traditional version differs in a lot of ways. The biggest is that the levels are almost completely unique as the VR version was built from the ground-up featuring almost all new content. I also found the non-VR version to control much better and had almost no issues picking up weapons; an issue we highlighted in our review of the VR version. The non-VR version is more forgiving as well, never requiring you to complete more than a single challenge room without saving your progress. I'm also happy to report that I ran into almost no technical hiccups during my playthrough.
One similarity between the two versions is that the campaigns are both relatively brief. I completed this non-VR Superhot in approximately two and a half hours. There are a lot of additional challenge settings you can activate upon beating the game, providing hours of replay value. However, the drawback is that you'll be playing the same thirty or so short levels over and over again with these new settings. I wish there had been a bit more unique extra content instead.
Playing Superhot is probably the closest I'll ever come to feeling like James Bond. I've never experienced anything quite like throwing an empty weapon at an enemy, knocking their weapon out of their hands, grabbing it in midair, and then shooting them with it. If that sounds awesome to you (and why wouldn't it?) then make sure to give Superhot a try.
- + Immersive hyper-stylish presentation
- + Unique gameplay mechanics make you feel like a complete badass at times
- + Additional challenges provide replay value
- - Brief campaign
- - Melee combat is less enjoyable than gunplay
- - Could use more unique extra content