Years after its debut, we finally have a follow-up to the innovative first-person shooter so get ready for some reality-altering fun.
If you're unfamiliar with Superhot, it's basically a first-person shooter where you move at the same time as your enemies. Once you stop moving, your enemies will stop or at least slow down to a crawl. So, the gameplay relies on your ability to take out enemies as efficiently as possible before they get the best of you. It's really that simple. Shortly after its debut, a virtual reality version called Superhot VR released which was a completely different-feeling experience as it made you feel like Neo from The Matrix although its premise remained similar. Anyway, Superhot: Mind Control Delete expands on the original formula by offering new abilities, a clever structure, and plenty of other additions and tweaks. As a result, it's a fantastically enjoyable game, especially if you haven't yet played the original one yet.
After mastering a handful of stages via its brief introduction, Superhot: Mind Control Delete presents its campaign which takes place on a node-based map with each node corresponding to a set of stages. Right away, this structure impressed me as it's very rewarding to gradually check off nodes as you unlock new ones and watch the map expand. This is especially the case whenever you uncover a node that rewards you with a new ability. Upon completing an assortment of levels within certain conditions to prove that you're worthy of the ability, you'll unlock it. One of my favourites is the power to dash towards your opponent then punch them until they blow up. Of course, these need to be recharged after using them but they're super-handy in sticky situations and incredibly fun to deploy as well.
In addition to the abilities, you'll be able to utilize various hacks as you progress through each array of stages. Considering you have a limited amount of lives to make it to the end of each set, it's awesome that you can use hacks from time to time that allow you to recover lost lives, extend your maximum lives, move faster, make weapons hold more ammo, or equip certain weapons at the beginning of each stage. This roguelike setup makes mastering each level a thrill. There's nothing quite like disarming an enemy by throwing a fish at them then using their firearm to shoot a bunch of their allies only to notice that someone snuck up behind you so you turn around and punch their lights out in the nick of time. Plus, the fact that you can watch replays in real-time makes it look even cooler.
Finally, allow me to discuss Superhot: Mind Control Delete's less appealing aspects. The most prominent issue that stood out as I played is how the novelty of its gameplay simply isn't as exciting as it was a few years ago. Back when it debuted, Superhot was a phenomenally original and unique experience but now, it oddly feels rather dated. To reinforce this notion, the visuals are the same and quickly get tiresome. Staring at sterilized white rooms while red enemies run all around and shoot at you is only visually appealing for so long. Last but not least, the procedural generation sometimes doesn't feel fair. For example, you may end up in the middle of a room with 3 or 4 gun-wielding enemies spawning around you. You might be able to squeak by but it still feels like a haphazard situation.
Superhot: Mind Control Delete retains the classic's gameplay while offering plenty of fantastic twists and turns. However, that core gameplay simply doesn't cut the mustard like it did a few years ago.
- + Same fantastic gameplay but with cool new abilities and nifty hacks
- + Rewarding structure and roguelike stages
- + Watching replays is pretty satisfying
- - The novel gameplay isn't as fun and exciting as it was back in 2016
- - Could use more visual variety
- - Some situations may feel unfair