It takes a lot for an indie game to gain an instant following. Now that Superhot has finally entered the realm of virtual reality, does it provide the same level of intense gameplay? Strap on your headset and let's see.
For those unfamiliar with Superhot, you basically play a series of bite-sized scenarios against virtual opponents where you clearly do not have the upper-hand. It's your job to eliminate everyone within each scenario by using guns, thrown objects, or your fists. Where the gameplay gets interesting is in its use of time and motion. Basically, the enemies only ever move when you do so you must play slowly and conservatively in order to dodge bullets and feel just like The One himself in the process. It's intense, intuitive, and immediately gratifying stuff. However, it can also be brutally challenging so make sure you have the patience to progress through each scenario as carefully as you can or else you'll collect plenty of lead in your noggin. Overall, the combination of action and strategy is phenomenal and definitely something every gamer needs to experience at least once.
Superhot VR looks awesome. Although you'd think the lack of environmental textures, polygonal enemies, and minimal audio might get a little tiresome after a while, it actually establishes a strange atmosphere that stays strong throughout the entire campaign. Not only that, the minimalist approach allows you to focus on the gameplay and not get distracted with any bells or whistles. Watching trails of bullets whip by your head as you carefully duck and dodge out of harm's way is exhilarating. I can easily say that this virtual environment is stunning in its simplicity. The computer room that acts as the main menu is pretty cool, too.
I've seen plenty of complaints about Superhot's length. Although I agree that it isn't as long as I hoped, you do get a solid campaign that'll take about a couple of hours to beat. What I have an issue with is that the replay value is primarily for hardcore fans of the game. For example, when you beat the campaign, you'll unlock challenges that involve playing through it again but under certain circumstances such as: hardcore difficulty, only headshots count, a couple of speedrun variations, and a survival mode where you can't die. You'll also gain access to five endless stages that test how many enemies you can dispatch before biting the dust yourself. Although that mode has wide appeal, almost every other post-game activity depends on your willingness to play through again and again.
Finally, Superhot can be an extremely frustrating game but not always for the reasons you'd expect. First of all, you have to play through a handful of scenarios without dying in order to progress. This means that if you're on a particularly tough group of scenarios, you may have to restart them all from the beginning over and over again until you eventually emerge victorious. Instead, I wish there was an option that granted you checkpoints after every cleared scenario. Last but not least, Superhot VR suffers from some severe technical issues. The most annoying of which is that reaching for guns to pick up often results in you not being able to. After playing for hours, I still couldn't figure out a trick to it so it just came across as random. Also, the PlayStation Move tracking isn't perfect in any game so you can imagine how annoying it is dying because your virtual hands decided to twitch across the screen.
Superhot VR is an absolutely fantastic experience that'll provide thrills for almost any gamer. That being said, the limited replay value and its many irritating aspects may make you wish that you took the blue pill instead.
- + Incredible and unique gameplay that combines action with strategy perfectly
- + The virtual world is simply stunning
- + A good deal of challenges for hardcore fans
- - Being forced to restart a handful of tricky scenarios upon death is frustrating
- - Replay value has limited appeal
- - Plenty of severe technical issues