Video games are meant to transport you. There’s nothing I love more while playing a game than to feel as if I’m in the game. Whether I’m immersed in the game’s story or the gameplay itself, if I’m well and truly immersed, I’m enjoying myself.
The concept of the game Super Hot immediately drew me in. ‘Now that’s a game I can lose myself in,’ I thought.
The basic idea is that time only moves when you do. Your polygonal protagonist fights polygonal opponents, and each time you take a step, time proceeds at a normal pace. (Looking around, i.e. turning your head, doesn’t count.) If you’re not moving, time slows to a crawl.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
When I saw some footage of the gameplay, I was thoroughly impressed. It looked like you were in the Matrix. Check it out here.
But you know how sometimes clothes that look really nifty on the hanger look like a floppy mess when you put it on your body? That’s kind of how Super Hot was for me.
I’m not trying to say the game is bad! Not at all. The slowed-time mechanic is downright innovative and should probably replace all quick-time events forthwith.
The process of playing Super Hot is just…slower than I thought it would be.
A level consists of dropping into random settings (an office, a bar, an elevator, and a bus stop, to name a few) and then having to use your slowed-time ability and the items around you to defeat the bad guys who spontaneously appear. These items that you use can be as rudimentary as a bottle (classic) or as powerful as a machine gun. Grab the good ones while you can, because otherwise, the bad guys will nab them for themselves.
The majority of Super Hot is played while standing still and observing a situation. The trailers will make your movements seem fluid, but I’m telling you, I survived tough levels by inching one step forward, looking around me in all directions, and then inching another step forward.
If you’re not observant, you’re going to get beat.
My controller’s walking thumbstick has never seen less action.
So, if you’re interested in the game, bear in mind that it functions as a really interesting puzzle shooter, not a run-and-gun.
That said, it was always super satisfying to demolish a bad guy. They shatter into a million pieces, like glass. They’re also easy to see because they’re glowing red people in an environment of pure white.
After each level, the game also includes a replay of how the level went down, so you can witness your painstaking progress in normal time. I don’t think my replays look as cool as those from someone who has played the game more than once. My replays basically show that my guy has a nervous tick whenever he moves forward, glancing wildly all around him like a madman before progressing.
I’m not the best of gamers, I’ll say that right now. But I do love games.