Superhot Preview: Time Moves When You Move

Superhot Preview: Time Moves When You Move

This indie FPS is like nothing else you've ever seen.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

I pick up the Xbox One controller to play Superhot for the second time. Perhaps you've heard of the game before? Previously, it was just a web prototype with a simple concept: it's an FPS where time only moves when you move. If you stand still, everything else does as well. It's as much a puzzle game as it is a shooter. Designer Piotr Iwanicki began with the idea and successfully Kickstarted his way into something bigger.

The E3 teaser, showing off the game's current look.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

The world is all straight lines and flat polygons. The backgrounds are shades of black and white, while your enemies and their bullet trails are outlined in bright red. It's a striking look, but it has a point. Focus. Kill them before they kill you. When you shoot enemies, the polygons that make up their bodies shatter in a satisfying way; heads and limbs breaking into triangles as they fade out of existence.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

The levels are short. You can probably finish most of them in under five minutes if you take your time. Objectives are simple, kill everyone else. There's a story, delivered in large, screaming text, a story that reminds you of every action film ever. You've been betrayed, you want to kill the guy who betrayed you, he's at the end of a million other guys. Again, the game is keeping you focused.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

Levels are easy until they're not. The prototype features a corridor with three enemies all shooting at the same time. You start at one end, the enemies at the other, and the only available gun is in-between you. You'll probably die if you try to rush it. You have to move slow, dodging bullets and hiding behind columns until you reach the gun. Like I said, it's not really an FPS, it's a puzzle game.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

The best part of the demo I'm playing is the new features it has over the old prototype. You know what's the coolest? Running into a room, dropping a bullet into the head of one guy and the elbow of another, tossing my empty pistol at the next guy who runs into the room, stunning him, grabbing one of the previously-dead criminals' guns out of mid-air, and dispatching the last guy. It feels like you're living in the Matrix and no one else knows about it. Catching enemy's gun in mid-air is a feature from the prototype, but it feels better here. Throwing your gun on purpose to stun enemies? That's new.

A trailer from a year ago, with the katana featured.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

What's next? More weapons. Shotguns feature in the Xbox One demo I'm playing. According to Iwanicki, katanas are coming in the future, with the ability to actually deflect bullets and slice them in half. The E3 demo shows off a chain that I'm hoping will be another weapon. I expect there will be more environmental objects to throw in the future.

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

The prototype of Superhot is such a core, kickass idea that I'm glad Iwanicki and crew have the chance to blow it up into something bigger. For me, Superhot is a bit of an addiction, because there's nothing else like it. Sometimes I jump back into the prototype just to get a taste of the action again and hear the narrator intone in that odd voice:

Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot.

When is Superhot coming? When it's done. What is it coming to? Xbox One and PC. Be prepared.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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