You know that part in The Matrix where Neo is moving so fast that it looks as if time is just standing still? That part where he’s bending his body back to avoid the bullets rushing past him as the camera spins around showing their path through the sky… SUPERHOT VR takes that moment we all had when we first saw The Matrix and said to ourselves that we wish it were real and puts you in the shoes of “The One”.
Gameplay is essentially a first person puzzle shooter with a unique time mechanic. Each stage you encounter will start you off in a pre-determined location with specific weapons available to you and a set number of enemies to handle before you can move on. The unique mechanic is that time only moves when you do. See a bullet whizzing towards you? Freeze, assess the situation and move out of the way! Though your enemies are predictable, they are not exact and their actions will vary every time you replay a stage. This variability adds to the fun when enjoying the world but also to the chaos when going for speed runs.
Artistically, SUPERHOT VR is super simple. Anything you can pick up or interact directly with is black, anything that can hut you is red and everything else is white. This simple artistic choice makes it easy to tell what you can and can’t do as well as what you need to avoid and when to avoid it. Sound in the game is also simple by ditching music almost entirely and letting the ambient noises and sounds of your environment suck you into the puzzle. You’ll hear the low hum of a generator you’re standing by, the click of a trigger being pulled in the distance, the crash of a bottle you just busted over some dude’s head and the explosions of gunfire all around you to aid in the immersion.
The story is also very minimal but super effective. Every few stages, you will be placed in a head game where you have to commit suicide to “prove your loyalty”. Doing so brings you back to a room where you are sitting with bunch of old computers and are handed a new floppy disk to place in before pulling the in-game vr headset back over your eyes. Every time you go through this process, the room has something different to read with bits and pieces of information about a greater conspiracy going on outside those four walls. There’s also some stuff to be said about the value of your mortality as you continue to play, it’s really something you have to experience first-hand so I won’t spoil it here. All I will say is, free your mind…
Replayability is the only downfall in this game. Because there is a set number of stages and each one is essentially predetermined in its layout, the only incentive for going back and playing them again is to better your clear time. Honestly though, I have little to no gripes with this as going back and bettering my performance is nothing short of fun every time I jump back in to a stage.
SUPERHOT VR is probably the most immersive game I’ve played on PSVR to date and should be on the MUST BUY list of anyone with the hardware to play it! I felt amazing while breaking a sweat, dancing in-between bullets, juggling guns and gutting red polygonal silhouettes like the morning’s fresh catch. Even though it was a short experience, coming in at just under three hours for the story, I see myself going back for the time trials and hard mode again and again.
Review copy provided by: SUPERHOT Team
Play time: ~5hrs with many more to come!