By Chris Leebody 22.12.2016

Review for SUPERHOT VR on PC

Superhot launched in early 2016 and was a title that really delivered a knockout critical success for the small indie developer of it. SUPERHOT Team originally began the venture as part of a small development contest in 2013, and since that point, has utilised both Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight to allow Superhot to come to fruition. As mentioned, the gaming public and press fell in love with a unique gameplay mechanic for this first-person shooter, namely that time stops when the protagonist stops moving. This introduced a strategic element that really set it apart from its competitors. Not to mention a bold art style that was a real visual treat. It is no surprise that having a world akin to something from The Matrix and with the release of Oculus Touch came the vision to release a VR edition. Let's explore this new dimension.

The biggest compliment that can be paid is that Superhot VR makes it okay to look like a crazy person, dodging and ducking around the room in front of friends and family. This is what inevitably will happen when the intense immersion kicks in, for being immersed in the actual environment that was once just traversed via a computer monitor and gamepad is a magical experience.

The actual graphics themselves or the art style has not changed. This is still the same minimalist design that punches up three bold colours, black for weapons, red for enemies and a shimmering white for everything else. However, this works a treat in ensuring that the action is clear, with a lack of any distractions or a mess of textures getting in the way. VR also unlocks a whole new realm of hidden depths, like twisting a hand gun or Uzi to see it from all the angles, or seeing one of the nameless antagonists charging up close.

The VR edition ditches the traditional structure of the main version in place of a series of killing scenarios that link together between checkpoints. In a way, they are still traditional levels, as they take place in the same locales, which are then split up into small scenes. The goal, of course, is to kill all the enemies.

It isn't the longest playtime in the world, being wrapped up in a few hours. However, for a VR experience, it is definitely one of the longer ones. More important is that it is immensely replayable.

The unique mechanic comes into play very nicely here; stand still and the world stays still. It is a mechanic that gives emphasis to physicality that very few and certainly no other shooter titles give. The strategic element of planning the best order of kill, as well as the weapon of choice, also comes into this, too.

Screenshot for SUPERHOT VR on PC

Something that is especially cool is physically throwing a weapon across the map so that when the player is transported to the next phase, the weapon thrown lands nearby. What is fun, though, is that even getting past any high pretensions around strategy, VR allows this to inhabit a sheer escapism experience. Half the fun here comes from dodging the many bullets 'Neo-style' and imagining being a god within a world.

There is even an early part that has a gun floating in mid-air in an empty world, and when it is grabbed, the enemy and environment forms directly in front…which makes it hard to resist shouting "Dodge this" when the trigger is pulled and the red mass falls down in slow motion.

Overall, the touch controls work exceptionally well in terms of their accuracy with the various weapons. It is actually possible to aim down the sights of the gun manually. This isn't to say there is not a few minor flaws with the system as a whole. One part of this comes with the tracking when an enemy is at the back or side.

With most Oculus setups still only having the two tracking cameras in front, it means that turning a full 360 degrees is an issue. This might also be restricted with space available in the chosen room. More than once, enemies refused to die because the tracking screwed up a punch that looked right in the game world, but did not register as a hit. Of course, this is frustrating because Superhot is a one-hit death experience and dying means having to replay the segment from the last checkpoint, which may have been three or four scenes ago.

The tracking also has an issue when weapons are placed low on the ground, as having to reach down to them can sometimes result in a loss of stability. In reality, though, for the most part, everything works as naturally as could be expected, and upon leaving the game, there is always that very eerie feeling when entering the real world again. That is the power of VR.

Screenshot for SUPERHOT VR on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Superhot on its own was already a rich, memorable title that presented something different to the genre. This VR expansion takes that up a notch or ten. It really is like stepping inside an action movie. The level of immersion is second to none, but more important is the level of fun, which throws as many dangerous scenarios and enemies as it can and asks, "How will you stop us?" It is hard not to rise to the challenge—and don't be surprised if a lot of the office furniture is crashing down as those bullets are dodged and intercepted. This is a virtual power fantasy in all the best ways.






First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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