SUPERHOT is a name that many gamers are likely familiar with at this point. Although it has been a highly successful title, across multiple platforms, this game has humble roots. In fact it was first created during the 2013 7DFPS (7 Day FPS Challenge) Game Jam. After that it went on to become a web browser game in September of that year but didn’t appear in the form people know it today until its Windows release on February 2016.
Since those days, SUPERHOT has matured and enjoys a platform-agnostic existence across the Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Mac OS X, and even Linux. VR support came in the form of SUPERHOT VR which is available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. There’s even a standalone expansion serving as a roguelike spin-off called SUPERHOT Mind, Control, Delete.
The newest version of this popular experimental shooter game recently released for the Oculus Quest, which itself has taken the gaming world by storm as it’s the first VR headset to not require a PC / Mobile device. In this review we will evaluate how the experience translates on a VR headset which houses its own screen, processor, RAM, etc. to find out just how premium it feels.
The first thing that strikes out if you’ve never played SUPERHOT before is definitely the graphics. They aren’t your usual shooter visuals. Instead of brown and gray color schemes everywhere, realistic detail, angry looking soldiers, etc. you will find abstract, artistic, polygonal figures menacing without an expression.
This game is all about the motions of your movement which includes dodging bullets, throwing objects, ducking under cover, all in a certain rhythm of memory-based challenges that must be learned through trial and error. Enemies move only when you move. If you stop moving, nothing happens – it’s like pausing the game. But as soon as you start moving they immediately continue their dangerous attacks against you. This can vary from melee combat, close range shooters, snipers, sword fighting, and other unexpected surprises.
What’s nice about playing in VR is that you also get a workout at the same time. You get into a groove that feels totally real. The situation players find themselves in provokes the fight or flight response and survival depends on each movement you make while reacting to enemies. Adrenaline pumps and sweat pours as players are captivated by the gameplay. You will have to pause and take off the headset once in a while just to take a breather and remind yourself what the world around you looks like. But the urgency of going back to get better is always there, it’s in you.
Audio makes up a big part of any game. SUPERHOT’s sound effects are authentic. The satisfaction of hearing a headshot is only matched by the way the game makes your heart pound. What the game lacks in music however it makes up for in creepy silent moments, the crunching of enemies which sound like they’re made of glass, and other environmental oddities.
At some point players will kill themselves to prove dedication to the game. This is so they can enter the virtual world in full, leaving their human body behind. Levels are loaded by a floppy disk inserted into an old school looking PC during these transitional periods. SUPERHOT on Oculus Quest includes all of the previously released levels which have been re-worked with new optimizations. There’s also a guest mode. However, the team announced that they have tested way larger levels that could some day make an appearance.
Most VR games are still not very story-intensive, and instead focus on the gameplay and experience. As the medium matures more this will change – but in the meantime it is nice to have gameplay design, level design, and creativity at the center of attention. For players who need a story to feel engaged though, SUPERHOT will not scratch that itch. Instead it provides intense, straightforward challenges that are fun and make you alive in the virtual world. The Oculus Quest version benefits from its own year of extended development and the device’s completely wireless setup.
RGN Rating: 8 / 10 (Silver)
Developer / Publisher: SUPERHOT Team
Played On: Oculus Quest 128GB
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewZ by the publisher for the purpose of this review.