Death of the Critic

The Backlog - SUPERHOT

Written by: Tom Blaich


I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.




I have always loved a good shooter. There is just something so damn satisfying about running around like an action hero, blasting away my opposition without a care in the world. And it is no secret that over the last two generations, shooters have gotten kind of…
boring. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoy them, but there is a formula that works, and most games still stick very closely to it. SUPERHOT, however, exists to fly in the face of this formula, a game that once felt like it would be a gimmick, but manages to transcend that into something much more.

It is a simple enough concept: time only moves when you move, but it hides a surprising amount of depth. You have to be hyper aware of your surroundings, to know when and where to move. As you inch your way through a cloud of bullets or gracefully dodging enemies to grab weapons and finish them off. You feel amazing as you pull it off, hair raising close calls exacerbated by time inching by, feeling you like you have to move your body in real life dodge the onslaught.


Woven throughout is a surprisingly compelling story about free will and your desire to move forward. At one point, you are booted out of the game and told not to come back. If you listen, if you never play again, then you have won, according to the game’s story. But you want to come back, see what comes next and they play off of that desire, they control how you move forward, and even if you realize it, you play right into their hands.

There are so many things that this game does right, from its definite sense of style that permeates it, with Killstagram and the minigames you can access from the main menu, to the many moments that leave you feeling like a badass, amazed by how
cool everything is, and then you get to watch a replay at the end of the level like it’s an action movie, sped up to real time as you chuck swords and headshot enemies from across the room. The game is utterly unique even as it exists as a first-person shooter.

SUPERHOT is a shooter that changes shooters.

SUPERHOT is a game that challenges games.





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