Kickstarter Page: SUPERHOT
Project By: SUPERHOT Team
End Date: June 14th, 2014
In a nutshell: “A unique first-person shooter game where time moves only when you move, making each level a deadly puzzle.”
Hey there Dear Reader, long time no see! While I’ve been completing essays on Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and having my possessions stolen in the south of Spain, browsing the latest and greatest of the Kickstarter crop has slipped somewhat on my priorities list. Cursory glances towards the crowdfunding platform have left me a little disappointed of late (with exception the Echoes of Eridu), until SUPERHOT grabbed my attention just this morning.
These days it’s hard for developers to really innovate on the FPS genre without coming across as gimmicky. Bulletstorm tried to innovate – and it was awesome – but nobody bought it, hence why casting Kevin Spacey in the new Call of Duty is seen as an innovation. SUPERHOT is effectively a new take on the genre, trading in explosive nonsense for careful time manipulation puzzles. An FPS/puzzle hybrid might sound like a bad idea at first, but SUPERHOT is arguably more intense thanks to this intriguing creative decision.
SUPERHOT sums itself up within seconds: “IT’S ABOUT TIME. TIME ONLY MOVES WHEN YOU DO”. These pulsating, block text messages flash commands at you frequently throughout SUPERHOT, though oddly, they never become irritating, only helpful and occasionally humorous. Get shot in SUPERHOT, and you die instantly, so the objective become less about surviving multiple hits, and more about dodging bullets Matrix-style in order to survive. Ceasing movement gives you time to predict the paths of oncoming bullets, though not too much time, since bullets do still move at a snail’s pace when you’re standing still.
Even in its prototype form, SUPERHOT is still a nail-bitingly exciting FPS, mainly because it provides fast paced action and real time puzzle solving in equal measure, usually at the same time. The game’s minimalistic red, black and white visuals give it a sleek, Mirror‘s Edge aesthetic, while the deep voice barking “SUPERHOT” at the conclusion of each level only adds to the surrealism of the whole thing.
Since SUPERHOT‘s demo only lasts about fifteen minutes, it only manages to tease a little bit of narrative. There appears to be an intriguing mystery involving brainwashing and contract killings at play within the game, a mystery that would be interesting to explore if SUPERHOT reaches its $100,000 goal.
The game is being developed by a group of friends from Łódź, Poland, and quite honestly, funding looks likely. The campaign has reached $40,000 at the time of writing, and it’s only been up on Kickstarter for the better part of a day. I needn’t give you a measure of “Trustworthiness” this time around, because you need only play SUPERHOT to understand how how good these guys are. So stop reading this and go play SUPERHOT right now. It’s basically like playing through the opening credits for a James Bond movie, with all of the sleek, violent beauty, and none of the terrible music.