SU­PER­HOT/SU­PER­HOT VR

In­ven­tive shooter turns ‘taking it slow’ into an art form

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS - @schillingc

Time moves when you move. It’s an idea so sim­ple you’ll curse your­self for not hav­ing thought of it first, but in prac­tice Su­per­hot’s hook is a vari­ant on a well-worn tech­nique: bul­let time. The Ma­trix’s ground­break­ing use of slo-mo has in­spired a slew of games since, though none have quite cap­tured the thrill of bob­bing and weav­ing be­tween in­com­ing pro­jec­tiles – you guessed it – un­til now. The two ver­sions play out sur­pris­ingly dif­fer­ently. In non-VR Su­per­hot, you move slowly with the left thumb­stick, edg­ing around corners, re­fin­ing your aim un­til you’re per­fectly lined up to pull the trig­ger. Across a se­ries of vignettes – the kind of one-man-against-im­pos­si­bleodds sit­u­a­tions you’ll find in a Ja­son Statham ac­tion set-piece – you’re ba­si­cally in­vited to kill ev­ery­thing that moves. En­e­mies the colour of cough candy and the tex­ture of glass roam alabaster bars, lob­bies, and al­ley­ways. One shot is enough to kill them; the same ap­plies to you.

Weapons are of­ten within reach as the level starts, though it’s more fun when you need to grab them from your as­sailants. You can lob ob­jects (ash­trays! Pool balls!) to stun them, prompt­ing one to let go of their gun. Reach for­ward and you can catch it in mid-air and turn it on them. Or you might pick up a katana, slice one guy in half and throw it through a glass win­dow to spear an­other. Since you’re inch­ing your way to suc­cess, it mightn’t look as cool as it sounds. But when the last en­emy has fallen, a re­play shows your hand­i­work in real time, ba­si­cally turn­ing you into a polyg­o­nal John Wick.

GUN ASTRAY

Rather than make you look like a badass, the VR ver­sion makes you feel like one. In­stead of mov­ing through rooms you’ll stay in roughly the same spot, taking out smaller groups be­fore be­ing whisked to an­other area within the same scene. Here, time truly moves when you do, rather than your avatar. Crouch­ing to avoid a vol­ley of buck­shot, be­fore thrust­ing the left Move con­troller to thump a goon, reach­ing out with the right to grab his shot­gun, and in the same grace­ful mo­tion squeez­ing the trig­ger to blow away an­other at­tacker – it’s like liv­ing out an ac­tion movie fan­tasy, and it feels in­cred­i­ble. You’ll work up a sweat, too: the VR ver­sion cer­tainly lives up to its name in that re­gard.

Sadly, in both cases, re­al­ity in­trudes on the fan­tasy. The track­ing isn’t con­sis­tent and throw­ing is a lot­tery in VR – which would be less of a prob­lem if dy­ing on the fifth and final sec­tion of a stage didn’t send you back to the start. It’s a trial-and-er­ror kind of game, but the later stages of the reg­u­lar ver­sion take that to ex­tremes, trad­ing cre­ative sce­nar­ios for te­dious vol­umes of en­e­mies. At its best, Su­per­hot is scorch­ingly good; what a shame it con­cludes in such tepid fash­ion.

VER­DICT

“IN VR, IT’S LIKE LIV­ING OUT AN AC­TION MOVIE FAN­TASY, AND IT FEELS IN­CRED­I­BLE.”

Wonky tech and pun­ish­ing chal­lenges will leave you cold, but with or with­out VR, this has mo­ments of bril­liance that are worth the price of ad­mis­sion alone. Chris Schilling

The thought-pro­vok­ing story ex­am­ines our re­la­tion­ship with dig­i­tal vi­o­lence.

INFO FOR­MAT PS4, PS VR ETA OUT NOW PUB SU­PER­HOT TEAM DEV SU­PER­HOT TEAM

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