SUPERHOT is back, though not with a numbered sequel. Instead, we have something to tide us over until then with SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE.
Upgraded and intriguing are the first words that sprout to mind when playing SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. If you’ve played the original game, released in February 2016, you are in familiar territory here.
Not everything is the same this go around. This time health and a variety of modifications have been introduced to the game. While these seem like minor adjustments at first they quickly became something I couldn’t live without.
SUPERHOT is a game of slow motion, bullet time chess. The concept is simple. When you move, time moves with you. When you slow down so does everything else. It creates the perfect game for living out action movie fantasies, allowing you to fulfill that John Wick gun-fu that you’ve always dreamed of. Or is that just me?
You have to methodically plot out each and every bullet you fire, or object/gun you throw. Slowing down helps you to reassess the enemies around you, and new abilities like Charge help you to close the distance. It becomes a tense and exciting action-puzzle.
Like the first game before it, MCD does a great job of making it simple and easy to capture footage of great runs. This is great as I’ve already compiled some great clips that I can’t wait to show to my friends. The amount of incredible clips that anyone can make is really up to your imagination and patience.
The story for Superhot was always a fascinating one, and I won’t spoil it for those who still haven’t gotten around to it. Veterans of the first game can expect a similar style of storytelling to the first game, with some added tweaks and improvements.
Little hints and messages between nodes will be decrypted to reveal small story tidbits. You find out more about the story at each node section and sub-section and the sections between levels.
Superhot drip-feeds you a tiny bit information, but a lot of things such as who/what/why are kept somewhat vague. Luckily, not so much that the story is hard to figure out. It turns out Superhot MCD handles subtlety quite well for such an explosive and exciting game.
Don’t let the credit screen fool you either. Superhot and MCD relish in little bits of trickery, much like the Stanley Parable. Once you are brought back to the Title Screen after seeing “The End” pop up on the screen you find that you’ve barely scratched the surface of MCD. Keep going, keep pressing the button that says: MORE.
The credits are usually a lie, and as of this writing I’ve sunk a solid 14 hours into this game and have yet to truly see the very end.
Unraveling the story and levels this way is fun. Superhot MDC always has more to show you and another layer to peel back. For the asking price of $24.99 USD ($14.99 on Steam as of this writing), it is a surprisingly large package. Also, there is a way that you can get the game for free just by owning Superhot.
Knives, Guns, and Printers
The gameplay this time around is an improvement on the first in a few minor ways. While the core mechanics remain the same they’ve added various upgrades in the form of hacks that you can earn and unlock as you navigate various Nodes to play different scenarios. Some nodes, like the Triangles in the picture above, will unlock new hacks for you to use in upcoming levels.
The new features they added do help to spice up the gameplay by quite a lot. The various hacks (which you can see in the bottom left of my screenshot below) add a lot of playstyle variability and force you to experiment in a fun way.
One hack made throwing objects much more lethal by causing them to explode with a hail of bullets. Another favorite of mine was the ability to start each level with a random gun or the melee counterpart which allows you to start with a katana.
These hacks, titled things like exploder.exe, become the best part of each run. It takes on a bit of that rogue-like sensibility causing you to constantly change your loadout on the fly to adapt to whatever hacks you pick up. Alternatively, these aren’t really forced upon you, and you could choose to forge a differnt playstyle.
I was experimenting with a hack that made throwable objects explode in a hail of bullets. I quickly learned that the hail of bullets doesn’t fire out in a spread circle like a grenade but like a shotgun. After many attempts at becoming Swiss-cheese, I mastered an entire level run just throwing objects at enemies. Ashtrays, flasks, bottles, plates. The world was my explosive frisbee.
It is easily one of the most innovative shooters on the market, albeit somewhat nontraditional in structure.
Visuals & Environments
The visuals remain the same this time around with cool glitching fade-in effects to each level and old-school computer graphics for the level menu. The gameplay visuals stay the same as well but this is no issue. It is a clean and minimalist style that works well to direct your focus to the action.
The level design is simple but efficient, matching the visuals well. The rogue-like touch doesn’t just stop when it comes to the hacks, each scenario/level gets mixed up by changing enemy spawn locations, your spawn location, or available materials.
There is also enough variety that by the time levels were repeating I wasn’t too bothered by it.
Two particular favorites of mine are DISCO and PRISON. DISCO having a thumping upbeat soundtrack unique to the level and noticeably different than most of the music so far. Prison works well because it is a mixture of open areas and confined spaces, creating tense open dodging and brutal CQC.
The music is great and fits each level well, and the slow-motion sounds of shotguns firing, while a katana pings against a wall, create a tense sound bubble that accompanies the action well.
Going back to the recordings it can lead to some awesome scenes and some outright hilarity.
There is a lot of content here and an absolute ton of replayability to tide you over. The gameplay here absolutely shines and is where this game holds its own as a worthwhile addition to the franchise, and as a standalone game worth its salt. For the price, what you get here is basically SUPERHOT 1.5 and will tide you over well until the inevitable sequel.
Stay tuned to Generation Xbox for more reviews and everything else from the world of Xbox.