No game has yet made its mark on the PlayStation VR. Nothing stands out as a killer app for this cheaper, more affordable version of a truly remarkable way of playing video games. Sure, we’ve got the fantastic Battlezone and EVE: Valkyrie, which are both phenomenal experiences, but nothing truly made us feel like death dealers. That is, until now.
SUPERHOT released last month for the PlayStation 4, and it proved to be a surreal yet excellent shooting/puzzling hybrid. More notable for its unique polygonal art style, its way of time managing and unique brand of combat made it stand out. Transform this into a virtual reality experience, and you have simply one of the best PSVR games available today. A bold statement, I know, but SUPERHOT VR will make you feel like you’re the star of your very own action movie, and it feels damn good.
The premise of SUPERHOT is simple. You, as a black-coloured polygonal figure, kill the red polygonal figures in many different sets of scenarios. Die during one of the sets and you’ll have to start from the beginning of it, so failure comes at a price. There’s no overall story or plot to carry you through, it’s just a test of perception and reflexes as you take on each scene. Neglecting to take notice of your surroundings could be costly as you get no warning to where the enemy will pop up from. They can also wield everything you can, which means you may be bullet-dodging through the action if you’re not quick enough.
The PS Move controllers are a must for SUPERHOT VR. Using the large button and triggers, you manoeuvre your two hands onscreen to grab whatever object you are presented with as a weapon, which can vary from handguns, Uzis, throwing stars, even bottles, glasses and mugs, or if it gets up close and personal, a swift haymaker will send them packing. Anything you find can kill the bad guys as it’s one hit kills all around, which counts for you as well. There is a catch to SUPERHOT VR; time moves only when you do. This can be advantageous as you’re able to think about what to do next before the enemies can even get a shot off. This rule also stops bullets in their tracks, making you feel like Neo from The Matrix. It’s really cool and the first time in a VR game I’ve felt like a true badass.
The controls are fantastically responsive. I had no problems picking up a martini glass and throwing it at the guy who was just about to pop one in my face using my cat-like (not really) reflexes. The throwing mechanic is finicky, however. It’s incredibly tough to be precise with your aim, but luckily the object you throw only needs to hit the person you’re attacking for them to die, and it doesn’t matter where they get it. You’re able to create some really awesome scenarios here. During one stage I smacked the guy next to me who was just about to pull a gun on me for a point blank death shot, his gun flew up in the air, so I caught it, turned to my left, and pulled the trigger twice; one of my bullets shot through another enemy’s bullet, and the second shot took him out. It made me feel like Rambo, and I loved it. SUPERHOT is full of these instances, you’ll be ducking and weaving through bullets, dual-wielding Uzis like you’re an extra from Kill Bill, tossing wine bottles around and pretending you’re a polygonal Muhammad Ali.
SUPERHOT VR has great visuals too. The environments are white, with the red enemies standing out like you’re seeing their heat signatures through thermal vision. Dispatching them makes them shatter like glass statues in satisfying fashion. Scenarios take place in bars, on rooftops, in helicopters and office blocks, which all have their own props to use and enemies to kill. The visuals impressed, even by the PSVR’s standards, which are notorious for being the weakest in the graphics department to that of its rivals, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but they hold their own perfectly.
SUPERHOT VR has a knack for making you feel like an action hero in your own movie. As you play, you can make up stories in your head as to why these weird looking red guys want your head on a stick. Maybe you’re fighting a war of red versus black, maybe they have your girlfriend hostage, it’s up to you. But one thing is for sure, SUPERHOT VR is fantastic fun and should be owned by all PSVR owners.
Developer: SUPERHOT Team
Publisher: SUPERHOT Team
Platforms: PC, PS4
Release Date: 21st July 2017