SUPERHOT VR Review (PC)
I had the opportunity to get my hands on an Oculus with Touch controllers over the festive period and decided to take a look at a couple of games. SUPERHOT was a game I was interested in anyway, so this seemed like the ideal match as SUPERHOT VR was made available with Touch support.
Firstly it has to be said that the Touch controllers add a whole new level to what Oculus is offering to the VR market. Until now, I personally felt that the wands and the roomscale VR gave the HTC Vive the edge. Yet I would have always argued that the Oculus was the better headset for quality and comfort value. However, now that the Oculus has the Touch controls, which allow for a more room-like set up, there is no question in my mind that the Oculus Rift is the way to go in VR at the moment.
And SUPERHOT VR is the way to play in VR at the moment!
To clarify on the above, I have not (yet) played the non-VR version of SUPERHOT. I have however backed the Kickstarter of the card game version and with that will be getting a code for the Steam version.
So I went into SUPERHOT VR with fresh eyes, an Oculus headset strapped to my face and a Touch controller in each hand.
SUPERHOT VR presents to you a series of puzzles that you need to progress through to complete a level. These puzzles can be simply described as; kill anything that moves and don’t die in the process. The visual style of SUPERHOT is a white card world where enemies are Red and things you can interact with are black. I can imagine that this style was at most “cool” in standard SUPERHOT, but in SUPERHOT VR it’s a design scheme that aids you in identifying utilities and threats quickly in Virtual Reality.
You don’t need to be too quick though, because the tagline of SUPERHOT is; time moves when you move. And this is literal in SUPERHOT VR. Even if you are ready to take a shot, and are just waiting for the NPC to move forward a little bit into your sight, then you will need to shake your head or wave your hands about a bit to make time move forward. But when it comes to the bullet dodging, there is no greater experience than slow ninja dancing around your living room with an Oculus Rift on.
I won’t ruin any of the puzzles for you, but here is a typical series of play in SUPERHOT VR. You start in a room, three enemies in sight. One has a knife, one a pistol and the other an Uzi. In front of you is a table with a bottle and an ashtray on it. You (physically) move to reach for the bottle. As you do the enemy with the knife approaches and raises his weapon. Grabbing the bottle with the Touch controllers grip buttons you then swiftly throw it at the enemy, killing him (the enemies shatter when they die) and as he falls the knife flies up into the air towards you. You look around and notice the enemy with the pistol has just fired a shot. You step to the side to dodge the bullet, while also reaching up for the falling knife. As the bullet safely passes you, you grab the knife and throw it at the pistol wielding enemy. The knife hits him square on and his pistol flies into the air towards you. Finally a weapon to fire. You catch the pistol in slow motion and aim for the final enemy. As you do he pulls the trigger and you see a spread of bullets start to make their way towards you. Decision time. Fight or flight. You are already aimed at him, sure that your shot will hit. You pull the trigger, and as time accelerates for your bullet to leave the barrel of the pistol, the bullet spray from the Uzi make their way towards you. They’re too close, not enough time to dodge, even with your best slow-mo Matrix dive.
You’re hit. Dead. The puzzle resets. Try again.
But really, my words can’t do it justice. The feeling of panic as you try to work out a puzzle. The feeling of perseverance when you fail one. And the feeling of elation when you complete one, accompanied by the game repeating the words, SUPER HOT, SUPER HOT.
There were only a couple of issues I had with SUPERHOT VR. A couple of moments during the game that can be seen as bad design for a VR game. The first was a falling moment. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having your mind believe you are falling when your body is not. Another moment, which I had less issue with but can see that others would, was one where you are made to hold a gun to your own head and pull the trigger.
My final gripe with SUPERHOT VR is that it was too short. I sacrificed a couple of the puzzles to let a friend have a shot, and admittedly when the game is complete you can go back and play any puzzle that you choose. But it was all over too quickly. Thankfully the developers are soon to release a free content update that will provide us with some additional puzzles to master.
If you have an Oculus with Touch controllers, then there really is no reason that you should not be checking out SUPERHOT VR.
9.5 bullets dodged out of 10