Released back in 2016 the original SUPERHOT was arguably one of the most original first person shooters that has been released in a long time. While I don’t mind first person shooters I wouldn’t consider it to be one of my favorite video game genres. What was different about SUPERHOT though was that it truly felt like playing the entire game in bullet time as the game’s speed reacted to your actions. While I never reviewed the original game I really enjoyed it even if I wish there was more to it. Today I am taking a look at the third game in the franchise SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE which officially releases tomorrow (July 16th, 2020). I was really curious how the developers would be able to expand on the original game outside of adding additional levels. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE keeps the satisfying gameplay from the original game and adds some tweaks to create a new experience that fans of the series should love.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank SUPERHOT Team for the review copy of SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
In a lot of ways SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is very similar to the other games in the franchise. For those of you not familiar with the other games from the series the basic gameplay is similar to your typical first person shooter. The game is broken down into small sections where the objective is to defeat all of the enemies that stand in your way. To do so you can use your fists along with the melee weapons and guns scattered throughout the level. Unlike many first person shooters all enemies only require one bullet or a couple melee attacks to destroy. The same holds true for you as well though as any bullet that hits you will kill you. With you being vastly outnumbered this might sound almost impossible as how are you supposed to avoid all of your enemies attacks?
This is where SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE’s most unique mechanic comes into play. In the game the game clock is basically frozen where all of the enemies move in super slow motion. The enemies mostly only move when you yourself move or take an action. Therefore you might be outnumbered, but you have a huge advantage over the enemies. You can look around the environment and plan out what you want to do while the enemies are barely moving. In addition to planning out your moves you can also use this to avoid enemy attacks and dispatch of them easily.
For those of you who have never played a game in the SUPERHOT series before this is a truly original feeling unlike any other game that I have ever played. On the surface the gameplay is basically the same as any other first person shooter as you are mostly just shooting enemies with guns or attacking them with other weapons. The slow motion gameplay makes the game feel like something entirely different though. In some ways it feels like a puzzle as you use the ability to easily sidestep enemy attacks and complete a bunch of actions within minimal in-game time. This honestly might be the best representation of bullet time that I have ever seen utilized in a video game before. When you complete a level you get a replay of what you did sped up to see what it would look like in real game time. These replays make you feel really powerful like an action movie star as everything you did in slow motion appears impressive when sped up. The gameplay might feel a lot like your typical first person shooter, but the little addition of slowing down time transforms the game into something totally different.
For the most part the gameplay of the original SUPERHOT is maintained in its entirety in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. Basically all of the mechanics and controls are exactly the same. This is good as the original game was so enjoyable. While the gameplay never drastically changes after you are introduced to the basic mechanics, they are so satisfying that it doesn’t really matter. It is just so satisfying being able to destroy all of your enemies in slow motion. My biggest problem with the original game was that I just wish it was longer. Anyone who has played the original game will feel right at home in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE as the gameplay remains as enjoyable as it always was.
So you might be wondering what is actually different about SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. Well that is where the game gets interesting. In addition to the first person shooter mechanics from the original game, SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE adds some rogue-like elements to the formula. The original game was broken down into mini levels where if you were hit by an enemy you had to restart the level from the beginning. In SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE the game is broken down into nodes. Each node consists of a number of connected mini levels which are randomly chosen from a list of available levels. In order to finish a node you must beat all of the mini levels back to back. Unlike the original game though you can survive one or more hits depending on what upgrades you choose. When you run out of hits/lives though you are sent back to the beginning of the node and have to beat all of the levels again.
Throughout the game you will also unlock various special abilities after you beat certain nodes. These abilities are broken down into two different categories. The first are what I would call the major upgrades. At the beginning of each node you can choose one of these abilities which you will have access to throughout the node. At the beginning of the game you will have access to the extra life ability which gives you more hearts or the dash ability that lets you periodically dash and kill an enemy that is within range. In addition to these abilities the game also has what I will call minor upgrades. After every couple of levels that you complete you will get to pick one of two randomly chosen abilities. These abilities range from healing lost hearts to additional abilities for weapons or your character. When you fail a node you will lose all of these abilities that you acquired.
I was actually kind of surprised by how much of an impact these elements had on the game. The main gameplay is exactly the same, but the rogue-like mechanic makes the game feel a little different. The original game was more about exploring the level to figure out where enemies would come from and how to deal with them as the enemies mostly acted the same way in each attempt. The ultimate goal was to destroy all of the enemies. In SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE the levels play out a little differently. Some of the levels are recycled from the original game, but some are new as well. In the levels you are placed in a semi-random position and you have to fend off all of the enemies that spawn. Instead of having to kill all of the enemies you just need to kill enough to end the level.
The end objective in each game is mostly the same, but how you get to that point is a little different. The original game kind of felt more like a puzzle as you have to figure out through trial and error where enemies would come from and how to deal with them. Enemies were more passive where you had to go on the offensive. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is different as you can play more defensively. Most enemies will pursue you instead of you having to come to them. As the enemies just keep coming the game feels like more of a game of survival. Once you become familiar with the levels you can use this to your advantage as you can hole up in choke points where you can always see where enemies are coming from. I like that this eliminates enemies suddenly coming up from behind you like in the original game. In some ways this feels kind of cheap though as you can use the enemies AI against them.
As for the abilities I think they were a really nice addition to the original game. While I think some abilities are considerably more valuable than others, these add a really interesting element to the game. Which abilities you have access to on a given run depends on which are randomly chosen for you. Choosing between these abilities gives you more flexibility in creating the character that fits your playstyle. Some of the abilities add power to melee weapons while others help those who prefer guns. There are some abilities that totally change how you approach the game as well. I already mentioned the dash ability which can be really powerful. There are also abilities that allow you to ricochet bullets and turn throwable objects into impromptu grenades. These abilities along with others can really change how you approach the levels. These new abilities may be my favorite addition to the original game.
The game also adds additional weapons and enemies to the game. On the weapon front there are new guns, melee weapons and objects that you can throw. On the enemy front there are new types of enemies that you have to deal with. One new type of enemy has only one weak red point which is the only area you can attack to kill them. For example you may only be able to kill them by attacking their head, arm, torso or legs as all other body parts will deal no damage. These enemies are considerably harder to kill as you have to be much more precise with your attacks. Other enemies have weapons that are fused to them that will automatically shatter when you kill the enemy. Another enemy type has spikes on them which will shoot out in all directions like bullets once they are destroyed. These new types of enemies add some variety and challenge to the game.
As for the game’s difficulty I would say that the game feels a little easier than the original game. I will preface that by saying that I haven’t completed the game yet so the end could get much more difficult. I wouldn’t say that the game is easy as you need to always be on the lookout or you can be killed quickly. With the ability to make one or more mistakes though you likely will have an easier time especially in the earlier levels. The game is getting considerably more difficult though so I can see the end game becoming pretty hard. I would say that the main reason the game is probably easier is the fact that you can play defensively. This means you can use the environment to your advantage more as you can wait for the enemies to come to you. Those who have experience with the original game will likely be able to jump right into SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE and beat the nodes pretty quickly.
As I haven’t completed the whole game yet I can’t give you a definitive length. Based on what I have played though the game does feel considerably longer than the original game. The game has quite a few nodes that you have to complete and each consists of five to ten mini levels. On top of this I think the rogue-like mechanics where the levels are randomly selected will add to the game’s replay value. One of the biggest problems that I had with the original game was the length, but I think that should be considerably better in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE.
For the most part I would say that SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is better than the original game. The game basically took what worked with the original game and expanded on it. While I would still highly recommend playing the original game as it is really good, I could also see picking up the series with SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE as it feels like a better version of the original game. You will miss out on a little of the story by not playing the original game, but otherwise I see no reason why you couldn’t jump right into the sequel. While I think it is the better overall game, there are a couple areas where I think it could have been better.
My first problem with the game just comes from the fact that I have never been a huge fan of rogue-like games. For this reason I found that the game could become a little stressful at times. Especially when you get towards the end of a node it is a little stressful thinking that one mistake will force you to lose all of the progress that you have made on the node. Each node is considerably longer then the original game’s levels so you will lose much more with each death. On the positive side this makes it really satisfying when you are able to beat the node as your run could end at any time. Those that don’t mind losing progress probably won’t care about this at all. Those who hate losing progress though may become a little frustrated.
The biggest problem that I had with the new mechanics comes from you having to play the same mini levels over and over again. As you progress through the game more and more levels will be added to the mix. You will quickly start to realize that you are playing the same levels over and over again though. They play a little differently as your start point will likely be different, but the layout of each level will be the same. After a while it becomes a little repetitive playing the same levels over and over again. The gameplay is still great, but I wish there was a little more variety in the levels that are chosen. For this reason I see SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE being better in shorter doses. I would probably recommend playing for an hour or so and then coming back later rather than binging through the game.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is pretty much what you want to see from a sequel. For the most part the main gameplay is exactly the same. That gameplay is still as satisfying as ever as it is so fun dispatching a bunch of enemies in slow motion. Where SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE differs from the original game is that it adds a rogue-like mechanic. Instead of each level being its own entity the levels in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE are randomly selected and you have to beat all of them before you run out of lives in order to progress. In addition to this the game adds some cool new abilities that you can unlock that change the gameplay in new interesting ways. There are even some new weapons and enemies that you have to deal with. This change does lead to levels repeating themselves quite a bit though. For the most part I would say that SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is an improvement over the original game.
Normally at this point I would get to my recommendation, but there is something unique about SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE that I haven’t mentioned yet. If you purchased the original SUPERHOT before 7/16/2020 you will get SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE for free as it is supposed to be added to your corresponding account automatically when the game finally releases. I have to say that this was extremely generous of the SUPERHOT Team. Due to this my recommendation for the game is actually really simple. If you already own the original game you might as well check out SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE as you should get free access to it. You should enjoy it as well as it is just more of what made the original game so enjoyable. Those who have never played the original game should pick it up before 7/16/2020 as you will get access to both the original game and the sequel. For those that aren’t able to pick up the original game in time I would still recommend picking up SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE as it is a great game that shows everything that is great about the franchise.
Buy SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE online: Steam