E3 2014: Kickstarter Hands-On, Oculus Rift Edition: SuperHOT

SuperHot landed on Kickstarter almost a month ago and proceeded to burn its way to success without stopping for breath. The FPS about a nameless time-stopping assassin in a monochrome world taking on masses of faceless red enemies had gotten a fair amount of media attention after its success in the 7DFPS game jam, and much to the relief of the developers people hadn’t forgotten months later, when they had the shiny new graphic upgrade ready to show off at the Kickstarter’s launch. One thing the Kickstarter succeeded without, however, was a playable demo showing off the improved look. Thanks to the Oculus Rift booth on the E3 show floor, that’s no longer 100% true.

The SuperHot demo showcased one scenario, where you start off unarmed, with three gunmen around the corner and down the hall. There’s a gun about 2/3 down the hallway, so you need to dodge your way to it in order to fight back. Time only moves when you do (or at least, moves so incredibly slowly that it might as well have stopped) so it’s a fairly simple matter at first to dodge the enemy bullets and gun them down. It’s made only a little trickier by a couple bullets coming in through the windows, but those are less threat than a way to show off the glass shattering and the shards slowly spinning through the air when you’ve stopped moving. Kill all three enemies and the demo level starts again, only this time with the middle enemy wielding a shotgun. It takes a bit more thought and careful movement to reach the pistol, but careful leading of the enemy fire sees your way to success again. Round three timed out before I was able to confirm how badly three guys with shotguns would have eviscerated me, but on the whole it was a good demo to show off SuperHot’s upgrades. Oddly, the least effective one was the Oculus Rift integration.

The more detailed worlds with better lighting effects and shattering everything looked great, but leaning around corners didn’t add much to the experience. It was easier to just run around the corner, take stock of what was happening while nothing could move because time is standing still, and then play as normal. The immersion was nice, of course, but not a “system seller”. On the other hand it didn’t hurt anything either, and it’s always nice to get a little more time playing with Rift DK2.

So the verdict on the demo is that SuperHot is as awesome as expected and looking better than ever. The Kickstarter is on its final day, just blowing past the New Game+ stretch goal and, if they’re really lucky, earning a level editor to go with it. Head on over and check it out, and if somehow you’ve missed the 7DFPS game it’s well worth the 20 minutes it takes to play through.