PlayStation VR: You Are the [Virtual] One: Superhot VR (2017) - Reviewed


If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a bad ass action hero, look no further: Superhot is here to give you a taste of the action. Superhot is a first person shooter with a clever gimmick--the enemies only move when you do. If you stand perfectly motionless in the game, time moves at a snail's pace similar to "bullet time" from The Matrix films. This allows you to plan ahead and execute crazy moves like grabbing a gun out of an attacker's hands and shooting him with it, or shooting bullets out of the air with your own gun. In this way, it becomes more like a puzzle game than a pure test of reflexes like a normal first person shooter.

The story of the game utilizes metafiction with your in-game character donning a VR helmet to play Superhot in his cramped apartment. It's a pretty thin plot overall, but it serves as a tiny bit of bridging between each level. Each level of Superhot is comprised of four short scenarios that drop you right into perilous situations. There are only checkpoints at the completion of each level so if you die on the fourth scenario it spits you back to the beginning of the level. This can get a bit frustrating at times, but it increases the satisfaction you feel after finally completing a hard section.

There is nothing cooler than punching an assailant, grabbing his gun out of mid-air, shooting another dude with it and then dodging slow-mo bullets whizzing by your face Neo-style. This is the kind of stuff that VR is made for. Unfortunately this game play is hampered a bit by the limitations of the PSVR technology. Since PSVR only has one camera, the field-of-view is much more narrow than other VR sets such as the Vive or Oculus. Superhot makes you want to move around much more than the game allows, so you will end up going out of the playing range more often than you would like. I just set up two pillows on either side of me on the floor to use as a reference point to keep myself centered in the play area. It sounds silly but it works. Superhot is also best played with the PSVR camera eye level or higher, preferably on top of your television. I had very few tracking issues playing in this fashion.

Superhot has rather simplistic graphics with all white surroundings and red blocky polygon enemies. Fortunately, this lends the game a stylized look and it works to the game's benefit aesthetic wise. There isn't much of a soundtrack to speak of, but luckily you can use the Spotify app on PS4 and put your favorite tunes on in the background to shoot faces off with. I was jamming to some super rad synthwave on my play through that enhanced the experience tenfold.

One of the main negatives for this game is that it's very short, clocking in at 2-3 hours for a single play though. You do unlock Endless Mode which is basically a hoard mode that pits you against endless waves of enemies. Length seems to be a big issue in VR games as most of them tend to be shorter experiences.

If you are itching for a unique virtual reality experience Superhot should definitely be on the top of your list.

--Michelle Kisner