Video Game / Superhot

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IT'S. ABOUT. TIME.

TIME. MOVES. ONLY. WHEN. YOU. MOVE.

SUPERHOT is an interesting little shooter with a different kind of gameplay — time only moves when you move. If youíre standing still, time nearly stops. If you move, bullets will speed past you and enemies will start shooting again. Once you've used up a gunís mag, you have no choice but to throw it at your enemies and grab one of their weapons, unless you'd rather take them down up close and personal. It's friggin' cool.

Originally created by SUPERHOT Team as part of the 2013 7 Day FPS Challenge. The game, as developed from the challenge, was originally released as a browser-based game in September 2013; a full release entered development following a successful Kickstarter campaign, improving the visuals and mechanics while adding more weapons, modes, and the glorious Rule of Cool stuff people wanted from an expanded release. The expanded version was released on 25 February, 2016 for PC.

The prototype can be played here.

ADD. THESE. TROPES:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Even in real time, bullets travel much more slowly than they should. Just as well, since bullets traveling at their actual speed would make dodging pointless and the game less cool.
  • Anticlimax: The prototype ending killing a CEO with no effort other than a single click.
  • Arc Words: The title, at the end of every level in both versions, and a sign of you, the player, integrating their mind into the data of the titular program. Taken Up to Eleven in the sense that it takes place in-game and in real life, when the game asks you to spread the word of the game upon completion of the story. That phrase? "It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years."
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Every part of the scenery is white, shiny, and smooth. In fact, it appears to have the texture of Styrofoam.
  • Assimilation Plot: The apparent goal of Superhot.exe is to integrate everyone into it.
    Group: One of us. One of us.
    Individual: One of us.
  • Black Site: What appears to be a secret government research facility shows up in the last two levels of the game.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Katanas usually stick in the floor or walls when thrown or dropped, to allow easy retrieval.
  • Bottomless Magazines: For the enemies, anyway. You'll still run out after a few shots, but this is mitigated by the enemies having a slower rate of fire.
  • Boring but Practical: Throwing objects at people isn't lethal, but it distracts them for a crucial few seconds while you grab new equipment (even theirs) or beat them to death, and has the added bonus of being able to block stray bullets better than other bullets.
  • Body Surf: An ability called "Hotswitch" that you gain near the end of the game, with the added benefit of killing your former host whenever you switch.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The player is shown several flashes of themself at a computer, lending credence to the idea that whoever is behind Superhot.exe is constantly watching your real-world body.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The game resorts to Literally Shattered Lives instead.
  • Brain Uploading: The full version has the player do this near the end of the story.
  • Broken Record: Finishing a level results in a real-time replay of your efforts while the words "Super. Hot." are repeated endlessly.
  • Bullet Catch: Used to be possible during the beta. No longer possible in the full version.
  • Bullet Dancing: Invoked in a level where you are stuck in a cell with enemies shooting at you from above, thus forcing you to run around like an idiot.
  • Bullet Time: Constantly when you don't move too much.
  • But Thou Must!: Dialogue in the game is done in the IRC chat window, where the player hammers on random keys to type out a scripted response. Played for tension when whoever created Superhot.exe starts changing your responses. Even your player character claims they aren't typing their own responses, which is either a fourth wall metajoke or an implication that you - the real life player - are in control of the character's mind.
  • Clean Cut: Katanas cut enemies cleanly through the waist or the neck.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: In the museum level, panes of glass will absorb the first shot then break. This works both ways for you and your enemies.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of the firearms, in a way.
  • Cool Shades: The enemies in the prototype sport these. The museum sports a giant-sized pair.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The primary method by which world-building exposition is delivered to the player upon discovering one of the secret terminals hidden around the stages.
  • Cyber Punk
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: In your typical FPS, the average player will run and gun with little thought put into where they are running and what they might be running into. Such thoughtless behavior will swiftly get you killed in this game.
  • Death Is the Only Option:
    • One level in the full version progresses up to this after a lengthy period of bullet-dodging.
    • The game concludes with the player killing their own physical body.
  • Dodge the Bullet: The Bullet Time mechanic allows you to do this a lot. Doubly so in the corridor levels of the prototype and the retail version, which see you sprinting down a stretch of hallway dodging bullets as you go. Rule of Cool, indeed.
  • Double Meaning: The Tag Line of the game, "It's about time", refers to the 5 year development cycle of the game, as well as the game's prominent Bullet Time mechanic.
  • Easter Egg: There's at least one on almost every stage, integrated into the story as secret terminals that allow the player character to ask one question upon discovery. They are often found on the surreal, poorly-modeled outer borders of the stage, overlooking the abyss.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: One level starts with this, where you take down three enemies before stepping out to complete the level. In the full version, two Mooks with shotguns are waiting outside to ventilate you when the elevator arrives.
  • Endless Game: The full retail release of SUPERHOT includes Endless gameplay modes, introduced after you complete the story campaign. There are currently eight arenas, each with a selection of unlockable objectives and modifiers. Scoring is determined by the player's body count.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Every bullet leaves a long trail behind it. It makes it easier to spot.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The commander's voice in the prototype is electronically modified.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: The final boss fight in the prototype. After you kill the boss, a window will break and the Commander will order you to jump through it. There's no other way to progress, but you do get a couple of demanding messages if you try to walk away.
  • Forbidden Fruit: How the recruitment process works.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The mysterious folks behind superhot.exe will take more control from you as the game progresses. Midway through the game, you have to punch yourself in the head, superhot.exe is locked out, and you can't continue unless you quit the game. At the end, you shoot yourself in the head.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Assault Rifle: fires 3 bullets in sequence and has a low recoil time, allowing you to kill enemies faster and more reliably. However, it's forced to fire on burst mode, meaning you're forced into real time and have less time to think about your dodging.
  • Game Within a Game: Tree Dude is a simplistic score-based ASCII game found on the player's computer. Briefly discussed within the in-universe IRC channel #HACKING that the player can listen in on.
  • Goomba Stomp: You can land on top of enemies to kill them. The achievement for doing so is even called "It's a me, Mario!".
  • Gun Kata: Essentially, this is what the gun play revolves around, with the player having to judge the trajectory of incoming fire and strategically move out of the way while firing back.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The baddies take several shots to line up a decent bead on you - their aim would be usually perfect, but they're not the ones who can slow down time. Doubly so in level three, where, as you get closer, a pathfinding glitch can lead to Set a Mook to Kill a Mook despite said mooks standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
  • Interface Screw: The more you play the game, the more the superhot.exe overseers wrest control from you in ways like changing your chat messages and messing with your view.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Pistol, with no real advantages or disadvantages, and hence useful due to the nature of the game.
  • Jump Scare: While it might be unintentional, the appearance of the commander at the end of the prototype can easily be this (even if you're expecting it).
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The full release uses these, where you can slice bullets in half when time is slowed. They are also one of the few objects which are lethal when thrown, and they can be picked up after being thrown. They're also the most durable of all the weapons, only breakable if you throw it and a stray bullet hits it.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In a way. Enemies in the full release shatter when killed as if they were made of glass. Thrown projectiles also shatter on impact. It's beautiful in slow motion.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Shotgun, which shoots a massive spread of bullets with decent range, but takes a very long time to reload.
  • Minimalism: There are no colors aside from red, white, gray and black. The enemies are humanoid, but lack any characteristics besides color. They sport sunglasses in the Unity-based prototype, but the eyewear was removed in the full retail release.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Lampshaded by one of the IRC conversations, particularly with regard to how the levels don't seem to have any kind of interconnecting context. Justified in that it turns out SUPERHOT.exe isn't a game.
  • Off the Chart: Repeatedly invoked during the Kickstarter campaign, with the chart painted over the table, mouse, coffee cup and everything.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Both your enemies and you die from one bullet shot, regardless of where the bullet hits. The only real difference is you die from a punch, they need three. On the upside, jumping on top of them instantly kills them.
  • Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: The world of Superhot has DOS prompt menus and ASCII art, but is advanced enough for VR headsets and Brain Uploading.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Even when moving, the bullets move much slower than they would in real life. Combine this with a deliberate aversion of the Very High Velocity Rounds trope, and you'll find standing still to slow down time isn't a perfect solution.
  • Parrying Bullets: Using a katana you can slice bullets out of the air.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The on-screen text appears as a non-verbal example of this. One word is printed at a time, accompanied by the sound of a camera shutter.
  • Retraux: The menus in the full version are designed to resemble an old DOS prompt.
  • Rocket Tag Gameplay: You and your enemies go down in one hit. Good thing you have Bullet Time on your side.
  • Rule of Cool: You toss your weapon at the end of every level for no reason other than it's cool.
  • Sensory Abuse: Firing a gun while standing still will basically blind and deafen you for two seconds.
  • Shoot the Bullet: It requires timing and positioning, but it is still very possible. Doing this (intentionally or not) gives you the "No They Didn't" achievement.
  • Show Within a Show: The menu is part of the story itself. Superhot.exe (that is, the telltale bullet-time shooter) is a game that your in-game friend sends you.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Every gun breaks if thrown into a wall, an enemy, a bullet, or just thrown away in a panic by a hotswapped enemy. Averted when a shooter's arm is punched the instant they fire a bullet. The gun is fine. The arm explodes, though.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The time mechanic that's the core of the gameplay; allowing you to position yourself just so and to speed-blitz many of your foes.
    • Within game, punching an enemy, catching their gun when they drop it, and then shooting them with it is a very reliable way of defeating foes and is very, very awesome.
    • Jumping over enemies is usually more efficient than punching them out. This is very useful in the Speedrun challenges.
  • Stealth Pun: The Boss fight in the game jam prototype. As in, a fight with a CEO, who is unarmed and does nothing to defend himself.
  • Stylistic Suck: In sharp contrast to the crisp, smooth visuals of superhot.exe, the other apps and programs (including videos and 3D demos) on the player's computer are rendered in white-on-black text or basic ASCII.
  • Symbolic Blood: Defeated foes shatter like glass, in a way the would be incredibly gory if they weren't, y'know, polygons.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Guns have limited ammo, so throwing them away is a given. You also end up throwing your weapons away when a level ends for the sake of looking cool.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • The katana can be thrown and is lethal upon hit, and is one of the few thrown items which can be retrieved.
    • One endless mode level also has throwing stars, which are the only other weapon lethal when thrown.
    • Downplayed with every other item you can throw; it stuns an enemy on hit and makes them drop anything they're holding, allowing you grab it for yourself. Thrown items can be faster than waiting for your gun to stop shooting in many instances.
  • Time Stands Still: An interesting variant tied to your motion. Stand still, and time slows to a crawl. Start walking, and it'll speed up to real time. It even extends to moving the camera: time accelerates a little when aiming and firing.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: The first shotgun you see is on a guy behind the bar.
  • Viral Marketing: Invoked by the end of the story - the game itself compels you, the player, to spread the word about the game in order to bring more and more people into the system, using the exact words, "It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years".
  • Your Head A-Splode: Not just with bullets (there's even an achievement pointing out the pointlessness of it), but also the fate of any body you abandon via hotswap and everybody in the room when you take control of the core.


SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.
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