“…you already won. Why are you playing? It’s time to quit. At least, that’s what Superhot would want me to say…”
WARNING – THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL SUPERHOT
If you have continued reading beyond the above warning, it is fair to assume that you, too, have completed the now indie classic that is Superhot. Congratulations on freeing your mind sometime between 2016 and right now. Alas, it would seem that the twisted software from which you and I believed we had claimed back our respective freedoms was only the beginning…
Superhot: Mind Control Delete is the newly released natural continuation of the Superhot story. Developers SUPERHOT Team have taken their hugely popular and successful model they produced for the original game and added to it extensively, creating an equally immersive but increasingly challenging story for you to lose your mind within once more. The aesthetic appeal, basic mechanics and twisted storyline from Superhot are persistent threads heading into this new title, but the difficulty has been stepped up a few notches to test experienced players’ resolve to the max.
The most important consideration ahead of playing Superhot: Mind Control Delete should be whether you have played the original game to completion. If you haven’t, you should stop right now and do so before reading any further or jumping aboard at the sequel. This is very much a game aimed at players who finished Superhot’s story in its entirety; underlined by the fact that the Devs have chosen to give it away to any who paid for the original game for free at launch. Superhot is much more than simply fighting red men in slow motion, despite its initial appearance. The first game dives deep into the reality of Superhot, and Mind Control Delete will make little sense without that prior knowledge.
In case for some reason you are reading on without any prior knowledge of Superhot’s basic concepts, the essence of the game is a Matrix-style computer program in which you fight a series of armed opponents in a world where time only moves when you do. This new game, however, is bigger and better than before, with more content presented in a glossier, higher quality build and greater organisation and progression through the use of story, grouped runs of levels and new skills to be learned…
The initial levels of Mind Control Delete are largely the same as those found in Superhot, with the added bonus that you know have lives to expend as opposed to being dead after just one hit. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that there is much, much more at play mechanically in Mind Control Delete than there was in its predecessor. These additions to the gameplay are presented predominantly in the form of hacks. Hacks are essentially special powers which benefit the way you play. These range from starting each level with a gun or katana to bullets ricocheting from surfaces towards enemies, exploding into a storm of shuriken when damaged or even jumping on enemies’ heads to defeat them like some sort of Super Mario fever dream. With greater power, however, naturally comes greater enemies too, and Superhot: Mind Control Delete certainly brings the pain in this department.
The enemies in Superhot: Mind Control Delete are more fierce, better armed and greater in quantity than in its predecessor title. With a greater range of weapons on offer, including a lethal, high-calibre sniper rifle-style gun, carefully calculated movements and reading the room are critical in dispatching your opponents. This jump in challenge is presented within more complex and more open level designs than before, each with given themes and with objects and weapons scattered around them; to both your enemies’ and your own advantage… Using the space around you is crucial to your survival and success on any level. Knowing when to throw a bottle, paintbrush or brain as a momentary distraction can be a life or death calculation, whilst keeping your adversaries from obtaining the map’s best weapons can make or break your run.
Everything which unfolded in each and every stage throughout this new Superhot story feels powerfully thought out and intimidatingly open. Prediction becomes easier as the game goes on of course, but just as you feel you are figuring it out, yet more spanners (both literal and figurative) are thrown in the works. Alongside the aforementioned basic hacks, which are distributed to you throughout runs of levels to aid your chances, new Core hacks are also in play to change up each run as a whole. These are more powerful, offering benefits such as additional life, a magically returning katana and the ability to exchange bodies with your opponents. With each, however, comes a powerful and corrupted enemy to pursue you.
Unkillable and deadly, these enemies take different forms to your standard foes; a hound, a sword-wielder and a creature who twists the dimensions. These unique souls breathe a sense of fear into Superhot. You have been pursued before, but never before like this. The game grows increasingly intense as a result of their arrival, and the balance between avoiding these enemies whilst defeating the others is a difficult one to strike indeed.
WARNING – MIND CONTROL DELETE STORY SPOILERS FOLLOW!
Finally overcoming these boss-like characters is one of the ultimate goals in Mind Control Delete, but doing so requires you to let go of the strengths you have accumulated throughout the game. Do this, and you are faced with one final run of levels, longer and more challenging than before, armed with nothing but your honed Superhot wits and two lives to spare. This run will be repeated more than any other, but it’s completion does feel like a victory you have earned. Following this, however, comes the game’s strangest (and most reported) feature…
If you “complete” Superhot: Mind Control Delete, you essentially “delete” the Superhot program which has tormented your character through repeated run after repeated run. Before you can play any more of the game, you are then forced to reload it, in real time, by leaving the game open for several hours. It is a strange time and energy consuming aspect of Superhot included by the developers, and one which has been met with some early backlash. Alas, the wait sadly does not merit much reward, and as a conclusion to an otherwise well-balanced game it seems like an anticlimactic, and even frustrating outcome.
NOTE – THE SPOILERS ARE OVER 🙂
In conclusion, you already won. Why are you playing? It’s time to quit. At least, that’s what Superhot would want me to say… In reality, Mind Control Delete is truly a perfect, albeit challenging, continuation of the deep, enticing, and puzzling story of Superhot. Mechanically, the game is a fantastic advancement of its predecessor with well thought out thematic additions and a difficulty scaling which suits returning players well. The game is larger and longer than before, and very much rewards players who felt hooked by the original. The only real disappointment was mentioned in the spoilers above, but on the whole this is an experience well worth having for Superhot fans. As I said at the very start of this review, though, if you haven’t played the first game you should not play this one.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is now available on Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, Mac, Origin, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One! While this fully-featured, standalone game can be purchased for £19.99.
This review is based on the PC version of the game.
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Superhot: Mind Control
The long-awaited third game in the groundbreaking SUPERHOT franchise - MIND CONTROL DELETE gives you more insight into the world of SUPERHOT, more story, more signature gameplay. Keep dancing the slow-motion ballet of destruction for so much longer than ever before.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 19.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut