The main game is presented like a virtual reality simulation with red voxel humanoids as enemies, and white rooms and white objects. Outside the gameplay, you are chatting on a computer on a DOS-style interface. Your “friend” sends you an exe file of the game Superhot. These sections generally have a creepy atmosphere, and the story is very meta. There’s a lack of music, so you mainly hear the hissing and beeps of the computer.
The gameplay is a First Person Shooter in small areas. Time moves extremely slowly, but moves at normal speed when you move. It’s like playing in “bullet time” and (to some degree) allows you to think and plan out successive maneuvers.
All the weapons have very limited ammo and there’s no reloading (although there’s basically a cooldown until you can fire again), so you often shoot a few bullets, throw your weapon (this can stun enemies and make them drop theirs), pick up another weapon, repeat. When enemies drop weapons, you can catch them mid-air. You mainly use pistols, but there’s a shotgun, assault rifle, baseball bat and katana sword. Plus there’s many objects you can pick up as stunning weapons. If you are unarmed, you can punch and defeat enemies with a few blows.
Bullets take some time to travel, so you need to lead your targets in order to hit them. You often need to keep moving and ensure you side-step enemy’s bullets. Both you and your enemies can only take 1 bullet. Enemies shatter in a nice effect. When you die, you fall and the world sometimes goes distorted, then you can quickly retry the level. Bullets can collide in the air, and you can destroy weapons by shooting them.
Some levels are based in enclosed spaces like where you take out a few enemies in an elevator, then the doors open for the last few. Another sees you dropping from a train roof, taking out a few enemies, and turning around to quickly take out some more.
The fast-paced action reminds me of Hotline Miami, and when you fail, you can learn the enemy patterns to choose a better strategy. I actually found the majority of levels were easy and I completed them on the first try. There were some levels where I’d make a mistake and complete it on my second or third try. A few levels took me maybe 10 times. These levels were probably the most interesting ones with less scope for errors. There were definitely levels where I made mistakes but still completed them; basically I’m saying the game is mainly too easy. It's a problem when the game only lasts around 2.5 hours. When you complete the game, you unlock an Endless Mode, and some Challenges.
In later levels, you gain an ability to swap to an enemy's body. It’s an interesting idea, but maybe it makes the game easier.
When you complete a level, you see a replay, but it is obscured by the alternating words in large font “Super” and “Hot” with an annoying voice over that reads the words repeatedly. It gets tiresome after the first couple of levels; but watching a replay is a good idea.
You generally play a few levels before getting more chat dialogue or scenes. I felt a lot of these conversations dragged the pace of the game down, given that you could have whizzed through the previous levels in a few minutes, then have to read more text. I’ve seen similar stories in games like Pony Island so it didn’t really interest me.
It’s quite a unique gameplay style, but it’s an obvious idea really. I wish there were more levels; some longer, more challenging levels; and fewer interruptions with the story. What’s here is really fun and stylish; but it’s just too brief.