March’s Xbox One Games With Gold line-up contained Super Hot which is a first person shooter puzzle game. The game becomes a puzzle because time only passes as the player moves meaning bullets stop in mid air giving the player chance to dodge out of the way.
The main menu is a bit like a computer screen and it makes it clear that the game where you shoot red men for seemingly no reason is a simulation. The menu also contains the game Tree Dude which is quite fun on its own and would be good as a phone game plus there are other things that you might find on a computer.
There are a decent number of weapons for the player to use with fists, pistols, shotguns, katanas, automatic assault rifles and baseball bats alongside other things being in the game. The enemies are also using all of these so it becomes a challenge trying to dodge past the different firing patterns.
The combat doesn’t flow very well and can feel fragmented because of the time stopping. It went against my instincts as I wasn’t able to just shoot people one after the other as I wished but had to wait for my weapon to reset, this could be frustrating at times. The game also seemed too reliant on trial and error as well as pure blind luck for me to think of it as a puzzle game, nothing was set to happen in exactly the same way every time, the enemies moved based on what the player did (which is good AI) but they were never reliable in following a set path. I was really annoyed with it on one level because the player was supposed to die at one point. After playing far enough you get the ability to swap bodies with your enemies adding a new level of thought to the game.
However much the game seems like a red men shooting game there is a story in there told through messages in game. The game goes to borderline fourth wall breaks as you are a player, playing as a player who is playing the game. The quit button even becomes part of the game which was very clever. There’s a bit of stuff in there about gaming addiction and loss of free will which was building into an interesting plot but the game started to feel so unfair at one point that I wasn’t able to find out where the plot ended.
Overall the game has a good concept, fighting the player’s instincts and stopping time during gunfights. A decent plot seemed to be developing as well but the game was let down by being incredibly hard to predict and feeling more like a fragmented shooter than a well designed puzzle game. It is good that everything dies in one hit.
The art that I’m using as the featured image was found on the achievements section of the Xbox website. The red man is the enemy and he is being killed with a baseball bat, the background is white and this artwork does a pretty good job of showing what the game is about.