The Superhot demo’s understated visual elegance finds its highlight in one lone stretch of hallway with three enemies at the far end, gunfire rocketing towards you. The visual minimalism and your lack of weapons strip away the elements of a shooter game to its essence. Eschewing bombastic action, the demo coerces you to scramble for a handgun midway through the hall, dodging streams of bullets by ducking into tiny alcoves alongside the hallway like a stop/start game of dodgeball.
The Superhot demo unravels how we think about and experience a shooter videogame. As games like Star Wars: Battlefront or the Far Cry series become more disposable and flashy, prototypes like Superhot emphasize the gestural as grandiose. Big things like gunfights are rendered stagnant and minute, while small things like individual shots ring out like fireworks’ explosions. The noise of a gun slowed down as time dilates becomes an infinite thundercrack of deadly percussion. Because Superhot favors precision and careful movement over constant action, each of the few kills you perform carries considerable weight. In calling attention to the effort and lethality put into your struggles against a few individuals, Superhot upends the mindless, reflex nature of gameplay in most other shooter games.
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