There were many scenes in the original Matrix film that became “Wow” moments. But one specific scene towards the end was for me the standout, yes you had the “I know Kung Fu” fight scene, you had the walk walking lobby gun fight but the scene where Neo bends backwards in slow-motion while bullets drift passed followed by their air trails just blew me away. Bullet time as it’s now called was the coolest movie effect ever and being able to be Neo and dodge bullets while casually watching them pass you by was something I wanted to experience but obviously realised I would never get the chance. 18 years later and arriving on PSVR is Superhot VR, a game that has just made that experience a reality and it certainly does not disappoint.
Superhot VR is a simple game and in my honest opinion needs to be a title played by every PSVR owner, there is a non-VR version but I haven’t taken the opportunity to try that and probably never will as like Resident Evil 7 once you’ve played the VR version there’s just no comparison. Visually it is a clean and crisp presentation with a very limited colour palette sharing a familiar look and feel to the Mirrors Edge game’s. Your environment is an off-white shade but every detail is clearly visible, your enemies are a bright tone of red with a diamond like effect with weapons a dark black, and apart from a red bullet trail that’s it for colour.
Two move controllers are the only way to play the VR version but to be honest this is the only option I would recommend to really get that Matrix feel, (The Non-VR version is played with the Dualshock4). Using just the T button and Move button to clench your fist, pick up and throw items or squeeze off some bullets from the various guns offered up during its playtime is as simple as it gets. The game begins in the training section and believe me you will need it – starting with a simple fist fight and progressively moving on to guns, knives and even Ninja throwing star’s. It’s here your taught the basics of “Interactive bullet time” as I am calling it preparing you for the physical onslaught you will get from the main game.
The story in Superhot VR is something you will really pay little attention too as your just in ore of what the developers has managed to create, and to achieve that “Matrix Bullet time feel” the Superhot developers have implemented a game mechanic that can only be described as mesmerising in motion. Your enemies only move when you do, so move slowly and you can watch your enemy’s stance and attack pattern play out in super slow motion giving you the upper hand in countering, move fast and your soon swarmed by attackers from all sides throwing right hooks, knives and watching bullet trails zip passed your face (or into it dependant on your flexibility and awareness).
And it’s here the game really allows you to live out that Neo fantasy (if that was something you had) as all enemy movements are clearly defined and there speed of attack are control by you the player so before long you find yourself dodging or ducking those right hooks, swiping those incoming knives aside with a well-timed smack and literally bending over backwards to avoid the bullets, sometimes even holding a very uncomfortable position just long enough to watch it whiz passed your face in slow-motion followed by it’s bright red “nearly got you ” trail.
In the later levels, you can find yourself contorting into such unnatural positions any self-respecting demon would be proud to acknowledge. Then added are little touches of John Woo type coolness (another movie comparison so if you haven’t seen Hard Boiled then I can highly recommend it) – enemies when shot or hit by thrown projectiles are very generous in sending over their weapon/s in your general direction where you can grab it mid-flight and use instantly on the rest of the oncoming attacker’s.
Dodge and weave enough and your enemies get close enabling you to grab it directly from their hands thus turning the roles around from attacked to attacking. After all of this slow motion dodging and weaving you will remove your PSVR headset and realise your half way across the room and pouring with sweat, so be prepared to set up a decent play space with all breakables well out of reach as you will without knowing move vast distances throwing your arms everywhere and probably shed those annoying few pounds too.
Game time is varied dependant on your skill level so I really can’t comment but there is a lot of dying and restarting back at the beginning of each level which can become a little frustrating at times but the joy you get from playing this game well out weighs this minor negative.
Out of all the VR games I have played and reviewed this is by far my favourite (obviously RE7 not included) and I am happy to give it a 100% recommendation to all VR owners. As I said previous I haven’t ventured into the standard PS4 version but I do believe it has been well reviewed and scored.
Which leads me to my score, I admit it may be a little biased as I am a massive Matrix and John Woo fan and the game developers must have drawn influence from both but I feel Superhot VR deserves to be played by everyone, if not for the cool feeling it leaves you with but just to prove to the doubter’s that VR may still be in its infancy but it is starting to produce mind bending virtual reality gems like this, and demonstrates the future of VR gaming is growing rapidly and in a positive direction. By far the easiest game I have ever had to review and a well-deserved…
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.