(SUPERHOT Team for PS4)
By Mike Delano
As time goes on, the tools for game development become more accessible to creators outside of the big publishers. This influx in game development has produced a slew of great retro-focused titles — with so many of the barriers to releasing a game now removed, every classic genre has been resurrected and iterated on many times. Side-scrolling brawlers, point-and-click adventures, Metroidvanias — there is almost no nostalgic itch that hasn’t been scratched by this new wave of creators. Games that seek to innovate and try new ideas, rather than polishing old ones, are harder to find, but one such is example is 2016’s PC hit Superhot. Now available for PS4, the conceit of this sharply polygonal, herky-jerky world is that time only moves when you move. That tweak to the formula transforms what would be a rudimentary first person shooter into a fascinating puzzle experience. Rather than run headfirst into a firefight, you’ll think multiple steps ahead and carefully consider where your enemies will intersect with the trajectory of your bullet. You’ll expend the time necessary to hurl a billiard ball at an armed bartender in the hopes that you’ll still have time to slo-mo dodge the shotgun spray he’s sending your way. Each of the scenarios are framed with cryptic clues to an overarching narrative, but really, it’s the moment-to-moment gameplay that’s most memorable. Trust me, being stuck in a gun battle and thinking of things like time, space and geometry — rather than the usual circle strafing or stop ‘n’ pop headshots — produces a nice tingling sensation in your brain.