• FuchsdhFuchsdh451,347
    24 Aug 2020
    10 3 0
    AKA "Once More, With Hacks"

    The original Superhot is perhaps the most innovative shooter of the last ten years. It set up a very simple premise—what if you took a regular shooter game, and then added the mechanic that time moves only when you do? This deceptively simple tweak created a brilliant flow of tactical movements chained together in John Woo-style realtime replays.

    Superhot has a nearly-4 star average review on TA, so it clearly resonated with a lot of people, but I'll admit I've soured on it a bit. The Super! HOT! mechanic wore thin from repetition and a set of challenges that padded out the completion time and just proved more frustrating than fun.

    Superhot: Mind Control Delete serves as more an iteration on the original than a true sequel, but the combination of new wrinkles on the formula plus a reduced completion time/frustration threshold equates to a stronger game.

    The basic formula remains the same this time around, though you no longer have to clear every enemy from a stage, which increases the intensity of each stage. You now have health, so a single mistake won't wipe you out. Most crucially, you can modify your capabilities with "cores" and "hacks". The result is a much more flexible way to approach many of the stages based on how you build your character for each "node" of stages. Do you want to hot switch between enemies, building the ability to chain from enemy to enemy? Do you build around the charge ability, allowing you to rapidly close the distance to enemies and smack them in the face? As you proceed through the node you can accumulate hacks to allow you to ricochet bullets from enemy to enemy, throw items that explode on impact, or reduce your cool downs or regenerate health. The result is that despite only a handful of procedural stages, the game feels much fresher. The game also adds a few extra wrinkles in the enemies, with some that can't be disarmed, others that only have small vulnerable spots, and some specials that use cores and must be evaded instead of killed.

    Though the game starts trending back towards repetition for the last third (there's only so many stages, so many weapons, and most of the nodes don't last long enough to allow you to create an unstoppable character against huge odds) it manages to not overstay its welcome. If you liked Superhot, you should like Mind Control Delete more.