Superhot: Mind Control Delete Review

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If this isn’t a simulation, that blood is on your hands.

You’ve been here before. In the quiet, white room surrounded by potential weapons and incoming enemies. Everything is strange, but you can still feel the cold of the steel when you pick up the sword, and the heat from the barrel of the gun you’ve just fired. Where are these people coming from and why, god why, do you crave their destruction? You’ve been here before. You won. But you came back for more and now, there’s no going back.

Superhot: Mind Control Delete is the third title in the series from the SUPERHOT team. This time around, things are hotter than ever. Not only is there more slow-motion, high-action combat, but there’s more world-building and more ways than ever to fight the incoming waves of enemies. Superhot: Mind Control Delete is very similar to its predecessors, but it massively improves upon the SUPERHOT formula.

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Superhot: Mind Control Delete is very similar to its predecessor, but it massively improves upon the SUPERHOT formula”

Like the SUPERHOT games that came before it, in Superhot: Mind Control Delete you play as a nameless protagonist who controls the environment around them in a very unique way; time only moves when they move. Take two steps forward to pick up a frying pan, and the nearby enemy will take two steps towards you, attempting to hit you with their weapon. If it sounds simple, you’re wrong.

While this creative mechanic is easy enough to pick up, it can take a while to master. You’ve got to have eyes on the back of your head, so to speak, in order to keep track of where enemies are coming from. In a matter of seconds, you need to gauge whether or not you’ll have enough time to reach the weapon you need on the other side of the room; if you’ll be able to dodge incoming gun fire on your way there; and if there are any other threats you might have missed. It’s difficult to explain what makes the premise so brilliant, but after playing a SUPERHOT game for just five minutes you’ll be pulled into its universe and falling head over heels.

“To master whatever Mind Control Delete throws at you, you’ll need to become a master of strategy”

Mind Control Delete gives players more to enjoy in just about every way. The first SUPERHOT was rather short, taking around two and a half hours to beat. Veterans will finish Mind Control Delete in probably double that, and newcomers may take even longer, depending on how many times they have to go back and try levels again.

What’s unique specifically to Superhot: Mind Control Delete is that its levels have an element of randomness to them. While you might have to go back and repeat a level, enemies and weapons will spawn in different places each time. It means that even if you’ve played the same level three times, each time will be different. One time I spawned into a level with enemies in front and behind me; it was impossible to make it out alive. But the next time, my character spawned above them, giving me much more of an advantage. To master whatever Mind Control Delete throws at you, you’ll need to become a master of strategy.

If more action-packed gameplay isn’t enough for you, Superhot: Mind Control Delete also gives players more of a glimpse into the universe of the game. The first time you play, you’ll complete a few levels and the credits will roll after only about 20 minutes. While you might be confused, you can request “more” and a mysterious person will grant your wish. As you progress, you’ll encounter this person again, along with others, all wondering why you want to continue when you’ve already won the game. Still, you’ll keep requesting “more”, and you’ll be granted access to more levels and more challenges.

While Superhot: Mind Control Delete‘s narrative isn’t obvious or cut and dry, it’s certainly intriguing. It’s presented in such a way that gives players the opportunity to make up their own theories as to why they’re participating in this simulation, and who the people on the other side of the screen really are.

“Back in 2016, SUPERHOT really was the most innovative shooter we’d played in years, and four years on, the series is still as exciting as ever”

As you play, there are also ways for you to upgrade your character. When you get into the nitty-gritty of the game you’ll be able to choose which levels you head into by travelling on a map. In between each main level on the map are places where you can grab an upgrade for yourself. The first upgrade I received was Charge, which allows me to charge at an enemy, essentially quickly skipping forward towards them without moving time forward, and hitting them to take them down.

There are also random temporary upgrades that you’ll be rewarded with after completing a level; be it extra health, a random gun, or releasing exploding shurikens when you die. The upgrades definitely provide the player a welcome advantage, but not so much that the levels feel easy. You’ll still have to strategise and choose your moves carefully to come out on top.

Superhot: Mind Control Delete also introduces new special foes to defeat. Some of your enemies won’t be fully red, instead only having a specific body part that’s red. That means you can’t shoot them just anywhere; you have to aim for a red head, or a red leg, to kill them. You’ll also find that some weapons are red so you won’t be able to steal them from the enemy when they’re downed; they’ll shatter along with them. They’re fairly simple changes, but it’s enough to make the gameplay feel fresh and interesting.

In the end, Superhot: Mind Control Delete is simply an amazing title. Back in 2016, SUPERHOT really was the most innovative shooter we’d played in years, and four years on, the series is still as exciting as ever. With new levels, cool weapons, more creative settings and excellent sound design and music, there’s nothing quite like it. Superhot: Mind Control Delete is what fans of the original have been waiting for – and it more than delivers. Pick it up now; play more, win more and uncover the secrets waiting for you.

Superhot: Mind Control Delete is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. We reviewed the game on Xbox One S with a code provided by the publisher.