Shadwen is a stealth game trapped in adolescence

Playing a stealth game is like dancing. Or, more accurately, it’s like the evolution of how you approach dancing over the course of your life. Starting out, you’re a junior high pubescent: every move is a little awkward and the rules of appropriate conduct somehow seem both unclear and inviolate. You accidentally put your body in the wrong place and a whole goddamn army of humiliation descends upon you. Then the game progresses, and you’re in high school: you’re starting to get the hang of things, in terms of physically navigating the environment but also in appreciating that while there are…


A classic arcade game gets the SUPERHOT treatment

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. PUSER TOH (PC, Mac, Linux) SOS SOSOWSKI With the arrival of the Polish-made first-person shooter SUPERHOT, fellow Polish game creator Sos Sosowski decided to make a small tribute to the game’s “time only moves when you move” concept. But rather than make another shooter, Sosowski applied the principal to classic videogame Pong (1972), making for a surprisingly fresh result. In PUSER TOH (an anagram), moving your paddle up and down the screen causes the ball to speed up, while keeping it stationary results in the ball travelling very slowly. It…


SUPERHOT turns the shooter into a power ballad

Nothing happens without the player’s say-so in SUPERHOT. Their avatar—represented only by a pair of black, jagged-polygonal hands and a gun—is in complete control of the world. Enemies depicted by shimmering red silhouettes run into gauzy, white-washed rooms, ready to fight. Their figures and the black of bullets and nearby weapons stick out like exclamation marks. But nothing moves. Despite the action of every level’s opening, the impending violence hangs suspended in the air until the player is ready for it to begin. The enemies form a tableau that moves as slowly as cold molasses, only speeding up when the…


SUPERHOT is so close it’s burning our skin

The wait for SUPERHOT is over. Almost. With a newly announced release date of February 25th, the high-contrast, low-poly fever dreams of the Poland-based Superhot Team are only a few weeks away. A teaser trailer that accompanied the announcement shows these highly-stylized bullet hallucinations in action. While the “time only moves when you do” mechanic gives SUPERHOT the complexion of a puzzle game, it’s the frenzied, John Woo-inspired combat that’s center stage in the new trailer. But behind the brief and seamless action of this last look before launch lies a longer road to development. What was originally born of a…

SUPERHOT screenshot2

SUPERHOT and the unique temporality of videogames

When the Wachowskis transported bullet-time over from Hong Kong cinema to The Matrix (1999), mainstream western audiences were wowed. This was the beginning of something new for action cinema, the ability for the camera to pivot around action, playing a moment from a multiplicity of angles that stunned and awed in equal measure. The camera was unhinged from static points, instead echoing the orbital movement of a clock or pendulum. In the years following, slow-mo sequences in games misguidedly attempted to convert what was so fascinating about that spectacle into something the player could experience. Instead, it only introduced the…


SUPERHOT teases something scary in new screenshot

SUPERHOT is getting an official release date soon, according to its latest update, but until then, the team has some screenshots and gifs from the upcoming space-time-shooter to share. One in particular seems to tease something eerie: the silhouette of a writhing, dragon-like creature cast down from a skylight onto the tiled room below. Anyone who’s seen footage of the SUPERHOT beta from a few months back is aware of the game’s trippier aspects, regarding things like sinister .exe files and secret groups. The original prototype for 7DFPS had hints of an underlying narrative within its super stylish core, but it certainly dives much…


New SUPERHOT trailer is quite literally off the chain

Artistic violence is so in right now. Particularly for those who gazed upon the dirtied, bloodied face of Mad Max and found themselves thinking “Ooooo preeeetty!” instead of “Yuck! Death and destruction!” you can practically hear the sharp edge dividing the air.  The latest SUPERHOT trailer comes at an opportune moment, then, while people are still happily riding this beautiful wave of bloodshed. SUPERHOT is—and always has been—the little first-person shooter jam game that could. After the free jam build went viral two years ago, the team behind this The Matrix-esque simulator took to Kickstarter and raised a whopping $250,000…


SUPERHOT shoot-dodging its way to Xbox One

Superhot is both the Matrix videogame we’ve dreamt of (naturally, whilst cradled in our biomechanical nutrient pods) and the best argument yet for the Oculus Rift. Meditative may be a stretch. Superhot is a pensive shooter. It slows you down. Like For Each Our Roads of Winter, Superhot invites you to take a moment, breath, and consider. It is not just running and gunning but doing so with the clarity of a Piet Mondrian painting. Its stark colors and minimalist architecture have certainly got us anxious to get our hands on it. Oh…and the katana. Now it’s poised to bring its time-bending gospel…