SUPERHOT
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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…

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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…

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Merrily Perily is a comedy of errors about poison and pooping yourself

There’s a certain type of prank prevalent on YouTube where the prankster dribbles hot sauce onto a friend’s food and also into their drink, so that once they eat the food and realize the predicament they’re now in, reaching for their drink will only make things worse.Merrily Perily takes that prank and stretches it out into an entire game. The game casts the player as Perry, a man who wanders into a village suffering from dehydration. You ask all the villagers for help, but for some reason, they’re all extremely standoffish and seem dedicated only to wasting your time. With…

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When a ten-second journey through the apocalypse feels like a lifetime

If you’ve ever fallen before, you know firsthand that time is relative. You could be looking at your watch one minute—the second hand ticking onward in steady calculation—and then, in the next, you could be bending time and space as your limbs fly through the air. When you lose control of your body, the wind blowing back your hair as your rush to meet the floor, you begin to question the certainty of that clock’s hand. Falling shouldn’t take more than a couple seconds, right? After all, your buddy gravity is there to ensure it ends quickly and painfully. you…