I’m really tempted to just write SUPER—HOT—SUPER—HOT—SUPER—HOT for 300 words, but I’ll spare you the lame reference to the titular title at #9.
Superhot matters because its designers saw a novel idea in a genre (FPSs) that’s remained largely unevolved for years now. The time-only-moves-when-you-move mechanic lets you play out your very own action movie sequence with the cognitive satisfaction derived from solving puzzles. As a bonus, watching polygonal mannequins shatter into smoldering glass shards in the game’s sped up replays is one of 2016’s greatest pleasures. Not only did the devs reminds us that fresh ideas are still possible in a mechanically stagnant genre, they somehow gave what amounts to a game-jam idea enough legs to carry a whole game.
You can make a good argument that what games do best are verbs. And you don’t need to look much further than Superhot for proof. Run, dodge, shoot, slash and punch can all be enacted with the immersive intensity video game’s excel at. Combine these core mechanics with a style and story that serve to compliment the action instead of bog it down and you have a perfect marriage of form and content. Superhot may not be the absolute best game of the year, but it’s certainly the most stylish and “the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years.”