Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Postby Trapperkeeper » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:16 pm UTC

This just released on Steam and I am amazed by it. Where to start describing it...? It's a FPS puzzle game, where time is frozen and only advances when you move or perform an action. The backstory is told through an old school DOS command prompt chat and other programs. You appear to have hacked into or gotten access to a program that you shouldn't have and it eventually seems to be taking over your thoughts/actions. Quite a trip.. very Matrix went down the rabbit hole.

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Postby DaBigCheez » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:20 am UTC

The good: The central mechanic is pretty neat, making it a non-twitch-based FPS which plays out, as mentioned, a lot more like a puzzle game than like a traditional shooter. It's engaging in both thought and action, as there's a lot of "you moved like they do" bullet-dodging antics going on, along with a heavy focus on improvising and scavenging weapons (grab a glass, throw it in an assailant's face, grab his gun away, shoot two more, throw the empty gun away, duck behind a corner and grab a bat...) that keep it flowing smoothly instead of devolving into an extended turret section with micrododging once you get a good weapon.

The bad: There are some problems, though. The framing device (with the DOS prompt and whatnot) felt like it was just being too ham-handed with the fourth-wall breaking, in ultimately fairly predictable ways once you saw what it was going for, and pretty much amounted to the game just loudly proclaiming "Look at me! I'm so clever and meta!" This wouldn't really warrant more than a momentary eyeroll, though, if it wasn't so *intrusive* - it felt like it was actively *getting in the way of* the rather good central gameplay mechanic noted earlier, and ultimately wound up feeling more frustrating than inspiring. This is worsened by the fact that it persists after you complete the (rather short) story, and things such as loud, screen-filling static between each stage, the monotonous drone of the voice after each stage, etc. never go away, and just start to feel annoying in a hurry. Not including the very stark graphical aesthetic during gameplay in here, but that's gonna be very hit-or-miss depending on your own preferences, I suspect.

The ugly: It seems like a game so heavily focused on slowing down and manipulating time would have, as a substantial focus, looking back on what you did in real-time and looking at how awesome you did. Like Super Meat Boy, or Super Time Force Ultra. (Perhaps not a coincidence that SUPERHOT, like those two, has "Super" at the start of its name...?) And, in fact, it *does* - at the end of every stage, it goes through a real-time replay, with the option to edit, save, and upload it to show off your awesomeness. Except...the replays just don't look good. At full speed, the bullets still look super slow, your movements look choppy and halting, the camera swivelling is a downright bizarre mixture of smooth and jerky due to its interaction with the time flowrate, and the movement still feels extremely slow. So the replays just look...uninspiring and disjointed. Kind of a disappointment, given how cleverly badass you feel after completing a tough stage.
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Postby Koa » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:36 am UTC

I've been looking forward to this, had to get it immediately. It's fun, but incredibly short. I finished it in about an hour and a half. Only three guns, simple maps, I was a little disappointed... until I played the challenges. Even though they're simple and zero effort, I really enjoyed the challenges.

At first I thought this was a cool move, but then I realized it wasn't that cool, because I could have hopped half way down the corridor before they started firing at me, and then cut any bullets that came my direction. So it seemed much less like a puzzle game than it is an action FPS, and I started to play it like an action FPS and worked on my tactics. By the time I was doing the last few challenges, I was running circles around the game, which has been a lot of fun.

Two tips. Jump a lot, and hold space so that time is moving at a nice middling speed. You can dodge bullets with your midair control. I think it's far more fun than the whole 'red light green light' tactic. Also, most actions (picking up a weapon) move time forward a little, so be sure to move at the same time as you click otherwise you'll be immobile during it.

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