Seven months on from its initial release and Superhot VR remains one of the industries greatest triumphs. So rare is it to see a game’s already-excellent concepts and mechanics so perfectly distilled into such a wildly untamed platform, but here was something that made it all look easy. Rarer still is the fact that the game transitions so well from PC VR down to PlayStation VR (PSVR), though it hasn’t survived the porting process unscathed.
The full experience has made its way over to Sony’s headset. Just like any other PC to PSVR port, that’s an achievement in itself, but Superhot especially benefits from being originally built for the Oculus Rift’s two-sensor setup. That means it’s largely a 180-degree experience, with a few fleeting exceptions, though there’s never anything that will ask you to turn on the spot and obscure your Move controllers from the camera.
You’ll need a precise setup to enjoy the game without tracking issues, though. Despite having a whole living room space to myself there were several times that I had to lean just a little too low to grab a weapon. In a game in which one hit means death it’s very frustrating to waste time scrambling for a gun, only for your hands to disappear, and if you recalibrate to accommodate ducking you’ll then struggle with the times that weapons fly over your head to catch too. Still, after adjusting my camera I had an ideal setup and only struggled with the occasional turn and the usual issue of aiming down the sights and PSVR getting confused with its tracking.
It does feel like the level design could have done with just a bit of tweaking to accommodate some of these issues, though. Not everyone has the luxury of space to play with; weapons could have been placed just a little higher up in some instances and maybe some enemies could have run into some more tracking-friendly spots. I also encountered a strange glitch that kept spawning me meters behind where the game wanted me to be; in the hub world I had to walk to the back of my living room, re-center the camera, and then walk forwards to get to the intended spot.
But let’s not just wallow in the predictable lows: it’s well worth celebrating the fact that Superhot VR can be played from start to finish on PSVR.
There really is something transcendently empowering to the game’s combat, in which enemies can only move as you move. There’s no better example of taking your own physicality into consideration in VR, as you’ll duck and weave through bullets and fists as if you were navigating a laser grid in a Mission: Impossible movie. Other VR action games often feel awkward when it comes to damage; the bullets and sword swings that come our way lack impact, and don’t really communicate how much hurt they’re dishing out. That couldn’t be further from the truth here, as every nearing bullet makes your eyes widen and your teeth grit as you carefully negotiate the safest passage through.
Visually the game’s lost some of its smooth minimalism in the PS4 port and enemies don’t burst with the same violent shards as they do on PC, but this remains one of VR’s most stylish games.
It is still remarkably short, though; I managed to run through the campaign for the second time in about 40 minutes, though admittedly I knew what was coming. Thankfully all of the content that came in free updates post-Oculus launch is here. I’d pay pretty much the same price again just for another hour’s worth of content, though.
So it’s pretty much business as usual; if you have access to a Rift or Vive, then you should absolutely be playing Superhot VR on one of those platforms. You could do a lot worse than this PSVR port, though, and it remains an utterly essential purchase for anyone with a headset.