SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is the next expansion in the SUPERHOT universe. It takes SUPERHOT’s slow motion combat to the next level with new types of enemies, new abilities, new unlockable minds… It basically expands on the original title in almost every way.

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE dumps you right back into the shitshow of chaos that is SUPERHOT’s slow-motion combat. That, of course, is the positive use of the word ‘shitshow’, because SUPERHOT is an exceptional game. It’s a first-person shooter with one key change to the genre’s mechanics. Time only moves when you move. It’s arguably one of the most strategic FPS titles out there, and it really does push you to your limit. Enemies are painted red, objects you can interact with are black, and everything else is white. 

The graphic styling doesn’t mean you cant explode heads…

The simple-sounding game mechanic is complemented by the simple design, but it works almost perfectly. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE doesn’t need complicated graphics to look incredible. It keeps the innovative gameplay from SUPERHOT and expands on it in the best way.

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE Is A Standalone Title, But It’s Also An Expansion

It’s a weird one, for sure. You feel like SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is an expansion to SUPERHOT. For starters, all SUPERHOT owners get SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE for free upon release. But it’s also available to play standalone, so which one is it? 

It looks pretty similar to the first one, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It also keeps the basic mechanic of the game the same. Again, this isn’t a bad thing at all. A lot of people thought it was just an expansion when it was announced, as my preliminary research showed. However, this is partly due to the language used by the SUPERHOT Team…

“Enter the minimalist, fabricated world of SUPERHOT once more in MIND CONTROL DELETE, a standalone expansion to the original SUPERHOT with new mind-bending mechanics and five times more content. Explore nooks and crannies of the System and forge the gameplay to your playstyle, unravelling new depths of SUPERHOT’s intoxicating slow motion combat.”


All of this left a strange feeling as I started to play SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. I haven’t finished SUPERHOT, so I don’t know whether I needed to have completed it going into this one. I understand there’s a conspiracy at work, and SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE promised to further expand on that. So… I took my chances. 

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE Doesn’t Make Figuring Out The Plot Simple

If you’ve played SUPERHOT, you know how confusing it is. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE isn’t exactly a sign-posted plotline. I can respect a mysterious storyline that doesn’t lay all the story beats out on the table, but SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is arguably too all over the place. Each level seamlessly plays into the next. Sometimes, when you die, you play the same combat situation again. Sometimes, you go onto another one. The line that dictates your failures and success in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is so concealed it might even be nonexistent.

This is what the level system looks like. Sometimes you’re halfway down, sometimes you’re at the top. You never really know.

Still, there is this screen that appears every so often which seems to suggest that you’re making progress. At each point it stops, a location-based word appears. Things like “Sewer” or “Bar”. These, however, don’t always directly relate to where you start. I think this plays into the SUPERHOT series’ thematic sense of being lost. You feel a little lost with the unclear level progressions, as I’ve just highlighted. However, it’s more than that. You are lost in technology, ultimately. The SUPERHOT series is a strange, oddly-layered conspiracy which blurs the lines between virtual reality and reality. In a way, it reminds me of Ender’s Game. I think, in parts, you are slow-motion killing people outside of SUPERHOT’s virtual world. However, again, this isn’t clear, as it all looks the same.

It is a poignant reflection on the current state of video gaming.

With graphics engines being pushed further and further to their limit, the line between reality and virtual reality is being blurred. It is beyond simple to falsify news and doctor images to suit your purposes, if we look further than the gaming industry. There are even cases where the virtual and the real are near non-distinguishable. Take the artist Miquela, for example. She is rising in popularity, with collaborations with those at the top of their game, yet she is a computer-generated person. Obviously, there is a team of people behind bringing her to life, but for all intents and purposes, she’s her own person. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE asks us to decide where the virtual reality ends and then proceeds to make it near-impossible to find out. 

I killed a man sat at a computer desk before… Who’s this?

Throughout the game, you are forced to submit to SUPERHOT in order to proceed. Not only does SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE comment on the merging of the virtual world and reality, but it also comments on our dependence on technology. Economically, gaming is growing. When you consider the entertainment value, they are both becoming more interactive and more like cinematic experiences. Third party entertainment, via esports and streaming, is also growing. As a society, we seem to be growing more and more involved and dependent on this industry. 

You have to wonder… Is this meant to be you?

Of course, this isn’t to suggest that anything will lead to SUPERHOT-levels of murder… It still makes you think. The subtext of SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE delves deep into human nature in relation to notions of compulsion and dependency. 

The Gameplay Is A John Wick Matrix John Woo Kill Fest

Anyway… Let’s talk about gameplay. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is really a one-of-a-kind experience here. You may already know the gimmick: time only moves when you move, so it’s weirdly strategic for a fast-paced FPS title. However, it still has a simple control scheme and is very easy to pick up. LMB is your main attack. If you’re holding a gun, this means you can shoot. If you’ve got a melee weapon, you swing it, and if it’s a throwable… You get the idea. You can also throw weapons with RMB. They don’t always break, too, so this can make way for some incredible action sequences. 

Ninja Stars? Ninja Stars.

One feature which would seem at home in a Max Payne  or John Woo title is bullet trails. With SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE being slow-mo heavy, it makes sense to include bullet trails. Not only this, but it often makes dodging ranged attacks fairly simple. When there’s only one, anyway. As you delve deeper into the Superhot Program, you come up against more and more combat scenarios that are weighted against you. This means more opponents and more bullets. When you have multiple enemies coming at you from all directions, attacking you at a variety of ranges…

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE can quickly get messy 

You often spawn weaponless. Each combat scenario starts with the challenge of picking what to grab first. In a game where each step counts as a second, these decisions have a lot more weight. There’s often something more-or-less in reach, and you soon learn what’s effective and what isn’t. For example, hypodermic needles are only good if you aim above the shoulders. Enemies can get stunned by items, but they’re still a threat until they’re dead. 

Fish aren’t as effective as a pipe, but they doesn’t mean they’re not a hilarious way to fight.

Thankfully, there’s usually enough things that you can throw until you grab something that’s more deadly. Pencils and darts are good in a pinch, and you can even kill an enemy with a fish if they’re weak enough. However, the most efficient weapons are… Well, weapons. Guns and things which you can swing. These conventional weapons are often dotted about, but it’s fun to get creative with every-day objects. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE sometimes offers a replay of the last level you complete, which you can save, if you pull off anything particularly exciting.

The Superhot Team Expand On What Made The First Game Great In The Best Way

The fact that the plotline is even less linear only throws you deeper into it. Similarly, the addition of new builds mean that you can get even more creative with your gameplay. I haven’t uncovered everything the game has to offer, but there is something for everyone. SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE has additional skills that you can learn throughout the game to make sure that you’re always finding new ways to tackle each situation. For example, if you’re still new to the game and find yourself struggling a bit… That’s okay! You start in a build that has three lives. It means you can still enjoy the seamlessness of the game’s combat without letting any little mistakes get in your way. Or, you can choose the node that gives you a Katana at the start of each level. Y’know, if you just want to slice-and-dice. 

Abilities are referred to as hacks, and offer a lot of variety.

These upgrades give SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE a strangely replayable title. There isn’t an endless variety of situations or weaponry, yet you can tackle each one in so many different ways. It’s described as a roguelite title, and I think that largely does it justice in this respect. You may not be able to play for hours upon end, but every time you go back to it you’ll have a different experience. I found it was a welcome break between stressful Warzone games or the emotional turmoil of The Last Of Us Part 2. It was therapeutic, in a way. The only thing you have to think about is killing the faceless red masses… 

Final Thoughts?

At the end of the day, I think that’s what SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE wants you to feel. We shouldn’t really feel relaxed while playing, but that’s what today’s society is used to. There is violence all around us, both in the virtual world and reality. We’ve become so desensitised to it all that we use virtual images of violence to escape the real ones. 


I found myself asking myself: Where does it all end? I don’t think SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE has the answer, nor does it suggest it might. Rather, it highlights the situation… Whether that’s a good thing, or not.

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I like writing about video games and drinking tea, but the kettle's boiling.