SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete review — A hint of roguelike elevates this stylish FPS puzzler

Hack your mind

Superhot Mcd

I'm going to start this review with an admission. I wasn't a big fan of SUPERHOT. Though it made a hard-hitting entry into the shooter genre, I dallied but did not fall in love. I didn't connect with SUPERHOT in the way that I saw some other people connect with it and chalked it down to it being one of those games that "isn't for me."

But I get it now. Mind Control Delete was just what SUPERHOT needed to win over the fence-sitters like me. Given that it is a standalone game, you don't need to own the original SUPERHOT to play this DLC, but it helps as you can get it for free if you did buy it.

The core mechanics are still there: time moving when you do and fighting against fragile red glass men, and presented in the same style as the original with sterile white environments with the weak spots of the red guys being the only point of attention. But there is now ... more. More everything. More weapons, more levels, more enemies.

What you'll love about Mind Control Delete

The concept of More

Mind Control Delete delivers a new roguelike element, which allows you to hack your brain and upgrade yourself with better skills and perks like more health, starting with a random gun or healing. Dying comes with the price of starting your run from the beginning without your hardwon upgrades, and the levels get randomized, preventing you from becoming overly familiar with each stage. The glass guys spawn with a variety of weapons, which you can snatch from them and use against them in a delicious whirlwind of murder.

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DeveloperSUPERHOT Team
PublisherSUPERHOT Team
GenreFPS, Puzzle, Indie
PlatformsMicrosoft Windows, Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch TBA.

The pay-off is glorious, though. Particularly epic plays get auto captured by Xbox, or you might be rewarded with a full-speed replay of you entirely obliterating your enemies. Sometimes I even impressed myself with the fluidity of my kills. I'd sit back for a moment and bask in my god-like powers, only to end up dying on the next level, which put me back at the start, which I would eagerly dive into, thirsty for it.

There are different ways to play, which will appeal to people who like variety. You could opt to modify your run with an extra health heart, start with the ability to Charge your enemies from across the room and punch them in the head or the power to recall the katana that you've just thrown into someone's face from twenty feet away. It's exhilarating, and just thinking about it makes me want to put myself through all the agony and frustration again because it is truly rewarding in that way only games can be. The gameplay is addictive and challenging, as when you die, you don't have the option to restart from picking your base-line mod, you restart the run as-is. This awakened the competitive side of me, and it's very easy to tell yourself "just one more run" and still be sitting there an hour later. If you want to give up and restart a run, you have to select the No More button, which is the only option when you hit pause. This sly jab is a challenge against your honor as a gamer and pushed me back into the fray. If you loved SUPERHOT before, you might not want to put MCD down.


Source: SUPERHOT MCD (Image credit: Source: SUPERHOT MCD)

Careful node selection can lead to some epic character builds which feel deliciously overpowered. One of my favorite combos was to use the Charge skill with the hack to start with a katana. These together would enable you to rush forward and chop Mr. Red into pieces before he even had a chance to raise his weapon. Careful planning allows you to pull off epic attacks that feel more like a dance as you twist out of the path of a shotgun blast. Always having something in your hand is a valuable tip to keep in mind. Even if you run out of ammo, you can still throw your gun at someone, which then makes them drop theirs. Catch their flying gun out of midair and use it to shoot them in the guts. Not even Neo pulled off moves so smoothly.

What you might not like so much about Mind Control Delete


Source: SUPERHOT MCD (Image credit: Source: SUPERHOT MCD)

You get what you asked for...

Mind Control Delete can be a brutal game. It is deceptive. While all the things you love about SUPERHOT are still there, the game wants to mess with you. Coyly the game is drawing you in, with the trickle of more until it gushes all over you. You wanted more, so the game is giving it to you.

You unlock new abilities by hacking nodes, and you hack nodes by entering into multi-level stages. Along the way, you have a choice of how to begin your game, with a base modifier, and add power-up hacks every few levels. The powers you can gain are frankly ridiculous(ly awesome), but they also have to be given how hard the game is trying to kill you.

The powers you can gain are frankly ridiculous(ly awesome).

There are now enemies that you can't win against, stalking you to stop you from picking an advantageous area and forcing you out into the open, and more likely – into the line of fire. Or you could be up against a guy with a red arm, and the rest of him is invulnerable, forcing you to pick your shot carefully. However, you can miss picking up hacks if you don't fully explore every node. You will get more if you look for it, but you're expected to pay for some of them through trials.

The levels are also a bit repetitive, and there were some levels I looked forward to more than others. Oddly, the stage I found most stressful was one that I enjoyed the most – the Bar. This is because it's the only level where I noticed any music. The lack of tunes in the other levels made Mind Control Delete feel somewhat emptier and blander without it. There are ambient noises, such as the arcade machines playing a merry jingle, but it came off as distracting and annoying. The lack of music in some levels and more in others makes the game feel a bit off-balance at times. I wish there was either a consistent soundtrack throughout the game as it would have added depth in spaces where it felt shallow or no soundtrack at all to maintain the high level of eye-watering concentration throughout. The music in the game is good when you hear it, but it isn't often enough. But there we go – gamers always want more!

Should you get SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete?

If you loved the original SUPERHOT, you would most likely find plenty enough to love in MCD that will entirely reignite your love for it. If you don't enjoy roguelikes and how they play, you might not enjoy it so much. Mind Control Delete delivers a frustrating but brilliant experience, which reminder: you don't need the original game to play. This standalone DLC offers a small variety of different playstyles, so most people should be able to fall into a beautiful but deadly rhythm that suits the way they play.

Mind Control Delete is a new spin on the original SUPERHOT base game, throwing more stuff into the mix.

Mind Control Delete will cost you $20 of your finest shuriken on Xbox and PC, $25 on Playstation. It's will also available on the Nintendo Switch at some point to be announced in the future. For more games, we highly recommend, check out our list of best Xbox One games available today.

Lauren Relph

Lauren Relph is a games writer, focusing on Xbox. She doesn't like piña coladas but loves getting caught in the rain. Follow her on Twitter!