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Superhot VR, one of the most visually and conceptually interesting titles for virtual reality platforms, has been review-bombed on Steam after the developer took out scenes that could have caused distress to players.
If you've never seen this game before, let me give you a quick introduction. It's a first-person shooter with simplistic yet effective visuals where the surroundings are painted in white and grey while enemies are red and weapons are black. In Superhot, the player must eliminate all of the enemies in the level in order to progress to the next level. Straightforward, right? Well, consider the wrinkle that time only moves at normal speed when the player moves. More specifically, the whole situation plays at an extremely slow speed to let the player survey what's coming towards them and get the upper hand on the opponents. Oh, and it's a one-hit kill system so you'll have to start over as soon as you get got.
So, grabbing a gun as it clatters out of an assailant's hands, using it to shatter two baddies, while swerving out of the way of a baseball bat and leaping into the air to hit the enemy hiding behind the bar... makes you feel like a regular John Wick. Following the success of the game, developer Superhot Team released a VR version and a roguelike version titled Superhot: Mind Control Delete. However, the experience of being strapped into a game in virtual reality is a different kettle of fish, and the scenes in Superhot where the playable protagonist harms themselves could trigger an upsetting emotion in someone in the VR version due to the new level of immersion and proximity to the simulated danger.
That's why Superhot Team decided to take these scenes out of the game. There was already a "skip disturbing scenes" switch for Superhot VR, but it's possible that a player might not stumble upon this if they started the game without checking the settings. "Considering [the] sensitive time we're living in, we can do better than that. You deserve better," explained the developer in a post about update 18.104.22.168 on the game's Steam listing. "All scenes alluding to self harm are now completely removed from the game. These scenes have no place in superhot virtual reality. We regret it took us so long."
Looking at the reviews for the game on the digital storefront, about 600 negative reviews have been submitted in the last week. Steam has hidden the recent negative reviews as it considers them to be "off-topic," but the majority of the disgruntled players are accusing Superhot Team of acquiescing to "snowflakes." Others have said that these scenes were "integral to the game's story" and their omission now affects the gravitas of the ending. At the time of writing, the developer has not responded to the review-bombing.