As much as the web continues becoming more and more robust and able, gaming in your browser is slowly doing the same thing. While we’ve yet to see a major studio debut a fully web-based 3D FPS (first person shooter) game completely online and in the browser, I feel like the day will come when we see that happen. With current browser abilities, we can already play very detailed, very enjoyable games like Bullet Force right in a browser tab (we have a playable embed right here on the site) and get a glimpse into what browser-based FPS gaming could look like one day.
Today, however, there are only a few titles out there that even look worth playing for any real amount of time and they frequently struggle to have a player base large enough to actually get matched up with. Contrast that with the multi-million player base of a game like PUBG Mobile and you can quickly see why people don’t really consider web-based games when they go to fire up their favorite FPS.
SuperHOT in the browser doesn’t fix that issue and isn’t looking to become the first game to be fully offered via the web. Instead, unbeknownst to me, when the game launched back in 2013, a web-based version was built as a teaser to the full game. Instead of downloading a trial or installing anything, you can simply head over to the SuperHOT website and click the Play Prototype menu item and be transported to the crazy, stark world of bullet-time, one-shot-one-kill, time-altered reality.
If you’ve never played it, I’d encourage you to give it a try. The premise is simple: time only moves when you do. Sit still and everything – even the bullets – comes to a complete halt. The game plays more like a puzzle than a regular shooter, and the targets are basic polygons rather than photo-realistic soldiers. Even so, the game is undeniably fun and addicting, and this web version captures all the intrigue of the full version without costing the player a dime or a kilobyte of disk space. Sure, its only a trial, but it is also a fantastic showcase for what games built for the web can look like.
It almost feels like we’re one solid release away from players realizing the real potential of web-based gaming. I imagine something like Call of Duty Mobile, which is a fantastic game on my phone, becoming available right on the web. I imagine being able to embed the game anywhere, play it anywhere, and never need to bother with a full installation. It can happen, but it will take a studio willing to really give it a try. No, we won’t get console-level graphics and scope on the web and fully-installed games will always be better, but smaller-scale games could be completely viable in a browser. When it does happen, it will be awesome.