Hyper Light Drifter is the latest major Kickstarter game to come out, and after the disaster that was Mighty No. 9, it is exciting to see that good games can still come out of the crowd funding scene, but Hyper Light Drifter is more than just a good game, it is a great one. I am very happy that I backed this title!
The game takes place in some sort of post apocalyptic future where there are still remnants of old advanced technology, but most of it no longer works, and the old buildings are now filled with monsters. Your character has some sort of strange illness, but he doesn’t let it deter him from fighting evil.
It is fairly obvious that the folks over at Heart Machine love Zelda. If you were to replace Hyper Light Drifter’s neon color pallet with Zelda’s signature earthy tones, you might be thinking you were playing a Zelda game from the Super Nintendo era. One where Link learned to dash forward real fast. The way they change things up is that they borrow the difficulty from games like Dark Souls. Thankfully death isn’t as penalizing as in the Dark Souls games, you usually just start again at the beginning of the room.
To progress through the game you will have to build strategies on how to defeat the different monsters you will face. Like should you hang back and use your gun? Or should you dash in and out taking a few quick swings each time. Hyper Light Drifter truly gets hard when it throws tons of different types of monsters at you, and it forces you to be able to use all those strategies at once. Though it does a good job of making you feel like you are getting better each time you try again. It is training you to get better. Not to mention as you go along you will unlock new abilities and powers, so you will not be doing the same thing over and over.
I am on paragraph five and I am just now getting to Hyper Light Drifter’s best feature, the way it looks. It is captivatingly gorgeous. I said before that it looked like a neon SNES Zelda, but that doesn’t do it justice. It might be the best looking game to come out this year. Everything is well done. The animations are top notch, they are fluid and smooth in a way that the old consoles that Hyper Light Drifter is paying homage to could never accomplish. The character and stage designs are amazing. The game is truly a work of art.
I am kind of gushing, but it is great to see a game come together like this. If you have $20 to spare it would be hard to find a better way to spend it than on Hyper Light Drifter, and better yet it is out on every major platform (not counting the Wii U of course), so you should have no excuse not to play it. I am having a blast with this game, and I think you will too.