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Hyper Light Drifter

Developer / Publisher: Heart Machine
31 March 2016
Hyper Light Drifter - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.70 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
722 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#651 All-time
#23 for 2016
Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies.
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I can't think of too many games as polarizing as Hyper Light Drifter. On one hand, the combat mechanics feel satisfying and the pixel graphics are usually great. It makes the moment-by-moment with standard enemies pretty fun to play and visually interesting. The mistakes on the other hand are large enough to eventually not recommend this game to others.

The gameplay quickly becomes unfun and the story never becomes interesting. Players must think "let's just get this over with and maybe it'll end" rather than "I can't wait to see what's next". The vague, wordless story has zero positives. It's like peeling back an onion hoping the center has something worthwhile and still finding nothing. The fighting/platforming becomes joyless due to cheap enemy density and confusing jumps. Hidden rooms are ungodly frustrating to discover with little pay-off. The overworld map is hilariously inaccurate and constantly gets the player lost. The difficulty is steep but more importantly it's jarringly uneven. Beat one temple in slow, painful fashion and you'll realize unexplored areas completely out of your direction contain beginner-level areas. Now you have a few hours of tedious combat ahead of you. What in the world is the point to all this cheap frustration? A litmus test to this aggregate frustration is how little I cared during the ending and beating the game. I felt nothing, zero interest, investment, or closure. What am I even doing in this game.

I'm glad someone took elements of Zelda and made the combat faster. I'm not happy to see the rest of their game decisions hurt what could've been a great game. Another game developer played Dark Souls and learned the wrong lessons.

TL;DR: Someone great built satisfying hack-n-slash gameplay. Someone bad built everything else.
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This was an impulse buy for me and it should be one for you too. I'm only 4 hours in but I've already seen some of the most beautiful artwork, funnest action sequences and incredible atmosphere I've ever experienced in games. From the start, the set pieces will floor you (I strongly suggest you don't spoil yourself beforehand). And from the start, this game will challenge you. I'm not good at games but the perfect learning curve and pacing of difficulty in Hyper Light Drifter will not only mean that you are always fighting to continue, but also that you are always confident in yourself. Finally winning my first boss fight is already one of my most memorable experiences in gaming.

If the length of a game might hold you back from making an impulse purchase, I can say after 3 hours I had beaten a quarter of what I know of the map - I'll estimate a 10 hour experience.

If I will criticize anything (because you must criticize something) the platforming can be confusing - I'm often not sure what is foreground or background - and, though the music is an integral and fulfilling part of the game, I haven't heard any memorable tunes yet. You'll probably come across these two things too, but they certainly weren't enough to spoil the experience. So, if you're going to impulse buy anything, buy what will be the probably end up being the best indie game of the year - and go in blind!
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one of the aesthetically most fully realized games
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yoitu 2023-10-04T13:50:41Z
2023-10-04T13:50:41Z
›80%
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BB#3
Sci-fi action-adventure, pixel-art, metroidvania
Pc

Engaging and demanding combat system, beautiful atmosphere and setting

BUT

the 2D nature of this game will make the exploration a bit harder (= you'll probably miss secrets BECAUSE OF the art-style and colour saturation).
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BBozeman 2021-11-30T15:03:33Z
2021-11-30T15:03:33Z
4.0
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A perfect blend of story telling through the environment, sound track, and gameplay. Visually and sonically beautiful, tense and demanding gameplay that isn't annoyingly punishing, and with a decent amount of variation between how each zone looks and plays.
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Pinks 2021-09-19T18:56:01Z
2021-09-19T18:56:01Z
98
2
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Best art in a game, best top down combat in a game. It's all very very good stuff.
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headsoftyphon 2021-08-10T18:49:31Z
2021-08-10T18:49:31Z
5.0
1
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Catalog

DarK_RaideR Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-17T15:12:44Z
2024-04-17T15:12:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thepardunk Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-16T18:24:32Z
2024-04-16T18:24:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Hvlk Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-11T08:45:59Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-04-11T08:45:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Epic Steam
Walecro Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-08T14:47:23Z
2024-04-08T14:47:23Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
guadalupedeath Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-07T10:06:32Z
2024-04-07T10:06:32Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
musicthemochi Hyper Light Drifter 2024-04-03T03:16:59Z
2024-04-03T03:16:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
schadd Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-27T04:51:53Z
2024-03-27T04:51:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
21stCenturyDevil Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-24T01:21:57Z
2024-03-24T01:21:57Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MartiniEldritch Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-20T20:45:55Z
2024-03-20T20:45:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pequenio_grzegorz Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-17T10:29:05Z
2024-03-17T10:29:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-15T05:25:32Z
2024-03-15T05:25:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
betaaaaaa Hyper Light Drifter 2024-03-15T00:29:01Z
2024-03-15T00:29:01Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
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Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
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  • Previous comments (13) Loading...
  • PlutoTheAlmostPlanet 2021-12-18 18:07:38.753495+00
    I do think that because the game took a risk on having no dialogue and mostly no text it could've had more work on being more intuitive and the ui being easier to understand
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  • moonwitchcartridge 2022-01-01 17:41:04.442861+00
    The most hectic trip to Walgreens of all time
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  • brasscontraption 2022-01-19 15:11:20.196391+00
    yeah i mean when i was younger this game was my life. the atmosphere is really incredible but now, its ok. still great tho
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  • bulletluckcharm 2022-02-08 02:07:18.232702+00
    overrated. I don't know wtf is even going on half the time and the fights seems so 1-dimensional: there's one way you 'solve' each of them. Beyond that it relies on retro graphics and a score by the maestro... not enough to carry this as a great game
    reply
    • im_singing 2023-05-29 19:33:03.929592+00
      "theres one way you 'solve' each of them" i think it rules that this is a puzzle game
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  • CrackTheSky 2022-06-27 21:57:29.700883+00
    Phenomenal game. The vague, unintuitive UI is a feature, not a bug. The visuals and music are outstanding. It all contributes to a world that is singularly unfamiliar and totally unique. The mechanics and gameplay are simple enough to understand in spite of this, and the gameplay loop is just pure fun. I really, really enjoyed this; this is what indie games should be.
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  • ruth1120 2022-12-21 11:33:17.134804+00
    hyper mid drifter
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  • eightyfoahh 2023-08-23 00:19:03.932645+00
    hyper mid drifter [2]
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