Having being a Kickstarter backer for Hyper Light Drifter, I got my download code for the PS4 version yesterday and decided to give it a shot, having needing something to fill the void between now and No Man’s Sky.
Hyper Light Drifter is a pixel art, top-down adventure game where you play as a character suffering a mysterious illness. The pixel art is very well done and the game is very atmospheric. In fact, one of the things that sets Hyper Light Drifter aside from many games is that there is no dialogue at all. The few characters that you can interact with only leave you clues via images. It makes piecing together what is going on in the world of Hyper Light Drifter very cryptic, but also more interesting. At first you might be wondering what it is you’re doing and why, but the tight gameplay and fun exploration will have you continuing anyway.
Hyper Light Drifter is probably about 50% exploration, 50% combat. You have a sword with a three-hit combo, a gun that you can aim and shoot, a grenade (I think, I haven’t unlocked/bought it yet), and a short range dash that can be used for both dodging and platforming. Combat is very fluid and fun, dashing from enemy to enemy, slashing, shooting and dodging. All of the pixel-y effects are really well done as well, making for some seriously satisfying gameplay.
On the downside, Hyper Light Drifter’s cryptic and vague nature can sometimes be its downfall, in my opinion. Most of the time I don’t know where I’m going or why, what a lot of the marks on the map are supposed to be, or even what locked doors require. It took me a decently long amount of time to understand I was obtaining upgrade points as I progressed. I thought maybe they were keys of some sort? I don’t know. It’s one of those games that gets better the longer you play it, it my opinion. Again, luckily the satisfying exploration, combat, and gorgeous visuals make you want to keep trekking on.
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