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At the Speeds of Light, Drift Into ‘Hyper Light Drifter’

Heart Machine

Heart Machine

Allison Borelli, Features Editor

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Looking for a new video game, perhaps where death is a distant dream, or a puzzle centered game? Then Hyper Light Drifter is not your game.

An indie 2D action RPG, Hyper Light Drifter is the type of game that won’t hold your hand. It is described as a combination of “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” and “Diablo.”

The game’s creator Alex Preston developed it with eight others as a part of Heart Machine. Created “in the vein of 8-bit and 16-bit classics,” the developers took some inspiration for the story from Preston’s life-long struggle with heart disease. Hyper Light Drifter is their first video game.

The story of the game revolves around the player-controlled Drifter who is afflicted with an unknown illness and searching for a cure. He, as well as the other inhabitants of the world, have access to a lost technology. There’s not much else to tell, as there is no dialogue in this game and the plotline is a little hazy.

The combat system of the game starts the Drifter off with typical long and short range attacks. As the game goes on, the player has access to other modules and upgrades for weapons and abilities. These are upgraded with rare batteries collected along the way. The game’s monsters get more numerous and tougher along the way, which require the player to hone their skills and strategies as well.

As for actual combat, well, the death rate is high. Hyper Light Drifter is not merciful, and you can’t button-mash or “cheese” your way out of a fight. However, once tactics that work are found, the game becomes much easier. The bosses are hard until you figure out the best way to beat them. There’s even an achievement for winning the game without dying.

Some general cons for the game was how much it crashed. There were some bugs yet to be worked out, and the system that I played on wasn’t the best, but after the fifth time it started to get on my nerves. Other than that, the story wasn’t really clear, but that’s to be expected in a game with no dialogue.

Some pros for the game was that despite being a pixel game, the art’s impressive. The attention to detail I had to pay to the game was enormous as well, and the amount of times I plastered my face over the supposed “boundaries” of the game, searching for secrets, was also immense. Finding a secret room was an awarding rush.

I enjoyed playing this game despite the occasional crash, and I would rate it a 7/10. Although this game doesn’t go easy on you, it also won’t throw you into traffic. If exploration, vivid visuals, and honing your strategies is interesting, then I would recommend forking out the 20 dollars to buy Hyper Light Drifter.

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At the Speeds of Light, Drift Into ‘Hyper Light Drifter’