Hyper Light Drifter Review - A Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland

Lizzy Finnegan

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Hyper Light Drifter Review - A Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland

Hyper Light Drifter is a breathtaking game that draws heavily from gaming's most prominent pioneers without relying too heavily on their influence.

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Scarim Coral

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Ah finally a official review.

Yeah the game was challanging but in a good way. In saying so however it wasn't that super difficult or rather I was good at remembering the attack patterns. By all means I still die alot but I think it only took me less than 10 times for the hardest bosses (it was hard to figure out which directions the final boss breath attack was going). Even then there was one of two hard bosses I did manage to killed but I don't know how exactly. No it wasn't a bug or glitch that some people have encounter, I got so invested in the boss battle that I lost track of its health!

While the plot was pretty much 100% show not tell (something which Diablo 3 can learn from) but I would like some tell in it. Sure I can get it was Heart Machine intention to have the plot open ended, to leave you to decide what was going on but I still feel left in the dark by the end of it.

Lastly I want to see a Samurai Jack crossover as it's enviorment reminded me of Jack setting. I can easily see him being in their world and trying to defeat the evil within it!

Overall it was worth the wait eventhought some part of the very first trailer did not make it into the final game (I assume the first trailer is alpha stuff).
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Thanks for mentioning the terrible mouse & keyboard controls.
It helped me decide not to buy the game.
 

Dalisclock

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I am greatly enjoying the game, and particularly love the aesthetic and the atmosphere. However, as lovely as the cutscenes are, they seem like the weakest part of the whole package. They're very dreamlike and surreal, but don't really explain much of anything. It's like watching some of the weirder bits of Evangelion(and I can't help but wonder if that's intentional). They're very Artsy, in both the good and bad sense of the word.

Also, kind of agree about the K+M controls. Either that or I just suck at trying to Chain Dash(which I'd really like to do in order to get more of the gearbits to buy more upgrades). I've still managed to beat the first two bosses(Fuck the Samurai Cat in the west. That guy's an asshole).
 

kris40k

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I've watched the development of the game, as it was developed with GameMaker and I am also working a bit with that engine. Looked great in development and I'm glad it seems like it turned out good. Excited to get my hands on it, but am still working on a bit of a backlog I have.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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This seems like a title that would benefit hugely from a console release too *subtley hints towards any reading publisher/developer of said game* Would be a shame to limit their audience.
 

Scarim Coral

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Xsjadoblayde said:
This seems like a title that would benefit hugely from a console release too *subtley hints towards any reading publisher/developer of said game* Would be a shame to limit their audience.
It IS getting a consoles release sometime this year (no exact date at the moment).
 

loa

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That bird magician is the hardest boss in the game, you can run into it whie still getting used to the controls and beating it is required to progress... to content that will never again be this challenging.
That's how the concept of a "difficulty curve" is applied here.

That's very not-good.
Imagine one of the first 2 mandatory bosses you have to beat to progress in dark souls were ornstein and smough instead of the gargoyles.
That's hyperlight drifter.

Oh, it's also locked at 30 fps.
 

Xerosch

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Oh, lovely! Now, if we could get this for the PS4 soon, I'd be very obliged. We still don't have a release date for consoles, right?
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Scarim Coral said:
Xsjadoblayde said:
This seems like a title that would benefit hugely from a console release too *subtley hints towards any reading publisher/developer of said game* Would be a shame to limit their audience.
It IS getting a consoles release sometime this year (no exact date at the moment).
This pleases me greatly in tingly ways. Not so much financially of course, but such is entertainment. :)
 

FailCtrl

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Great game I agree. Aside from the mentioned keyboard controls (which aren't that bad) there are a few more downsides to note.

The game has quite a few bugs. None so far have been completely gamebreaking but I've been close. I once got stuck in a infinite death-loop which destroyed all backups (since the game saves over itself each time you die) and I only barely made it out of. It has crashed completely on me once and a few fight I've been through can be broken (for both advantage and disadvantage).

Also there are some design quirks which I cannot make sense of. There is the brutal timing needed to pull of even the simplest combos. If you make your game harder by making the controls difficult you are using the wrong means. I don't want to die to a boss because I have a 1/3 chance of messing up my dash slash.

Now that I got that out of the system, remember that the game is great despite this. Hell if that gets fixed it's a perfect 10/10.
 

FailCtrl

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loa said:
Imagine one of the first 2 mandatory bosses you have to beat to progress in dark souls were ornstein and smough instead of the gargoyles.
I agree the northern boss is brutal (maybe second hardest boss all in all) but no boss except the final is by any means necessary to progress. You can get to 3 of 4 areas from the start of the game and beat the 3 first bosses in any order you like. You can play through everything until the boss go and play another area and return when you have enough practice and upgrades to defeat the boss.

But an easy mode would have been nice for when faced with a particular problem you just can't beat. Sure in the end I've managed ever area so far but it doesn't always feel worth the frustration and time spent making mouse macros aimed at a specific boss (I'm looking at you Western boss!).
 

Ratzing

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loa said:
That bird magician is the hardest boss in the game, you can run into it whie still getting used to the controls and beating it is required to progress... to content that will never again be this challenging.
That's how the concept of a "difficulty curve" is applied here.

That's very not-good.
Imagine one of the first 2 mandatory bosses you have to beat to progress in dark souls were ornstein and smough instead of the gargoyles.
That's hyperlight drifter.

Oh, it's also locked at 30 fps.
You're like those players in Souls that repeatedly beat their heads against skeletons near catacombs since it was the first thing they stumbled upon, instead of going other way and exploring.
Literally 75% of the world is available from the get-go. If you're careful and explore all areas before you actually take on any of the bosses, you can fight with the bird with two or three upgrades already.

Don't blame the game for your own lack of thought. Also the boss was easy enough for me to beat him in like 15 minutes, I've also managed to kill it on NG+ in similar amount of time.
 

default

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
Thanks for mentioning the terrible mouse & keyboard controls.
It helped me decide not to buy the game.
Or you could get a cheap gamepad, if you can afford it. Some games are just designed to be played with them and give a much better experience. I bought one years ago and have never looked back.


Thanks for the review, I had been following this game for years and it was a beautiful final product. Well worth the wait :)
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Digi7 said:
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Thanks for mentioning the terrible mouse & keyboard controls.
It helped me decide not to buy the game.
Or you could get a cheap gamepad, if you can afford it. Some games are just designed to be played with them and give a much better experience. I bought one years ago and have never looked back.
The price is not issue at all...

It about the precision and the game designs and actions that follow when you are limited to a gamepad.
I game on a PC, therefore I use mouse and keyboard.
 

default

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
Digi7 said:
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Thanks for mentioning the terrible mouse & keyboard controls.
It helped me decide not to buy the game.
Or you could get a cheap gamepad, if you can afford it. Some games are just designed to be played with them and give a much better experience. I bought one years ago and have never looked back.
The price is not issue at all...

It about the precision and the game designs and actions that follow when you are limited to a gamepad.
I game on a PC, therefore I use mouse and keyboard.
Yes, but the flow and structure of some games are designed to be played with a gamepad rather than a keyboard and mouse. Like fighting games are designed to be played with fightsticks and flight sims are designed to be played with joysticks, twitch hack'n'slash action games are often most suited to be played with a controller. You can still often play these games with other interfaces but they will not give the intended smoothest experience. Keyboard and mouse is not the only game control method available on PC. Not saying HLD is perfectly designed for a controller, mind. It's just far more suited to being played with one.
 

ExileNZ

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I hear you for the hollow boss victory - the same thing happened to me with the final boss of Titan Quest. Buy the time I'd run back up to the top of mount Olympus I'd not only missed seeing the boss die, I'd also missed the entire ending sequence.

Still, this one looks worth checking out.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Digi7 said:
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Digi7 said:
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Thanks for mentioning the terrible mouse & keyboard controls.
It helped me decide not to buy the game.
Or you could get a cheap gamepad, if you can afford it. Some games are just designed to be played with them and give a much better experience. I bought one years ago and have never looked back.
The price is not issue at all...

It about the precision and the game designs and actions that follow when you are limited to a gamepad.
I game on a PC, therefore I use mouse and keyboard.
Yes, but the flow and structure of some games are designed to be played with a gamepad rather than a keyboard and mouse. Like fighting games are designed to be played with fightsticks and flight sims are designed to be played with joysticks, twitch hack'n'slash action games are often most suited to be played with a controller. You can still often play these games with other interfaces but they will not give the intended smoothest experience. Keyboard and mouse is not the only game control method available on PC. Not saying HLD is perfectly designed for a controller, mind. It's just far more suited to being played with one.
Yes, I quite agree that some games are designed more with flow and gamepad structure in mind but it does limit the way a character moves and performs in a 3D environment.
Like quick-time events in all it's forms and wider turning angles, etc.
Fighting and racing games are played very well with a controller but can be played well with keyboard though RTS and FPS games can be played with a controller it can't compare with a mouse and keyboard.
I already see lots of threads in the steam forum for example, asking if it's playable with a gamepad and I have this unreasonable fear that it will become mainstream..well, it has become mainstream really.
I don't want today's PC games to be like Ass creed and Arkham, I want Morrowind and Vampire the Masquerade.
I want third person (above & behind) or first person, not over-the-shoulder or cinematic.

I want games on PC to be for PC and designed with PC mouse and keyboard, or I would have bought a console.
But I'm just a grumpy old man yearning for a "better time" with nostalgia goggles.
Yesteryear's games had their problems as do today's. I simple preferred yesteryear's, evidenced by me not having bought a single game activated online.
 

ckretmsage

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Great review, this may be the second game that I use my XBox controller with my PC. Damn you Rocket League!
 

snave

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For a game as beautiful as this, surely you could've included an actual gameplay screenshot or two in the review? The images up there are all from cutscenes or cut content.

I found the keyboard and mouse to be actually quite functional. At times it can even be more precise. There was a problem at launch with a hard to see cursor, but that's fixed now. There's also a persisting problem with one boss (west) jolting the camera (and yanking control from the player) if you walk far off-screen, but its relatively minor and avoidable once you identify the problem.