Hyper Light Drifter: Decadent and stylish - Games Weekly

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hyper Light Drifter: Decadent and stylish

Dark Souls taught a new generation of gamers that there can be a heavier price to pay for death than simply smashing X to respawn. To make it through every encounter with your life intact, it pushed you to worship three very basic skills: practice, patience and perseverance. Some of you loathed its punishing ways, while others flourished under the pressure.

Basically, if you're in the first bracket of peoples, prepare to hate Hyper Light Drifter. It’s an another successful kickstarter project that’s making its way to Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program, and, after getting hands-on, it’s clear that it's been designed to invoke a similar reaction to From Software’s unlikely success story. What's great to see is how Hyper Light Drifter isn't content with being a sci-fi copycat. Instead, this debut from Heart Machine directed by L.A based artist Alex Preston is a stunning mix of mystery and ever present danger.

Perhaps what surprise, how polished Hyper Light Drifter truly is. Every single mechanic and system feels insanely fine tuned,the world is decadent, but stylish, and the enemies pulse with an infectious
energy. This isn't your standard-fare 16-bit brawler attempting to cash-in on the retro revival movement, Hyper Light Drifter is a work of art.
This isn't your standard fare 16-bit brawler attempting to cash in on the retro revival movement
To survive Hyper Light Drifter, you’ll need to move. Constantly. A tap of the A button unleashes a quick-dash, essential for dodging enemy fire, manoeuvring across chasms and for quickly dispatching groups of enemies. You’ll also need to be similarly swift with your attack patterns. Despite your strength, your character is also surprisingly fragile. As you take hits, the colour in the environments begins to fade away, blood splatters fall where you stand, and should you eventually be felled, the screen will fade to black and you'll find yourself respawning in-front of the last door you entered. In many ways, Hyper Light Drifter doesn't punish you for dying, instead, it gives you an opportunity to try again to consider the tools at your disposal and how to best work with them.

Hyper Light Drifter is due to release around Christmas 2014, and if this preview build is anything to go by, we are in for something special. It’s a game that effortlessly  pays homage to everything that’s come before it Legend Of Zelda, Diablo and Dark Souls in particular and finds a way to make all of the exploration and combat elements work seamlessly. Keep your eyes out for this one, it has the potential to be the sleeper hit of the year.

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