When you're trying to decide the next game to add to your playlist, you want honest reviews. If you're looking at this game, you need a Hyper Light Drifter review that will tell you what to expect from the game, good and bad, from players who give you the straight scoop.
Usually, a Hyper Light Drifter review has positive things to say about the game, especially in the beauty of it. When raising funds for the game, though, the developers, Heart Machine, made promises they weren't able to keep, such as co-op play, which frustrated some players who backed the game.
After watching gameplay and listening to interpretations of the storyline, our Hyper Light Drifter review is going to be more comprehensive than some of the others out there.
What Is Hyper Light Drifter?
Hyper Light Drifter is a post-apocalyptic game, available for play on PC and Mac computers. It's modeled after the old school Legends of Zelda game and is two-dimensional and pixelated. Although the graphics are 16-bit pixels, the game is beautifully detailed. One Hyper Light Drifter review describes the soundtrack as hypnotic.
The player starts off in a broken world, with the storyline revealed in small bits over the course of the game. You have to interpret the story by the pieces you find, or others give you. You must move through the game, discovering ancient treasure and fighting enemies that still exist in the world. At the end, similar to most apocalyptic stories, the object is to re-build civilization anew, in such a way as to learn from the past, and not suffer the same fate in the future.
Hyper Light Drifter Review: Storyline
When you first start the game, you're a cloaked drifter with a devastating illness. The Jackal, who used to rule, shows you the fate of the ancient world and the actions that led up to the apocalypse. He's telling you about the world you're left to explore. There are two main characters to the story, the Jackal and Judgement, who are in a battle to control the power of God. The power of God exists in The Immortal Cell, created in the ancient world. The purpose of The Immortal Cell is much like you would think. The cell gives you immortality when infused with a being's DNA.
The race who discovered The Immortal Cell decided not to use it, for reasons unknown, and died in the great battle for the cell that led to the end of the world as they knew it. There are still four main races in the world, who exist in four corners of the map. Some are the drifter's friends, and some are his enemies.
The Jackal shows you the fate of the world and needs your help to complete your quest in destroying The Immortal Cell, which is a crystal that lies in the Abyss.
Why? Because if you don't, and Judgement (the bad guy) gets it first, he will resurrect the Titans and destroy the world for good. The Titans are giant, half flesh/half machine beings who were built by the Librarians, an ancient race. Titans fought in the great war that destroyed nearly everything.
You (the drifter) have to complete your mission to obtain and destroy the cell before you die from the illness that plagued the ancient race.
Gameplay: Hyper Light Drifter Review
You start the game by the water and an ancient being shows you a vision of what happened in the past war that led to the end of the world. You find out you have the same illness they all died from, but the Jackal is giving you the strength to go through the world, fight the enemies, find the cell, and save the world.
It's not easy, however. Enemies swarm you, and you find clues in an ancient language that you have to decipher. There are trap doors that you can fall through, and a lot of the enemy's territories are set up like a puzzle. You have to remember where the traps are, so you can concentrate more on defeating your enemies and finding the hidden treasures that will help you.
There are achievements you can earn as you play, which is an excellent addition to any game, and they are adding new achievements, keeping the goals fresh. You can also upgrade your abilities and your weapons to give you a better chance of defeating your enemies and advancing through the map toward the Immortal Cell you seek.
Watch Out For Enemies
The bad guys you will encounter while playing Hyper Light Drifter aren't tough to kill. The challenge comes in when multiple enemies surround you. You have to dodge their attacks while navigating the different rooms. When you die, though, you lose nothing. Although you would think that wouldn't bother game players, it does because it makes the fight to live pointlessly. If you're not going to lose anything when you die, what's the point in escaping death, except your ego?
Look For Hidden Treasures
The treasures in the game can be hidden anywhere and behind any wall. Players are encouraged to sweep every nook and cranny of the map, including the walls, bookcases, and floors. There are also locked doors, so look for keys. Some enemies drop keys after they are defeated, so keep an eye out for those.
Also, you never know what you'll find breaking boxes, so be sure to search everywhere and break everything to get the full benefits. If you don't, you might see yourself going to the same places multiple times to advance on the map.
Don't Kill The Good Guys
Not all of the characters in the game are enemies, though. There are four civilizations left after the apocalypse, and there are friends all around. Instead of automatically killing everyone, first, find out if they're an enemy. Try to talk to characters standing around because they might have valuable information for you to use in the game.
Puzzles And Codes To Solve
Keep in mind, the messages and clues are in an ancient language. You have to decipher them offline to figure out what they're saying. Once you figure out the key to the language, you'll be able to understand the clues they're trying to provide. Sometimes they're giving you pieces of the story's history, so pay attention. Doing so will help you put the whole story together. It will also give you a better idea of where you should go and what your purpose is.
Where And How To Play
The game is available on Steam, and you can play on PC or Mac. The player can use the keyboard (A, S, W, D) and mouse to play, but you can also use a controller hooked up to your computer to play if you prefer. Some players in more than one Hyper Light Drifter review expressed concern about framerates affecting gameplay, making the controls glitchy. Smooth controls are important because, when enemies overwhelm you, dodging becomes essential when trying to survive and destroy them.
How The Developers Failed
Developers promised local co-op when they raised funds to build the game, but they weren't able to deliver on that promise. Lack of co-op play left the players feeling frustrated since they originally backed the game.
Hyper Light Drifter Pros And Cons
Looking at the design of the game, it's evident that Hyper Light Drifter is aesthetically beautiful. Even though it's a 16-bit game, the colors are bright, and the detail gives depth to the graphics. Here are some other positive things about Hyper Light Drifter:
Overall, most players agree Hyper Light Drifter is a visually and audibly stunning game; there are some who are not as impressed with other aspects of the game.
Even the reviews from people who didn't enjoy the game agree that it's beautiful, both musically and visually. There are some negative comments about the game; though, they point out. The biggest con to Hyper Light Drifter tends to stem from a specific kind of gamer. The gamer who likes trying to complete things over and over until completion is the type of player perfect for Hyper Light Drifter. The repetition frustrates some other players.
We've listed some of the cons that we found for our Hyper Light Drifter review below:
Reviews And Ratings
In nearly every Hyper Light Drifter review from Steam, IGN, and other gameplay sites, players agree that Hyper Light Drifter is a beautiful game. Even those who did not give it a positive review, love the colorful design, and the music that accompanies the game.
Players on Steam give Hyper Light Drifter an overall Very Positive in their player review section. Some players don't recommend the game for some of the reasons mentioned above, but most of them say it's not a bad game. The reasons they don't support the game is mostly because it just wasn't their cup of tea.
Metacritic, which uses critics and users to review their games, gave Hyper Light Drifter an overwhelmingly positive score of 86, and an 8.8 out of 10-stars from users.
Hyper Light Drifter costs between $19 and $25. Players don't need to make any in-game purchases because you earn all upgrades through game-play.
There are two other games available on Steam, which are similar to Hyper Light Drifter in style and storyline. The games are called Titan Souls and Axiom Verge. Similar to Hyper Light Drifter, players gave these games very positive reviews, and they all have beautiful artwork and play soundtracks gamers enjoy.
Titan Souls, also available on Steam for PC and Mac, is another two-dimensional adventure game with an ancient mystery element. You are the hero in the game and given are given a quest. Your quest is to travel the Titan Souls map, collect shards of the soul itself, and assemble them.
The price for Titan Souls is comparable to Hyper Light Drifter at between $14 and $20 on Steam. The special edition comes with a digital artbook, world map, soundtrack, and desktop backgrounds. Customers who've played Titan Souls give it mostly positive to very positive reviews, but there are some who don't recommend the game.
On the positive side, the players love the visuals and the music. They enjoy the big boss battles and the challenges you face in defeating them. Players also like the puzzles they need to solve throughout the game. What they don't like is that you die a lot. When your character dies, you have to travel all the way across the map to the big boss to attempt his defeat once again. All the traveling can get repetitive.
One other complaint is the controls. Since you're only using the keyboard to play, the shooting options for your single arrow are limited. It's challenging to aim and shoot the one weakness on the bosses.
The second comparable game on our Hyper Light Drifter review is Axiom Verge. It is another retro action adventure game, this time set on an alien world of unknown origin. The player is thrown into a strange world after a lab experiment gone wrong and has to explore to uncover the mysteries and secrets of his new environment.
Like Hyper Light Drifter, you have to fight in boss battles and solve puzzles to uncover the secrets left from an ancient world. The difference is, you're also battling inner demons. The fun comes in when you break the game and use the glitches to defeat enemies and solve mysteries.
Axiom Verge is available on Steam, and the price runs between $19 and $30. Of course, with the lower price end, you get the basics, and the higher end includes some extras for the player. Customers who've played Axiom Verge give the game a very positive review overall, with little complaints.
Like the two games mentioned above, players love the artwork and the music with Axiom Verge. Customers also enjoy the storyline, and the fun combat, which is hard, but not impossible. There are also lots of secrets to discover, and who doesn't love that?
On the negative side, there are no health stats on the enemies, so it's difficult to tell how you're doing in battle. Some people have said the game is a bit too short, and there is a multitude of weapons the player has but doesn't use.
Hyper Light Drifter Review: Verdict
Although Hyper Light Drifter didn't hit all the marks it intended to during development; the game comes highly recommended over multiple reviews and player sites. The music, visuals, and storyline, combined with the mystery, decoding, and treasure hunting make the game enjoyable to play.
There might be some glitches Heart Machine needs to shore up, but even critics say that it's a good game. That should tell you that it's worth checking out. According to more than one Hyper Light Drifter review, the game is worth your money. Hyper Light Drifter has an elaborate backstory that forces you to use your imagination and deciphering skills to complete your quest.
No spoilers here, but one thing's for sure, we recommend you give the game a try.