I picked up Hyper Light Drifter as a recommendation from Erik at NerdQ, and in the illustrious words of Owen Wilson, all that I can say is, “Wow.”
This game contains everything that I hold dear to classic 2d adventure games. It feels like a well-planned and cohesive mash-up of The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Dark Souls. Every engagement with enemy hordes is met head on with a level of difficulty that is usually lost in the spectrum between impossible and easy-peasy, I would like to take this opportunity to coin the term ‘impossi-peasy’. None of the enemy hordes in this game are particularly easy, but none of them feel impossible to defeat, either.
As an up-and-coming glutton for punishment, I greatly enjoy a challenge that is rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment. Hyper Light Drifter gives you that sensation in most combat frames. Dodging enemy projectiles while sliding in between threats to cut down your opponents ensures that you are required to have fast reaction times and pattern recognition, which in turn makes you feel like one bad ass cyber ninja warrior guy.
With most games from independent developers, the key ingredient, besides great gameplay, is a unique and lively color palette coupled with a soundtrack to match the ambience. Hyper Light Drifter hits the nail on the head in all of those fields.
I was only able to play long enough to defeat one of the bosses; however, I did spend a decent amount of time exploring what I could of the four available zones. The boss that I did face, however, left me feeling as though it was not challenging enough. There were standard enemy frame rooms that were immensely more difficult than the head honcho of the swamp region. The patterns and mechanics of this enormous and disgusting-looking amphibious biped were extremely predictable and easily dodged. It did take me 2 tries to defeat him, but I was expecting a bit more.
All in all, I would say that this does shape up to be a great and accessible game. At only $19.99, I feel as though I got my money’s worth, which is something that a lot of games being puked out by various companies are failing to accomplish.