You do not come across old school games that feature basic combat mechanics and still manage to subdue you into a hypnotic trance of color and sound. That is exactly what Hyper Light Drifter is all about. It drowns you into a different gaming world with an experience you will want to relive again and again.
Hyper Light Drifter’s gameplay features simplistic depiction of elements like engaging characters, environment and a wide range of color mixing patterns to help you enjoy the game. Additional shapes go a long way to add detail to minimalist surroundings. The end result is what appears to be a simple yet complex gameplay.
Keep in mind that Hyper Light Drifter used a sprite based 2D system with timing based game mechanics. That simply means no amount of button smashing or rage will take you to the next level. You have to be smart. The gameplay requires you to discover the enemy attack patterns on your own and experiment with different fighting styles. You will be promptly thrust into a rare gaming world. Your best bet is to therefore rely on exploration and experimentation to see your game to its definitive end.
Fortunately for beginners, HLD boasts of beautiful pixel art as well as a nice soundtrack complete with lore. You can opt to play with the controller which easily changes the game feel. The choice is yours. The keyboard is a good alternative as it makes combats feel less jerky. Try both options to find out what works best for you.
Time is of the essence during combats. The faster you move the more you enjoy the game. Each attack takes a set amount of time to execute. You cannot interrupt or cancel an attack with controls unless you have advanced gaming techniques. Your attacks can however be canceled by damage from an enemy. This can be a huge setback because it will cost you more time to recover. Unlike other games, enemies in HLD do not flinch each time they are attacked. It does not end there. Attacking an enemy in HLD will not cancel their attack animations. You are therefore prone to many deaths. You have to be really good to survive. Fortunately, enemy attack patterns are not complex at all. If anything, they are way too basic.
Hyper Light Drifter’s story is simple yet complex. It is easy to follow yet hard to complete the game. That’s what makes the game interesting. The Drifter is a member of artificial species of creatures whose origin is not clear. The only thing you know is that the origin began decades ago. You are a drifter by occupation. There are other drifters but they are not in the same race as you. Your goal is to travel around the world in search of new and interesting technology from the long forgotten civilizations of days gone by. In simple words, you are a nomad. You are a loner.
Then there is an immortal or crystal cell which you must destroy completely. It is a malevolent entity referred to as Judgment. It has supernatural powers which are not his. It has stolen the powers and can use them to harm you. Its creation resulted to Armageddon that left the world in a post-apocalyptic state. There is a Godlike entity referred to as Anubis. You will easily identify the entity as it is a Jackal with a halo. Anubis wants you to kill Judgment so that it cannot resurrect the Titans. The Titans will steal power from Judgment and destroy the whole world with the stolen power. You must reach Judgment to save the world. In the process, you must also sacrifice yourself at some point.
HLD does not demand much as far as graphics are concerned. All you need is a graphics card that is capable of OpenGL 2.1 or DX 9. To enjoy the game and get the most of it, make sure you have a GPU that is at least 256 MB GPU RAM. You will be impressed with the games color mixing and wonderful pixel-art design. The only graphic problem is quite repetitive level design, which makes you often think that you are entering the same location over and over again.
It is safe to conclude that Hyper Light Drifter is one of a kind. The concept behind it is simple. There are however, a few cons that come complete with the game. The most common ones include:
Even with the aforementioned cons, Hyper Light Drifter is definitely worth your time and money. It does not demand for much when it comes to graphics, yet it features a smooth gameplay and easy to understand game control features, which makes the game fun to play and easy to learn even for casual gamers.