There are video games that when you pass them, after enjoying the whole crossing, the “forgotten”. Or put another way: you go to the next game. However sometimes you come across one that keeps on trapping you and encourages you to explore it further by consulting, by the way, theories or guides about your universe.
With ‘Hyper Light Drifter’ I felt the same as with ‘Fez’. It is the best compliment that can be given to this first work of Heart Machine, a work that we fell hopelessly in love from the first second we saw.
A pain in the heart of its author, Alex Preston, has served as inspiration for Hyper Light Drifter.
It is a work that, without a doubt, enters through the eyes, an aspect that takes a lot of game, since it is a video game very visual, where there are no words and it will be us who will have to make sense of everything we are Seeing: a suffering protagonist, dark visions … Something that its own author, Alex Preston, has lived in first person, to have a heart disease from small, as it commented in an interview to Rock Paper Shotgun three years ago. It was his biggest inspiration to create ‘Hyper Light Drifter’.
In this universe words are over. Literally
The total absence of support, except for the relevant mini-tutorial in order to be clear about the basics (the movement of impulse and attacks to short and long distance, basically), and dialogues, get us to focus more on their environment trying to scrutinize Where we are, what is happening there and what all the vignettes that our inhabitants are presenting to us.
In spite of the deceptive simplicity of its drawing, Heart Machine has done an excellent job to have managed to perfectly shape a world that will not cease to surprise us at every step and in which it will be impossible to lose because of the well studied environment. It could almost be said that we will memorize it as a ‘Dark Souls’, and that is not, by far, such a long adventure … although it hides many secrets inside that can have us occupied much more than what The story itself lasts. Not forgetting that it is also demanding.
Its own author described it at the time as a mixture between ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’ and ‘Diablo’, but the truth is that, as we told a few weeks ago, is more fitting to a perfect combo between The magic of the Zelda saga, the evocative mystery of ‘Fez’, and the difficulty of the aforementioned Souls.
Hyper Light Drifter wins integers over time
That perfect cocktail is clothed by an almost total freedom of decisions at the beginning of the adventure. While there will be certain areas blocked until we have achieved certain goals in history, it is quite generous when facing the trip according to our preferences.
At first I opted for the eastern road until I stuck foolishly without knowing where I had to go until I got the last “key” to fight in duel against the theoretician first boss, but in the end I completed, almost without realizing it, the zone Of the north, that apparently was more complex. In all that time, in addition, I accumulated “coins” with which I could buy several improvements for the character, from increasing the number of kits (its use is similar to a jar of estus in the Souls) until unlocking movements essential to progress in The story, like the power to chain the Dash to infinity (or until the body holds it, because it is not easy: my record is at 30 and we can practice it from the store that sells it to us) or improve the weapons.
In ‘Hyper Light Drifter’ there is no experience. As KickStarter Heart Machine commented, I wanted to recover the essence of the 8 and 16 bits, where we really, not the character progressed (obviating those slight modifications of the equipment, of course). This leads to a well-studied curve of difficulty that will find its peak in the south of the map, where the greatest dangers and the greatest number of final bosses are to be found.
And here we are going to die. A lot. It is not an impossible game, much less … unless we venture into the New Match +, where we have only two points of life. There the real challenge begins and mistakes are paid directly with death. But do not deviate … In the first game will also have a good challenge in which, like the Souls, we must know how to measure the attacks very well. Going crazy will be suicide. It will be necessary to study the patterns of the enemies and to know the opportune moment to attack.
It’s like traveling to the 90’s and feeling like kids again
In this sense, I have loved Heart Machine’s decision on the use of firearms: when the ammunition (which by the way is global for all) is spent or we attack the enemy to replace it, or steal it with The Dash movement (previous improvement, eye). This forces us to be in constant movement