I’ve played Hyper Light Drifter a few times now, and I always start by going North. I’m drawn by the chilly, snow-covered peaks. But once there, this particular dead and lonely world rocks me to my emotional and spiritual core.
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It turns out if you want to get the LA-based musician Will Wiesenfeld, stage name Baths, talking about video games, you should ask him about Diablo 2. In video game circles he's known for the theme song for this summer's Dream Daddy, as well as the understated trailer music for Hyper Light Drifter's stunningly successful Kickstarter campaign. Listening to Baths' densely packed electronic music for the better part of five years, I never once imagined the person behind it hunched over a computer deciding which synergy of Barbarian abilities to pursue.
Tumbleseed was a difficult, tricky game. Outlast 2 was an uphill march through dangerous enemies. Recently, both have gotten easier thanks to patches and tweaks. Many games have had their difficulty reduced after release. While this makes them accessible to more players, it also raises questions.
Hyper Light Drifter is backbreaking, but never needlessly so. The dash-and-slash game is in equal parts elegantly designed and punishing, posing the fairest challenge I've ever encountered in a game. A year post-release, Hyper Light Drifter's clean (and ball-busting) gameplay still has me addicted to the adrenaline rush.
Most digital download only games don't get a fancy collector's edition release. Hyper Light Drifter is not most download only games, and its collectors edition, up for presale tomorrow from iam8bit, is very fancy indeed.
Hyper Light Drifter is beautiful, mysterious and hard as hell. To some, that difficulty is central to its design. To others, it's an obstacle preventing them from enjoying its other parts. Since release, the developers have tried to patch the game to appease both audiences, but it's been a challenge.
The devilishly difficult Hyper Light Drifter has been tearing up the Steam charts since release, meaning that players have flocked to the reviews section talk about why they love Heart Machine's creation so damn much.
It's getting so that you can't keep track of them all. Fez, Galak-Z, Pavilion… those are just a few of the buzzed-about games (or proven successes in the case of Fez) that are announced as coming to PlayStation platforms over the few months. Now, Hyper Light Drifter -- the sharp-looking action RPG being made by Heart Machine -- joins their ranks.