In some strange way, Hyper Light Drifter is supposed to be a combination of Diablo and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It’s an upcoming 2D role-playing game that managed to receive over $645k from Kickstarter, so let’s see what the hype is all about. Hyper Light Drifter is getting a 2015 release date on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Apparently 2D action games are not dead, and Heart Machine has proved that with their successful Kickstarter campaign. The demand for Hyper Light Drifter is there, as over 24k people backed the campaign, making it possible for them to bring it to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. Heart Machine only had plans for Windows, OS X and Linux in the beginning, so thank the backers for your upcoming console release. But hey, they originally tried to raise $27,000, so they more than reached their goal…
According to the official website, the game is coming this year and you can pre-order it now for PC/Mac. It doesn’t look like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version is close to being ready, as it’s not available for pre-order on those consoles yet.
Gameplay and Story
The pixelated graphics remind us of classic video games from childhood, and the gameplay is a mix between A Link to the Past and Diablo. Sound interesting? Well, the story makes it even more interesting. You will play as the Drifter, who is a character on the hunt for a cure to his illness. The Drifter has access to ancient technology that the rest of the world has forgotten, such as his powerful energy sword. No, it’s not like the energy sword from Halo, so forget about that for now.
Hyper Light Drifter’s story of a character searching for a cure comes from the lead developer’s own personal experience. Alex Preston, lead developer, came up with the concept as he has heart disease. Sure, heart disease is generally something you can prevent, but it’s the number one killer in America, so people can certainly relate.
The Drifter’s energy sword can be upgraded and enhanced with modules, but they will require more power. It looks like you will have to find rare batteries as you travel throughout the game, and those batteries will keep your energy sword charged and allow you to use more powerful abilities.
Having a strong weapon is important, and the energy sword isn’t the only weapon you will use in Hyper Light Drifter. Long-range guns and area attacks are also going to be used to fight off the increasingly difficult monsters you will face as you make it through the game.
If you don’t miss the experience you got playing the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a child, or you never played SNES, then you probably won’t like Hyper Light Drifter. However, it looks like Heart Machine has developed the perfect game for those of us who have fond memories of playing SNES. Their goal was to replicate that gaming experience, as they felt like SNES games provided the best experience possible in a limited environment.
There is also a lack of voice acting, but this is to be expected in a game that mimics the experience of a SNES game. The developer is putting a larger emphasis on music and visuals to tell the story, instead of a spoken dialog that’s common in today’s games.
Alex Preston developed Hyper Light Drifter with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Diablo in mind, taking the best elements from both titles. It’s very hard to imagine a hybrid of the two classic titles, but one can’t argue with Preston’s choice in games to draw inspiration from. Many games were inspired by these classics, but having a game take elements from both of them is unique. That’s probably why the Kickstarter campaign was such a huge success.
If you take a look at the screenshots you will see the game looks just like a classic Zelda game, but the maps and point-of-view are very similar to Diablo.
Expanded Expectations and Project Delays
At first, Alex Preston wanted to release the game in mid 2014, but it was quickly pushed back to late 2014. Due to an expanded project scope and health issues, Alex Preston had to push the game back even further, and now it’s expected for a release by the end of this year.
Alex took something negative and turned it into something positive. His health condition inspired the name Heart Machine and the story behind Hyper Light Drifter. He did something truly inspirational, and it will be exciting to play a SNES-like game on modern-day consoles. Right now you can pre-order Hyper Light Drifter for PC or Mac. For more information on the upcoming 2D action RPG, visit the official Heart Machine website.