I hope Hyper Light Breaker pulls out Hades and irons out its flaws when it finally enters Early Access later this year – Preview

When you release a sequel to a hit indie game, do you play it safe and stay true to the original vision, or do you take the opportunity to go in a new, interesting direction? It’s a thorny issue that many studios have had to face over the years, and while moving toward bigger prospects may lead to greater success, it’s not without risk. Enter the Super Light Destroyer.

Hyper Light Breaker is a third-person action game with an open world map, rogue-like elements, and moderate difficulty. That word salad may sound long and delicious, but it’s worth noting over the top because the last Hyper Light game – Hyper Light Drifter – was an entirely different beast. This is a pixel art top-down action RPG. The Breaker looks different, feels different…and it’s an entirely different beast.

After playing demos of the game at developer days and GDC, Hyper Light Breaker feels solid ahead of its Early Access release later this year. Combat is decent; a little better than Genshin Impact, but not as good as NieR: Automata — the two games that, according to the developer, served as inspiration for Hyper Light Breaker’s new direction. It’s this core combat experience that was the highlight for me, and judging from my brief time with it, it’s not without its flaws. Hyper Light Breaker feels like it’s slipping a bit in its rush from one dimension to another.

Super Light Destroyer Boss

Don’t worry, there are still powerful bosses for you to overcome. | Image Source: heart machine

Like a stylish t-shirt, it feels tight, which isn’t a downside if you’re good at what you do. Blocking incoming attacks works perfectly to provide proven bonuses, and flowing between base attack strings and abilities turns you into a colorful whirling dervish. This quality is present in some of my favorite action games, and across genres. The actual gameplay of Hyper Light Breaker put me in the same flow state as Devil May Cry 5 or Hades. The tightness allows you to show off your abs, so to speak. The game seems to reward mastery, just like its predecessor. However, with coin tosses, failure and dropping the ball can also be extremely punishing.

The series retains its difficulty, so parry a little late or stop paying attention, and a random guy with a rocket launcher will most likely finish you off. So far, so good! Hyper Light Drifter is appealing because it challenges you to learn and improve from your failed attempts—and that’s definitely present here, albeit in a different form.

I also like the new look, even if I’m heartbroken by the classic pixelated aesthetic the original championed. The game is very saturated and colorful, best shown in the center where all runs start. Lush green trees and neon lights meet, and even the dilapidated alleys have a unique sense of beauty. This extends to the more dangerous parts of the demo, which is a mesmerizing yet naturalistic landscape with hills and streams littered with broken robots. There is no doubt that this game is one to watch.

As you can see, Hyper Light Breaker retains its energy and action focus.

But my praise for Hyper Light Breaker has somewhat lost its luster since then. The rogue-like elements of the game look pretty standard. I did end up dying to one of the bigger enemies in the demo, and as you can imagine, all my items and upgrades were lost (the currency bars I accumulated piled up like in the Dark Souls series) .

From there you return to the hub with nothing but XP, which, according to developers present, can be used toward your Breaker level. It’s nice and works really well, but doesn’t quite blow your hair back when you rinse – repeat your difficulty ladder.

While the appeal of “infinite worlds” in the game’s trailer sounds great, I also really miss the hand-crafted world of Hyper Light Drifter. With procedurally generated levels designed like this, you always lose something; aside from the mini-map guiding you to elites you must defeat in order to progress, navigating the landscape feels a bit aimless.This game looks like Hyper Light, but it Feel More like Risk of Rain 2. To some of you, this sounds great. For others, it makes you a little sad.

Super Light Destroyer Glider

You can really see the Genshin Impact inspiration for the glider, and more lovely environments, | Image Source: heart machine

I think Hyper Light Breaker could be an exciting new game from Heart Machine, and I’m very interested to see how it develops in Early Access. This is a game that could benefit greatly from a period of silence. It’s a nice base, but I don’t think it has the punch and coolness of Hyper Light Drifter. However, this is purely a matter of taste. In my opinion, Castaway is cooler – but I think that’s something fans of both games will debate for years. If developers can really tighten the bolts, the leap will be worth it.

Hyper Light Breaker may have wider appeal, especially once it finally emerges from the early access oven of the future (think Hades), but the team still has a long way to go before years of support Researchers believe this new approach is worthwhile.

“Hyper Light Breaker” will be released in early access in summer 2024. It will be released on Steam first, but whether it will be released on other platforms will be announced at a later date.

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