Hyper Light Drifter (PC/PS4/XB1)

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    After completing Hitman (I'll probably still mess around with it) and taking a little break from starting another game, I decided to start up Hyper Light Drifter last night.

    I've played about 3 hours so far and absolutely adore it. This is one beautiful game in a lot of ways.

    For starters, it looks gorgeous. The art in this game is incredibly good, the backgrounds, characters, enemies, the colour palette, flashes of story. Seriously mesmerising stuff.

    The game itself feels really good and challenging. Dashing and attacking just has this impact which I can only describe as right. It just seems to have a good feel of impact. Enemies are unforgiving but fair. You just really have to get into the flow of the game to survive a room of enemies and it's so satisfying when you do defeat everyone. On top of that, while I'd say the game is more difficult than most, it is still very generous in terms of checkpoints. You won't lose a huge amount of progress..

    For me the best part has been the discovery. You are giving free reign to go whichever direction you want and every area contains loads of secrets where you'll find bits to upgrade or modules to further open up areas. It does a really good job at hiding things but getting the player to investigate that little bit more. I've enjoyed this aspect so much that after defeating the boss in the first area (I went east), I went back to town, upgraded my dash and went straight back to explore some more.

    On the boss, probably the most surprising bit so far, I found it to be pretty easy but I gather that I fought the easiest boss too so I'm expecting a bigger challenge there in future.

    On very small thing I love, the protagonist dangling their leg over the edge of a drop when you're moving in that direction. Jut love that little detail.

    Anyway, I love this game so far. I'll be sure to post more as I progress/complete it.

    Edit: Oh, just on one other thing that I really love so far. The upgrades still require some skill to pull off. Most games just tend to make you more powerful, now you can kill 2 enemies instantly at once, now 3. In Hyper Light Drifter, the upgrades give you better skills to be used in a fight or in movement (there are others, but I'm specifically talking about these). So the first upgrade I got was being able to combo dashes. In most games, you could probably just keep tapping the dash button and that would be fine but here, you have to time it correctly to get your dashes to combo. I really appreciate that as I think most games make things way too passive when it comes to upgrading your abilities.

  • @tokeeffe9 Make sure you find most of the secrets before tackling the final boss. They're the most wonderful part of that game. Crit pathing the game isn't nearly as good. You can skip the awful chain dash chamber though. I have no clue what the devs were thinking there.

  • @Mbun Oh I'm taking my sweet sweet time with this one.

  • I can't believe there wasn't a thread for this!

    @tokeeffe9 I picked it up myself 3 months ago and absolutely adored this game. Good to hear you're taking your time! There are so many things to discover in that game and all the little details really make it feel special.

    @Mbun My best chain dash score in the practice room was 69 and I gave up trying with a controller at that point.

  • @logic__error I broke 100. I think 119 was my best, then when that wasn't good enough I looked up how many it requires and said hell no. I know there's cheese mouse strats, but it's not even worth the effort.

  • @Mbun Same, I think I read that it takes ~8 minutes and I gracefully bowed out.

  • @Mbun @logic__error Yeah, the dash challenge is definitely a test in both patience and zen-like concentration. I don't know why or how, but I did it, and honestly, the accomplishment was worth it. I think my PB is 1100, but a speedrunner I follow has managed 5765 on controller which is just madness.

    Still, I think beating the game deathless is an even more absurd trophy.

    @tokeeffe9 As you know, I am very excited to hear all of your thoughts on this game.

    HLD is one of my favourite games of all time. i played it right when it came out and still think about it all the time. It's so pretty, yet mysterious. Organic, yet mechanical. The combat and movement are so fluid and rhythmic. I've never really put my thoughts on HLD into words, so maybe I'll finally do that for this thread.

  • @DeweyDecibel I'm sure it felt incredible! I know if I put my mind to it, I could eventually get the achievement, but the small successes I did have with chain dashing in the game world were enough for me. The Deathless run is definitely worse, I'd rather do chain dashing any day!

  • I put another few hours in tonight and made a lot more progress. I beat the bosses in the North and West zone and just finished up with 3 modules in the south area.

    To start off, I was messing around with the dash in the upgrade shop and got the Chain Champion trophy thinking "Wasn't that hard". Little did I know ye were talking about the one which is an 800 combo! Might leave that one.

    I continue to love this game. I mentioned I was surprised that the first boss I fought was a bit easy. Well the other two are a nice step up from the toad. Both of them are a lot more aggressive and can take a lot of health off you, in particular the boss in the West.

    On to the West area, easily my favourite area. Maybe it was because it was a forest setting but it really felt like it was extremely open and that I was finding a load of secret areas all over the place. On top of that, the enemies were really cool here, them along with the crystals gave off this really creepy vibe. And those weird wolf creatures make some really unnerving howls. Loved it.

    I didn't mention the soundtrack at all. I had listened to the whole thing before playing the game and enjoyed it without necessarily wanting to relisten however it works brilliantly with in the game. It's just that perfect blend of melancholic to slightly tense when the occasion needs it. I could see someone saying it's a bit repetitive but as someone who hates that term, I don't agree. All the music is really good and just fits really well so it works here.

    I do have to admit though that I don't really know what's going on story wise and I've absolutely no idea what the hieroglyphs I'm finding are doing but I'll hopefully be enlightened when the credits roll, probably tomorrow.

  • @tokeeffe9 Haha, yeah the 800 dash is the one that takes 8 minutes of non-stop dashing. There are a few dash areas of the world too that are frustrating. The fact that you took out the West boss already is impressive. That one gave me the most trouble. The West is probably my favorite area too, so much ground to cover and a nice variety in the areas there. The bodies frozen in the crystals are so eerie.

    As far as the story... the hieroglyphs have translations but you won't find them in game. Might have to look that stuff up post game!

  • And after a long session yesterday, I completed Hyper Light Drifter. What an incredibly good game.

    After the last post, I was onto the South area. At first I was wondering if the game worked dynamically since I was facing mini bosses. I only realised later that this area was actually blocked off until you complete the other areas. And you can see why. This does feel like the area with the most lore of the game. From what I can tell, this is where you can see titans being built and the 'corruption' coming through in mini bosses. Maybe I shouldn't call them that as they all the bosses in the area felt like a similar level to each other.

    So I could have completed the game a few hours earlier but I really loved the exploration in the game so I went back to each area to get all the modules and open the 8 module doors. I loved doing it because I ended up finding more monoliths and keys along the way and it just showed some of the cool stuff I missed.

    I am of two minds with how some things are signposted though. I think it's very satisfying when you see the square on the ground and know there is a secret there but I also feel like that's no longer a secret, it's actually a bit too much handholding even though I did get satisfaction from it. I think Jonathon Blow talks about that in a NoClip documentary where Zelda went from just dropping bombs next to a wall and their might be a secret but as the series progressed, those walls had cracks in them so you knew. Just something interesting to think about in terms of design.

    So with that I found the the building where the monoliths you found are. That was a really cool area to see on a second run of the area and why it's totally worth trying to get as much as possible before finishing up. I did look up the two monoliths I was missing (they were painfully easy ones) to get the full set. The fashion souls in this game are strong. :) The main thing I missed out in were 4 keys and I'd no major desire to go hunting for them.

    Regards the story, I do put this game in the Dark Souls area (love the Bloodborne storytelling but Dark Souls always feels that bit more vague) where it is just little details here and there that you put together. I think the dialog of pictures from creatures you talk to is great. In the end I'm still kinda working out Anubis role in the game as they seem very central to the plot.

    Off the top of my head of two complaints with the game.

    • The final boss was a small let down, felt like the second easiest boss in the game to me.
    • Using the gun can be a right pain. I imagine this wouldn't be as big of an issue on PC but on PS4 it's rough enough when you have to line up a shot to trigger a switch.

    With that said, amazing game, I'm absolutely shocked it didn't get on the community GOTY for 2016.

    Little detail - One other thing (the dangling over the ledge being the other) that I really liked. If you massacred a room of enemies, that little monster that takes 3 hits, if one is left, they start running away in fear. I just thought that was really cool.

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    @tokeeffe9 That sounds awesome! How long do you appreciate that it would take to beat?

  • @Lotias If you just played through the game sequentially instead of going back like I did, I reckon you're talking about 8 hours.

    I was a lot closer to somewhere in the 13-15 hour mark I reckon.

  • @tokeeffe9 said:

    The main thing I missed out in were 4 keys

    I just hope you found the sports minigame, the arena area, etc.

  • @Mbun Haha. Yes I did. I played a few rounds before I accidentally found a technique and just cheesed it :D

    I only put a small bit of time into the latter.