Things are starting to heat up release wise within the gaming space. Big names like Dark Souls III and Quantum Break are just days away from launch, having just gone through The Division, Far Cry Primal and UFC 2. Thing is, the indie space never cools off. It seems like there’s a new big release independent title every week, whether on console, PC or handheld.
That’s the beauty of the situation we’re in at the moment, the envious position of having so much content to choose from on so many levels of awesome. So is the case with Hyper Light Drifter.
You play as a nameless character known only as ‘The Drifter’ through a relatively narrative free story. Its interpretation and understanding is entirely up to you, not unlike another indie hit in Journey. The Drifter, however, is suffering from an illness that threatens his life, so the task it set to find a cure somewhere within the world. What little text there is explains general controls and combat, but this isn’t your modern Nintendo adventure. Solving the puzzles comes down to discovery, no handholding here. It’s just you, the elements and an adventure filled with dangerous adversaries and that little inkling of hope in the distance as you progress.
It’s a beautiful looking game, there’s no doubt about that. Yes, the retro aesthetic is a constant within our independent world, some would argue we’re at a point of overuse to a degree. But it just goes to show how beautiful and effective it can be in the right hands, especially when coupled with a good story and solid controls. From early reviews, that seems to be the case.
Hyper Light Drifter has already done well for itself in the early going. It easily hit the top of the charts on Steam in its first 24 hours and should remain there for a good while yet. That comes on top of a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over US$600,000 thanks to more than 24,000 backers, numbers anyone would be envious of. Personally I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the game now that it’s available, but I’m also curious how it will go on console once it hits Xbox One and PS4 later this year. To be honest, it looks like it could fit just about anywhere.
Seriously though, just look at this artwork, it’s sublime. I’m happy to gush about how good it looks, that’s what we do here at PN2 after all. Sharing the love for the kinds of games we want to play is just a small part of our mission statement, and an action adventure that Nintendo would be proud of sounds like my kind of thing. Is it yours? Then why not check it out now on Steam, I seriously doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Mark Isaacson is a freelance writer who’s mad keen to drift along through the hyper lights. You can find him at @kartanym