Hyper Light Drifter is one of my absolute favorite indie games of all time. I’ve put off writing this review for a long while, even though I’ve wanted to so badly. The reason for this is, I’m not sure if I have the capabilities of capturing the reason why I love this game so much. It just hits the nail on the head in so many places that I can’t help but love every second of it.
In my personal opinion this is one of the most gorgeous pixel art games ever made. There’s so many interesting and visually stunning set pieces, that I was often taken aback with the amount of creativity and detail put into them. I often found myself just sitting on a cliff side and enjoying the view before entering a new area. This all may just be a me thing, but I’ve always found pixel graphics very appealing and this game really pushes the envelope with them.
This game’s combat is great. It remains basic but in a good way. You have a gun, a sword, and you can teleport, simple enough right? It uses this to its advantage by giving the teleport a distinct rhythm in which if you tap space bar at just the right time it will chain into another quick teleport. This gives the combat a certain skill and fluency to it, that becomes very rewarding and feels great once you get used to it. The cut of the sword is also very harsh and satisfying, making combat feel that much better.
This game has an amazing soundtrack, that fits perfectly with the previously mentioned graphics. The music can be calm, creepy or high tension whenever it needs to be, or all at the same time! I couldn’t see this game having better fitting music.
The story is told in a very unique way, with not a single word spoken throughout the entire game. This complements the amazing music and the overall tone/aesthetic of the game. The story is full of symbolism and ambiguousness, which leaves a lot up to the player.
If it seems like I’m giving this game way too much praise, that’s because I truly believe it deserves it, especially for being so underrated. After saying all of that I still doubt this review is really doing it justice. If you enjoy slashers, pixel art games, or just indie games in general, I highly recommend you pick this up ASAP. If anyone still believes that video games aren’t a form of art, please buy them this game.