Hyper Light Drifter Is Almost Here, Lovelier Than Ever

Here I was, taking this little note about Hyper Light Drifter‘s [official site] latest trailer off the RPS’ organisatron, thinking it’d be another relatively innocuous video showing off the gorgeous pixel art or the fluid combat and then the release date. There was no way I could want it more than I already did, right?

But this last trailer took me by surprise and stopped me in my tracks: it’s quieter than usual, and the dramatic piano music frames all the footage very differently. Hyper Light Drifter had beauty, style, action, atmosphere. Now it also has pathos. But I’m not going to cry. Not here, in front of everyone. Maybe past the break. Oh, it’s coming out on March 31st.

I feel kind of stupid for crying at a game trailer. I have no idea why I feel so invested in this, although the music certainly helps. Maybe it’s also because I just re-read Nathan Grayson’s piece about Alex Preston, founder of Heart Machine and main creative mind behind Hyper Light Drifter, and his struggle with heart disease.

But I’m happy the game has shown this other side of itself, this new mood. Everyone always talked about the visuals and gameplay, and perhaps it’s normal, they’re easier to show off in promotional material, but a game like this would feel hollow to me, if it was just rooms of enemies without much of a narrative.

If you haven’t been following or need a refresher, Hyper Light Drifter is a hack-and-slash predicated on quick and fluid movement, where the joy is to elegantly dash and dodge and chain your actions together in one swift motion, dancing with your enemies and never being hit. You can read Graham’s in-depth hands-on with a 2014 demo here.

The game should be released on PC, Mac and Linux on March 31st, but the devs are having some last-minute issues with the Linux build, which may mean a slight delay for that one, if they can’t fix it in time. Heart Machine are also urging backers to complete the BackerKit survey if they haven’t done so already.


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  3. preshrunk_cyberpunk says:

    The wait for this has been brutal. Also I rather like that trailer…

    …Under a Neon Pink Sky ;)

  4. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Finally! I have been waiting all week for one of Horace’s minions to post this! Best news I’ve heard all week, unfortunately it came about two hours before I heard the worst news all week (Phife’s passing.)

    Dark Souls Shmork Souls, THIS is the upcoming release to get excited about. I have been looking forward to this game for almost 2 years now and this final trailer has just boosted my excitement back to when I saw the first. If you really want to see how far the game has come compare the above trailer with the original as the two mirror one another.

    • Arkayjiya says:

      Dark Souls is an awesome series well deserving of the hype. That being said, and although I don’t know yet if HLD will be deserving, this is super exciting too!

    • Imek says:

      I’m glad this game had slipped my mind until the article reminded me just now. Waiting 2 years for it must have been torture.

  5. ropeladder says:

    Yep this has been at the top of my list since I heard about it. Really hoping that it can deliver more than just SNEStalgia.

  6. hantheman says:

    Sounds like I’m going to have buy ANOTHER game soundtrack… God I’m a sucker for those melancholic piano or sting quartet compositions

    • deadlybydsgn says:

      As much as soundtracks are a major part of my game enjoyment, I’ve had to back off on actually owning them.

      Why? Because my music library was over-crowded with them and began to show a lack of ‘normal’ music to listen to in the car. I pretty much only listen to game music while working, so it was a problem. Thankfully, I was able to purge some of them and just listen via streaming services when the need arises.

    • Urthman says:

      Well the bad (?) news is that the soundtrack composer for Hyper Light Drifter, Disasterpeace (Richard Vreeland), has done a ton of great game soundtracks (and at least one movie soundtrack).

      The good news (maybe?) is that many of them aren’t melancholic piano or sting quartet compositions.

  7. April March says:

    Between this, Moon Drifters and the game from the Shadowrun folks (Necropolis?) these are good times for fans of Diablo-ey, roguelikeish unforgiving fast games with lovely, abstract times. I can live with that.

    • Static says:

      We seem to have similar taste I too was going to post how I look forward to both this game and necropolis. I’ve never heard of Moon Drifters though and a quick google search turns up nothing, can you toss out a link or something? Thanks!

  8. Xzi says:

    I threw my money at the screen, but there’s still no pre-order button on Steam.

  9. buzzmong says:

    I’m *really* looking forward to this game.
    Artistically it looks great as I’m a sucker for retro-style, but the gameplay videos make it look awesome as well.

  10. Otterley says:

    Wait, did you just say “March 31st”? 2016? I won’t need the cryopod?

    • Arkayjiya says:

      It’s refreshing isn’t it? For once I won’t be destroyed by the wait for a game.

      • Otterley says:

        Absolutely. And I’ll actually be able to remember that it’s coming out when it happens ^^