Video Games

Hyper Light Breaker Exclusive First Gameplay Preview: Familiar Colors, New Light

Seeing developer Alx Preston explain the early gameplay of Hyper Light Breaker at this year’s Game Developers Conference makes the already puzzling world of Hyper Light even more puzzling. Hyper Light Breaker is already a game told in strong images rather than words, and the story slowly unravels the mystery over time and a lot of effort. But Breaker is such a complete departure from Drifter in gameplay that even more of an aura of mystery emerges as Preston experiences it through cryptic hints as to what’s going on while crashing through piles of enemies in a rainbow biome. increase.

Similar to Drifter, the world of Hyper Light Breaker is full of bright colors, littered with strange runes and ruins, and has no real language to describe what goes on within, instead characters are pictograms. Everything I see is vaguely futuristic, but also apocalyptic and somewhat overgrown, with characters and enemies blending technology with vague shadowy beings and gigantic forms. With no explicit storytelling context and full of colorful mystery, Breaker is easily recognizable as a hyper-light game driven solely by aesthetics.

But it’s the aesthetics where most of the glaring similarities end. Whereas Hyper Light Drifter was a single-player (at launch) top-down action-adventure game, Hyper Light Breaker is an entirely different genre. It is a multiplayer 3D rogue-like action game that revolves around players going from a hub into a procedurally generated world, defeating bosses and coming back to start all over again. I have a quick look at the putter around a bustling hub city full of NPCs before Preston heads out into the world for a run. He plays single-player, but he tells me Hyper Light Breaker will include online co-op multiplayer that allows flexibility for different players in the game’s story, wherever they are. He says there are different character classes with different abilities and some degree of customizability.

As the “Breaker,” players are sent to Overgrowth to defeat the minions of the Abyss King, the mysterious Big Bad at the heart of the Hyper Light Breaker. However, it seems that it is not easy to reach the King of the Abyss. To do so, the player must defeat multiple bosses in various procedurally generated biomes. Each boss is gated behind multiple “beacons” that must be activated for each boss to appear. Preston begins in an adorable pink biome that is deeply reminiscent of the first area of ​​the Wanderer and begins scurrying in search of a beacon.

We’re optimistic that the transition from top-down to 3D combat won’t be too difficult for Drifter fans.

Luckily for Drifter fans, combat on Breker looks familiar (at least visually). More than ever before for chaining combos together, with customizable melee and ranged weapon loadouts, along with special abilities like grenades and (my favorite) the giant cube that Preston repeatedly dropped on his enemies’ heads But the familiarity comes from the kind of pleasing chunkiness I loved in Hyper Light Drifter, where hits are tightly connected with satisfying sounds and reactions. It’s hard to say much more without time to actually put it into practice, but I’m optimistic that his transition from top-down to 3D combat won’t be too difficult for Drifter fans.

That familiarity is also aided by what appears to be a fun movement technique. You can run around on your hoverboard, or shoot down ramps and walls in your system, with clear cues from Heart Machine’s recent Solar Ash. Whether the locomotion tech will be as robust as Solar Ash is yet to be seen, but allowing players to freely roam each biome was certainly the right lesson.

I see Preston track some beacons. Each beacon comes with its own set of challenges. Most of it is combat-oriented, fighting mini-bosses to get him access to one, and another mini-boss guarded by several smaller waves of enemies. Seems to me like a significant diversion from the narrow room-to-room construction that has become a common trope in the roguelike genre these days. At any time, Preston can travel to another biome where he can tackle some beacons, raise enemies, or explore cool decay structures if he wants. However, some biomes can be harder to navigate early in the run than others. He pointed out a huge building-sized sword sticking out of the ground in the distance, and Preston confirmed that he could go there if he needed to. He says there are ‘currently’ five biomes. I’m shy about whether there are more biomes.

As Preston explores, there are many things happening on screen at once. He gathers materials from his enemies, hinting that they will be used to upgrade his weapons. Players always get something, he says, “even if he dies in like 10 seconds.” There is also always a day-night cycle that coincides with the world’s relative safety and danger periods, indicating that the current running enemies are becoming more and more challenging over time.

With all the required beacons lit, Preston heads to the “Boss Gate”. There, area bosses show up for a showdown that further showcases Breaker combat. He’s in some sort of sizable Coliseum, battling a bipedal vague lizard-like creature that unleashes massive punches. Another boss we’ll see later is a large bipedal wolf with a giant glowing sword. It’s hard to get a feel for the boss fights at this stage – Hyper Light Breaker is still months away from its planned early access launch, so some of the monsters and bosses like these are still a little too tweaked. It’s not representative of the final battle, Preston tells us. However, story progression is tied to these bosses, and each boss defeat reveals more details about the story, the King of the Abyss, and the “Mystery of the Never Die Curse” that Preston says is the heart of Hyper. Become. light breaker.

What I learned from watching about 45 minutes of Hyper Light Breaker play in front of me was that it was functionally a completely different game than Hyper Light Drifter. vibe It is correct. Even with its chunky feel and fundamentals at its core, it’s a different genre, a different (if linked) story, with a vastly different gameplay loop and combat style. The futuristic aesthetic and overall mysterious vibe fit right in so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Hyper Light Breaker fits into the larger Hyper Light universe Heart Machine seems to be building. .

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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