Hyper Light Drifter – Special Edition
Top Critic Average
"I can see the colours of light!"
Review in Finnish | Read full review
If you groan every time you see another 2D action-RPG on the Nintendo eShop, don’t be dissuaded by Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition. While it borrows from the Zelda blueprint and games that have followed, it is packaged so perfectly that it stands above the rest. The depth of its vivid world goes beyond what you see on your screen. There’s more lurking there, and you’ll want to discover it all.
Its evocative use of visual storytelling, haunting soundtrack, and fluid combat system will leave you cutting and coughing through its beautifully pixelated playground long after the credits roll.
This doesn’t detract from the overall visual spectacle and quality of the combat; however, the obscure hidden objects and aimless directive do, somewhat. Hyper Light Drifter demands patience and a slower pace, so those looking for a non-stop, full throttle action title should temper their expectations. While the game seeks to deliver a more expanse experience than the SNES titles of the past, it is often most effective during its most intimate moments. In comparison to other Zelda-like titles on the Switch eShop, it is difficult to say whether or not there is an equal amount of quality and personality, as Hyper Light Drifter is content to wow players with its own, unique charms. If you are a fan of tight combat and gorgeous visuals, you can’t go wrong with this title, but expect to get lost more than a few times, in both good ways and bad.
Hyper Light Drifter – Special Edition is one of the best independent games on the Nintendo eShop and a shining example of 2D gaming in general. It’s a retro-style game and then some, with great atmosphere and challenging combat. If you missed it on other platforms, now’s your chance!
Indie games don't get much more memorable than Hyper Light Drifter and this Special Edition acts as a good excuse to finally play it if you haven't already.
Even then, though, it's hard not to like what the developer has done here, and for that, this is definitely a game worth a look.
Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition is a must-own for anyone who enjoys a quality action title. Fans of 2D Zelda games will adore this for how it pays lip-service without being derivative. Heart Machine has triumphed by focusing on what people loved about action-adventures, while refining combat and challenge. In the beginning, some might be overwhelmed by the lack of direction; but those who dare to actually play will be greatly rewarded. The Switch Special Edition extras are neat, but the meat and potatoes that make up the sum of Hyper Light Drifter is still what makes it so great in the first place.
While the difficulty and lack of hand holding might hold it back for some, Hyper Light Drifter is an alluring and contemplative 2D Zelda-esque experience. It's so easy to get lost in this world and stumble upon new paths and items to make your exploration justified. Putting in the time to learn the intricacies of this mysterious game is worthwhile because when Hyper Light Drifter all comes together, it's poetic and brilliant.
Hyper Light Drifter is simply a must-play title. The Nintendo Switch version features a few exclusive features so in my mind, it's the ‘definitive version' at this point. While I initially had some frame-rate issues (some in single-player mode, while most were in the co-op mode), the 1.2.0 patch on the Nintendo Switch helped out tremendously. I didn't recall any issues after the patch. If you're looking for a great Zelda-like game with amazing atmosphere and music, you owe it to yourself to check out Hyper Light Drifter.