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Hyper Light Drifter Review

Hyper Light Drifter Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Reivew by: Joe Sinicki
Reviewed on: PC

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Hyper Light Drifter. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

Hyper Light Drifter is a game that feels like it's going through a bit of an identity crisis. It plays like a sped up version of the classic eight and sixteen bit Zelda adventures, challenges you like Dark Souls and looks like someone spilled a bucket of 80s neon paint on it, yet somehow it mostly succeeds despite all of this and Hyper Light Drifter is a remarkably well put together action role playing game - but it could have been a classic. Lackluster world design and a sense of context to wrap it all up make Hyper Light Drifter fall just short of what it could have been and while it's still great; it could have been something you tell your kids about years from now.

There are some pretty heavy themes here...
Hyper Light Drifter Review Screenshot

Exploration is key in Hyper Light Drifter, even if it doesn't always seem like it. The game has a tendency to keep things vague and open for interpretation. Here's what I can tell you, the game seems to take place in a world where technology has taken over and not in a good way. The ground is littered with bodies and machine parts and it's an overall sad existence, but hey - everything is colored bright pink so there's that. The rest of the story is told via wordless context clues and conversations that you'll have to figure out to truly understand what's going on. There are some pretty heavy themes here like those of genocide and loss but it never feels too heavy since the game never comes out and says any of this.

From the moment you stat Hyper Light Drifter, you're free to explore in pretty much any direction, which of course has a direct impact on the way your story unfolds. In the beginning this was a bit odd and I felt lost like the game lacked direction, but you'll quickly lose that and enjoy the freedom the game gives you. It was a lot of fun to try to piece things together and look for secrets which I assure you, Hyper Light Drifter is dripping with some of them are just ridiculously tricky to find. The game has a habit of hiding pathways and secrets at the end of areas where you're completely sure that nothing can be and to get them you'll have to get to the very edge of a path to see if there's anything interesting on the other side; a novel idea but it got old quick when I found myself testing out nearly every path I found.  The curious thing about this is that a lot of what was hidden behind these blocked off paths were clues to the game's story and world, and that's a lot of work to merely understand what's happening in a game.

...feels like a mix between Zelda and Dark Souls...
Hyper Light Drifter Review Screenshot

Gameplay wise Hyper Light Drifter feels like a mix between Zelda and Dark Souls; a truly strange combination that somehow works very well. You'll start with a few basic moves, a light dash to get you both to further away areas, a gun and a sword and though you'll gain access to more powerful weapons and abilities, the game never makes any of them feel mandatory and gives you a lot of choice on how to go about the game. Since none of the upgrades introduce new gameplay elements, and rather feature new ways to do things you could technically go the entire game without using any of these upgrades, you just better be sure you can handle the game's almost absurd difficulty spikes. Multiple times, especially during boss fights the game's difficulty changed in what seemed like a second. It's rewarding when you beat them but there's a good chance you'll curse the game more times than you'll care to admit. 

Dripping with style, Hyper Light Drifter is a game that likely doesn't make much sense the way I'm explaining it to unless you've seen it before, but it's unquestionably worth playing regardless of the few stumbles along the way. It's a game that for better or worse asks you to make decisions and make them quickly. Not everyone is going to love it but everyone should unquestionably check it out.

Overall: 8/10
Presentation:
8
Gameplay:
7
Lasting Appeal:
7
CHEATfactor:
5
CHEATfactor

The trainer for Hyper Light Drifter from Cheat Happens features the same minimalist approach that the game itself does. With only two options, there's not much here and both give you more health to deal with the hordes of nameless enemies you'll come across. I'd love a cheat to unlock some of the game;s techniques sooner.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on Hyper Light Drifter!

Joe Sinicki
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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