hyperlight drifter is one of my favorite indie games of the last decade. It combines top-down arcade action with evocative pixel art and moody world building. spiritual successor hyper light switch is looking more and more like an incredibly ambitious expansion of those inspirations, and one I hope the developers of Heart Machine can deliver on.
a new trailer through IGN gave us our first look at the gameplay of the upcoming action RPG, and it comes complete with nods to some of the biggest blockbusters. Heart Machine promises “infinite open worlds” that look just as vibrant as you’d find in no man’s sky.
A part of the trailer shows the main character hang gliding over some stone ruins, reminiscent of breath of the wild. And yet another highlights the varied loadouts players can build, complete with loads of weapons. Not at all borderlands loot chase, but the combat is clearly on the cutting edge (and juxtaposed with music by Joel Corelitz and Troupe Gammage in the best way).
In its essence, however, hyper light switch it’s a roguelite which uses procedural generation so that every time you die, the world you return to is different. Originally conceived as a fragmented map with many individual biomes, Heart Machine revealed earlier this year I had chosen to combine everything into a single, ever-changing map to keep things simple (there’s also a great Noclip documentary on the development of the game with more information on how things have evolved).
Heart Machine first announced hyper light switch last April following the 2021 release of his imaginative but flawed action platforms sun ash. Before that, the studio had spent years making hyperlight driftera Kickstarter project that immediately gained a cult following and then followed through on its promises with one of the best indie games of 2016.
Instead of trying to get that magic back with a strict sequel, however, hyper light switch it seems to be a bold attempt to take the themes and mood of the original in a whole new direction. As the most recent trailer shows, it has a lot Happening Also, there is an online co-op. It’s probably not exactly what fans of the first game might have hoped for (the roguelite genre is already an instant turnoff for some), but I’m still cautiously optimistic. hyper light switch is scheduled to hit Early Access on Steam sometime in the fall of 2023.