Hyper Light Drifter, developer Heart Machine’s Zelda- and Diablo-inspired action-RPG, will be defined by fast-paced combat, minimalistic storytelling, and world design, director Alex Preston described in a post on the PlayStation Blog.
According to Preston, the team at Heart Machine’s goal was to create “combat that’s lightning quick, brutal and never unfair” by designed enemies that represent “intelligent and tactical scenarios” as opposed to fodder to barrel through. At the same time, they wanted players to feel empowered, so they designed encounters with visual and audio cues that make attacks and damage dealt feel much more rewarding.
Drifter also harkens back to Zelda’s roots by removing “endless blocks of text, poorly designed UI, and explicit handholding.” Heart Machine’s 2D sci-fi action-RPG will contain no user interface elements that “don’t relate to the world itself,” and narrative moments will be presented in storyboard-style sequences as opposed to dialogue text or voice overs.
Complementing the team’s efforts to create a visually atmospheric world to explore will be a soundtrack scored by Rich Vreeland, better known as Disasterpeace—the man behind the music in Phil Fish’s Fez.
Originally announced for PC, Preston and company turned to Kickstarter late last year looking for $27,000 in funding to complete the project. By the end of their campaign, they managed to rake in a whopping $645,158, allowing them to expand the project’s scope and scale and also bring it to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Ouya, and Wii U. It’s expected to launch across those platforms later this year.
Here’s a brief but glorious glimpse of Hyper Light Drifter in action: