It has been exactly one year since then Hyperlightbreakerthe third game from Californian indie studio Heart Machine, was first revealed to the world with an outrageous animated trailer (co-directed by Spencer Wan of Castlevania fame, no less). As if to mark the occasion, Heart Machine and Gearbox Publishing shared a new trailer for the studio’s upcoming 3D adventure game and boy does it look as sharp as a phase-shifted Hard Light sword.
The trailer, which premiered on IGN’s YouTube channel on Tuesday, features the first comprehensive look at the game we’ve seen. Set in the shared universe of 2016 Hyperlight drifter and that of 2021 Solar axis, Hyperlightbreaker is a 3D action rougelite game set in a procedurally generated open world known as the Overgrowth. As “Breaker,” players must explore this beautiful yet hostile world to defeat vicious beasts and unearth new weapons in their quest to defeat the mysterious “Crowns” and their leader, the all-powerful “Abyss King.”
Too many invented proper names for you? Let’s break it down: In Hyperlightbreakeryou slash and slash enemies à la Hyperlight drifter; glide over surreal and picturesque plains à la Solar axis; getting clubbed by gigantic brutal bosses à la Dark souls And Elder ring; and can team up with other players to overcome challenges à la Lot 2. See – that’s much easier to understand, isn’t it? Especially when you see him in action with this new trailer.
That shouldn’t surprise anyone Hyperlightbreaker has seen significant shifts in its development since it was first announced last year. As discussed in a recent behind-the-scenes documentary video produced by Noclip, the game was originally envisioned as a level-based roguelike consisting of large individual areas with their own procedurally generated layouts. Over the past year, however, Heart Machine has adopted a “Pangaea Shift” approach to the game’s level design: all stages of the game setting are merged into one seamless, procedurally generated open world.
This recalibration of the design has resulted in what the studio describes as “an open world that you’ll only see once”, because every time the player dies – and by the looks of it, players will do quite a few – the world of the Overgrowth will be regenerated with a new landscape in the game’s roughly five different environmental biomes. It’s certainly an ambitious design approach, which explains why the game’s Early Access release has been pushed back to Fall 2023 of this year instead of the aforementioned Spring release window. A little disappointing, but not so long as to be a cause for frustration. All good things come in their due time.
Hyperlightbreaker will be released in Early Access on Steam this fall.