Hyper Light Drifter closed beta scheduled for June, full game planned for end of the year

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Phil Savage at

As well as being one of our most anticipated games of the year, Hyper Light Drifter is perhaps the prettiest indie action-RPG I've seen in some time. Although, given that the genre also contains the scatalogical pestilence of The Binding of Isaac, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

The strength of its gif-laden Kickstarter page is surely a contributing factor to the $645,158 the team raised - 2,389% of its intended total. Having gone so far over the intended goal, though, the scope of the project has naturally increased. In a new Kickstarter update, the developers have announced what that means for the game's release.

"After heavy development, much discussion and examination, the team and I have decided that we will not rush the project," writes Heart Machine's Alex Preston. "There's an intense desire to create a polished, beautiful experience and we need more time to do so. We plan for the closed beta to come out near June, so you'll still savage hordes of beasts and explore a section of the world in due time. The Steam + PC release are first, as they were the initial platform; we have our sights set on the end of the year holiday season. Other platform releases are planned to follow shortly thereafter.

"The original approximation of a June release was for a game developed with just myself and Beau Blyth, something much smaller," Preston continues. "I would have been creating art for the next six months, with much rougher edges and animation. Since we have been given this remarkable opportunity, the project has evolved, requires polish and finesse that I was not originally afforded."

With the closed beta set for June, the game is still scheduled to appear to backers in some form on the original date, which is more than many high-profile Kickstarters can achieve. And with the extra time, money and developers, the game has a great shot at being a significant improvement on the original design when it does finally reach us at the end of the year.

The Kickstarter update also provided some sumptuous new images, which you can see below.