Hyper Light Drifter follow-up is a gorgeous 3D roguelite with co-op

Just months after releasing Solar Ash, Heart Machine has revealed a follow-up to the beloved pixel art action RPG Hyper Light Drifter. A departure from its predecessor, Hyper Light Breaker is a 3D third-person action game in a roguelite format, retaining the speed and colour of its forebear but replacing pixels with polygons.

Hyper Light Breaker is set in the Overgrowth, which is a "vast, ever-changing world with massive, open biomes and deep labyrinths." This being a roguelite, that means the environments will be randomized, but there's a hub-like 'Settlement' which becomes more populated throughout the game (think Hades, or Spelunky 2, or… most roguelites). 

The fighting sounds like it's aiming for something as fast and fluid as Solar Ash, albeit with a focus on RPG-style build crafting: there's a "wide arsenal" of weapons and items to discover. The player-character has a hoverboard and glider at their disposal, and can wall-dash as well, all the better to move through those "vast" environments with speed and grace. The Steam page also promises online cooperative play, in addition to single player.

The trailer above is light on gameplay footage, but the small glimpses we do get definitely look like the studio behind Hyper Light Drifter and Solar Ash making a game that adopts the best elements from both. Hyper Light Breaker will hit Steam Early Access in spring 2023.

In the meantime you could try Solar Ash, which scored a respective 70 in our review. "Despite its strengths, Solar Ash fails to skate free from the gravity of its influences," Sam Greer wrote, noting that regardless of these failings, the movement is superb. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.