Hyper Light Breaker Hands-on Preview

In a nutshell:

  • At Summer Game Fest, we had the opportunity to play Hyper Light Breaker.
  • The preview build we played featured the HQ, the world map, and challenging the area boss.
  • There are extensive roguelite elements at play, including permanent bonuses marked by the complete destruction of the planet.

Announced during the Day of Devs livestream last year, we were able to experience Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Breaker during the recently concluded Summer Game Fest. We had the opportunity to try out 30 minutes of the game and get a peek at what we can expect when it finally drops in early access later this summer.

Hyper Light Breaker of Worlds

We start our adventure in Hyper Light Breaker by selecting our avatar from three choices: either masculine, feminine, or animal-presenting avatars. They are merely skins, so we don’t necessarily gain any advantage, so just choose whatever floats your boat! You then get to select a melee attack, a ranged attack, and a special attack armament when you spawn at the HQ.

We’ll return to the HQ in a little bit, but since I had little time to explore Hyper Light Breaker’s world, I went sightseeing. In this build, we’re able to explore most of the biome, encounter most of its fauna, and meet its elites. However, we only have access to one boss on a separate floating island from the spot that we’ve landed on.

Hyper Light Breaker Traversal

The combat in Hyper Light Breaker feels smooth and polished, and I’m able to attack with melee and ranged weapons. Special skills and spread attacks are activated by holding certain buttons in sequence, which can be a bit tricky to pull off at first. The same is also seen in some of the traversal skills, such as skating when on the ground and using a glider when jumping off high platforms.

Various enemies are scattered throughout, and many of these are quite easy to vanquish. From the regular grunts and even with the elites, you can easily take them down with a few good hits with your basic attacks and shots. Using such techniques does not deplete their use, but there is a cooldown meter, so it’s not spammed too often.

Hyper Light Breaker Combat

Upon defeating an elite, you will receive a boss key, which allows you to take on the world boss. Alternatively, you can also return to your HQ by extraction, but doing so triggers an assassin on your heels as you return to the extraction point, where you’ll be safely delivered back to HQ. If not, you’ll die, and you have five lives before the Chaos King obliterates the entire world.

Sounds daunting.

Deploy. Explore. Defeat. Extract. Repeat.

Returning to HQ, we were able to peruse some of the shops where we could upgrade our arsenal and sell our unnecessary loot. Just like many games of this type, the loot is divided into different rarities, where the higher the rarity, the more compounded the skills stack.

Some upgrades can only be purchased using a different kind of currency. This currency will only be available once the Chaos King has completely obliterated the world after losing five of our lives. In essence, we can continue to get more powerful in the current world by continuing to extract, but the difficulty of the world increases as you attempt it multiple times.

Hyper Light Breaker HQ

We decided to return to attempt the area boss, and thus we noticed that difficulty definitely stepped up a notch. Regular enemies started to get better and learned from your attacks. Elites now punish you for your clumsy mistakes. When you get swarmed, the difficulty starts to rack up. Finally, you notice that a bar you haven’t been paying attention to suddenly maxed out. Hyper Light Breaker has just begun.

The Danger Bar, once full, adds challenges for the Chaos King. In our case, we’ve received more sniper enemies, making us more easily shot by ranged enemies. I sought another boss key as I returned to HQ. I realized that after navigating a special loot area, I captured a second boss key along with some extra loot, giving me an edge over the area boss.

Hyper Light Breaker Boss

Or so I thought.

The area boss built was different from the other scrubs, making them a formidable challenge. One thing that I’ve learned in the process of challenging the boss is to counter their attacks, heal my damage, and use my special abilities. Even with that and the relentless swarm that the boss brings, I easily succumbed to them, bringing me back to HQ.

While it was a short but sweet experience, the 30-minute demo was not enough for us to even scrape the surface of Hyper Light Breaker. We can’t wait to try it out during Early Access to see how deep this world goes.

Hyper Light Breaker arrives on Early Access this Summer on PC.

Our Summer Game Fest 2024 coverage is powered by Lenovo Philippines and Lenovo Legion.

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