Hyper Gentle Breaker is not simply translating the beloved 2D pixel artwork Zelda homage into full 3D⁠—it is also shifting gears into a totally totally different model of game. The primary’s intricate, handcrafted world has been changed with a roguelike construction whose open zones are created anew for every run. We do not but know the way that formidable procedural era system goes to pan out, however after testing a demo for Hyper Gentle Breaker at GDC, I am already craving extra of its glorious fight and lovely visuals.

I used to be instantly impressed by the roguelike’s hub space, which manages to be very Hyper Gentle whereas wanting like nothing within the unique game. Your critter buddies and meta game upgrades are housed in a rooftop market in the midst of a stunning cyberpunk metropolis, and whereas I did not spend an excessive amount of time bumming round there, it felt lots like Future’s Tower as this nice, scenic house base to unwind at between missions.

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Scenic misty horizon with giant sword visible

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Breaker flying over blasted orange desert landscape near ocean

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Breaker engaging with knight glowing boss enemy

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Breaker facing werewolf boss enemy

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Breaker standing in snowy environment

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Breaker aiming at enemies in purple field

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Breaker in blasted red wasteland under pink sky

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Loading right into a run, Breaker jogged my memory a whole lot of Threat of Rain 2 with its construction: you’ve got received this open zone to probe for upgrades, not wanting your character to be underpowered for later encounters, balanced towards a looming time crunch to get your butt in gear. As an alternative of RoR 2’s frantic horde shooting, Breaker’s received a 3D translation of the unique Hyper Gentle Drifter’s exact, Soulsborne-adjacent fight, full with a lovingly rendered model of the primary game’s rainbow flash step dodge deal⁠. The one character obtainable for this demo is principally a ringer for the primary game’s titular Drifter, although there’s the promise of different characters with their very own distinct mechanics.

You’ve got additionally received a bit extra room to breathe than in Threat of Rain 2, with an emphasis on taking your time to discover. I loved my very own time tooling across the map, however I had an actual second of jealousy watching GamesRadar US managing editor Rollin Bishop deal with the zone⁠—he stumbled right into a deep underground vault with a hidden miniboss, and likewise found out deploy a Jak 2-style hoverboard that seemed sick as hell. 

In any other case there’s nonetheless some work to be achieved on traversal: for hills and climbing partitions I used to be capable of do a combo of dashing and leaping that felt good, however very inconsistent, and the Breath of the Wild-style glider is a little bit of a disappointment at the moment⁠—the factor simply drops like a lead balloon. I may see not eager to let gamers simply sail over the whole lot in a zone, particularly with procedural era to think about, however I hope they will discover a higher steadiness.

Talking of that procedural era, that is nonetheless an open query for Hyper Gentle Breaker. The zone I performed in felt unbelievable and bespoke, and that is as a result of it was⁠—a Coronary heart Machine developer current on the occasion confirmed that the demo zone was specifically assembled. It is smart to desire a polished and directed slice of gameplay for Breaker’s first public reveal, however that additionally means one among its essential options, poised as a driver of infinite roguelike replayability, stays untested.

However no matter occurs with that system, Hyper Gentle Breaker has already efficiently translated Drifter’s fight and legendary vibe into full 3D, and that is no imply feat. It is difficult too⁠—I received into sufficient of a groove to get previous three guardian minibosses and unlock the zone’s essential boss struggle, a werewolf-looking man with an enormous sword and a few sturdy Darkish Souls Artorias power, however I used to be positively an excellent few makes an attempt away from beating him. 

A vital lesson was making full use of a set of cooldown timer talents⁠—they felt nearly like an MMO hotbar, and primary assault spamming simply did not reduce the mustard. My favourite assaults had been a form of AoE anime teleport slash assault⁠—assume Fiora’s ult from League of Legends⁠—and a proximity mine I’d kite enemies by means of. Restricted ammo had me saving my assault rifle for ranged and flying enemies.

Issues are wanting good for Breaker⁠, and it passes essentially the most essential check for me⁠—I need to play extra of it. I nonetheless should take one other crack at that werewolf greatsword man, in any case. Hyper Gentle Breaker is about to launch in early entry this summer season, and you may wishlist it on Steam.