it’s only been five years hyper light drifter Released, but it seems to be too long. Fans immediately fell in love with the pixel-art action game, which quickly raised it to the indie-game Hall of Fame. This has made the wait for developer Heart Machine’s follow-up particularly long, like the one we’ve been waiting for more than a decade for another instant classic to be delivered.
Heart Machine isn’t trying to do the same trick twice, and that became clear when I attended a demo event for its long-awaited follow-up, solar tear. While its colors and atmosphere are familiar, the developer has made some fundamental changes to its style. solar tear Doesn’t dial in on hack-and-slash action like its predecessor. Instead, it’s all about movement—even during its most action-packed moments.
solar tear is a 3D action-adventure game where players explore gorgeous, surreal places. in spite of digging hyper light drifterSignature pixel style for smooth 3D textures, it’s still instantly recognizable as a Heart Machine game with its deep purple hue. Even its main character feels shredded from the same fabric as Drifter.
As soon as the main character, Rei, begins to move, the two games begin to really fall apart. She essentially skates around the world, as if traveling on a rollerblade. In the first moments of the demo, I saw her descending a cloudy slope. She quickly climbs a slope, breaks a cliff to get some resources, and begins platforming atop a giant alien rib cage, rising out of the clouds.
The movement intensified as the demo progressed, with Rei basically performing several actions at once. In one room, she hits a ladder, snaps a switch, tethers to a gap to cut another, and spins through the air to strike a door like an eye. It all goes like a cosmic figure-skating routine.
whereas solar tear Prefers fluid platforming over massive combat, with players still having enemies to eliminate. However, even the fight is more about movement than just racking up hits (there’s no combo meter or score system in the game). Demoist doesn’t stop to fight an enemy, but launches Rei mid-skate, using her momentum to advance in a series of slashes. The developers note that enemies play an important role in traversal puzzles, whether as obstacles or as signals where players need to move.
The most exciting moment of the demo comes at the very end when Rei stumbles upon a boss. in tribute super mario galaxy, Rei lands on a small planet around which she can run at all. A giant monster lands on the planet – and we’re talking really big. It is a black, centipede-like animal with a large, bony spine on top. To damage it, Rei jumps on her back and starts moving from vertebra to vertebra at a rapid rate. As she walks, she bites the beacon, which prevents the monster from knocking her down. After successfully moving around her body, she finds a weak point and drops a staff into it.
reminds the series shadow of the Colossus, where Rey needs to navigate massive battle puzzles in order to win. Simply replace slow, careful climbing with fast-paced skating. Heart Machine notes that the monster I saw is actually the smallest in the game by a long shot, so Rei will skate across some pretty gargantuan creatures during her journey.
Heart Machine mentioned running fast at various points during the demo, and that motivation really shows through. I noticed that the bits were fast and fluid, Rei rarely stopped moving unless she talked to an NPC or upgraded her gear. The game also features timed challenges, which force players to master their movement to advance. There is a moment during the demo session that best describes what players can expect. solar tear. At one point, a developer invites the master of speed himself, Sonic, joking that he’ll “go faster.”
solar tear Launching October 26 for PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC via Epic Games Store.