Hyper Light Breaker devs say you can think of their open-world roguelike as Breath of the Wild meets Hades, and I certainly want to

Hyper Light Breaker
(Image credit: Heart Machine)

Roguelike open-world RPG Hyper Light Breaker dropped a new trailer during today's Summer Game Fest Day of the Devs presentation as part of not-E3 2023, and its uncommon genre mish-mash somehow makes sense filtered through the uncanny style of developer Heart Machine.

"It's a huge, stylish, bloody game," creative director Alx Preston says in the new showcase. "As is our MO, it's a game that's vivid but bleak, with a crumbing world that can be brutal and beautiful all at once. It's a major landmark for us, and the first of its kind: an open-world game where you never return to the same world twice." 

"You could say it's a mix of incredible open-world games like Breath of the Wild distilled into the format of a roguelike such as Dead Cells or Hades," he adds as my ears perk up once again.  

Hyper Light Breaker has always been a much more ambitious game than its spiritual precursor Hyper Light Drifter, which actually takes place decades after Breaker. It not only promises functionally infinite worlds to explore out in the Overgrowth, born from a mix of procedural and handcrafted chunks, it's also a full-fat RPG complete with co-op. You'll find and upgrade new weapons and items to refine builds run over run, and your choices in the story will affect your hub base back home, adding new characters and improving various functions. 

I was previously intrigued by the distinctly Soulslike lore attached to some of Hyper Light Breaker's bosses, and instantly smitten with its sheer style and charisma after its first gameplay trailer. More recently, we learned - or rather, confirmed, as there was never any doubt - that it leverages some of the techniques and movement from the delightful Solar Ash, Heart Machine's previous 3D outing. Hyper Light Breaker feels like it could be something special, and it's certainly not one to overlook. 

After today's showing, I'm especially interested in how co-op play affects game and boss balance, particularly where there mysterious Crown bosses are concerned, not to mention the Abyss King at the center of the Overgrowth's blight. The very idea of 'Hades with friends in an open world' gets my heart pumping, and I need to see more.

Hyper Light Breaker will hit early access on PC later this year.

Here's the (not quite) E3 2023 schedule so you know what to expect in the days ahead. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.