I didn't think my most-wanted open-world game could get any cooler, and then its bosses went full Elden Ring

Hyper Light Breaker
(Image credit: Heart Machine)

I don't want Elden Ring to do to the phrase 'open-world game' what Dark Souls did to 'difficult game' for several frustrating years – that is, become overused shorthand largely founded on recency bias – but hear me out on this. Hyper Light Breaker, a 3D roguelike successor to the 2D indie darling Hyper Light Drifter, is my most-anticipated open-world game right now, and the lore behind one of its newly revealed bosses would fit right into the FromSoftware library. 

As director Alx Preston explains in a new video (above) from Game Informer covering the Last Master miniboss: "The sword master's the last of her lineage. She studied under several masters who have passed down this knowledge about these types of blades through many generations. She ended up here in this land as a Breaker and succumbed to the dangers of the Overgrowth. Now she stalks the grounds as an undead, cursed entity, still with all the skills and danger that comes with her history and mastery of the blade."  

Look, all I'm saying is that if you take this description, replace Breaker with Tarnished, and swap Overgrowth for The Lands Between, you've got yourself a plausible Elden Ring boss. I can easily picture running into this undead warrior out in the middle of nowhere, bloodstains all around. 

I'm not at all implying that Hyper Light Breaker is derivative or that developer Heart Machine even looked at Elden Ring for inspiration here. I just love tragic figures who mirror the player character – you're a Breaker too, after all – and are anchored to a cursed land. This trope is up there with floating islands and critical damage ratios on the list of things that activate my neurons. FromSoftware just happens to be a master of it, and I'm also incredibly down for this kind of fight in Hyper Light Breaker. 

My excitement doesn't end with the lore, either. I knew from its first gameplay trailer – and the fact it was made by Heart Machine, which has yet to miss – that Hyper Light Breaker has some cool boss fights, but this video offers another glimpse at boss behavior and the Last Master looks incredible, especially for a miniboss. Her moves and weapons mirror yours, turning the fight into a storm of clashing cyan and pink slashes. I also dig the unnatural way the boss lurches to life at the start of the fight, like a puppet unaccustomed to its strings. 

Hyper Light Breaker continues to feel like it was made just for me, so I'll be at the front of the line when it comes to Steam early access this year.  

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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.