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Solar Ash has a secret hardcore mode, here's how you unlock it

Solar Ash
(Image credit: Heart Machine)

Solar Ash hardcore mode is just waiting to challenge you after you clear the game.

The next game from the creator of Hyper Light Drifter just hit PS4, PS5, and PC via the Epic Games Store today, and Alx Preston couldn't wait to tease a little extra feature that he'd kept secret right up until the eve of its release date.

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While the existence of Solar Ash hardcore mode was kept secret up until release, the way to get it isn't exactly obscure: the game tells you outright that you simply need to complete Solar Ash once on any difficulty setting to unlock it. While the standard game isn't meant to be as challenging as Hyper Light Drifter, it's built to allow some impressive feats from speedrunners - including a trophy for clearing the whole game in less than 3 hours.

GR's Austin Wood took a little longer than that in his first playthrough, but to be fair his Solar Ash review notes that the simple act of moving around is so fun he probably didn't want to hurry.

"In the same way that a nice knife makes chopping vegetables downright addictive, Solar Ash makes cutting through clouds and gliding over platforms endlessly exhilarating. Rei moves with enchanting grace and explosive power. You're unstoppable. Boost to build momentum, double-jump off a ledge, grapple upward, and slow time at just the right moment to launch off an enemy and preserve your momentum."

See what else we're excited to play in our guide to new games 2021 and beyond. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.