Hyper Knights from Endless Loop Studios
Hyper Knights from Endless Loop Studios is a simple hack-and-slash/real-time strategy hybrid.
The action begins immediately after an avatar is created. The player is introduced to the world map, which is split up into different territories. With free movement throughout the map, the objective of Hyper Knights is to take over every area. How might one accomplish such a feat? With hacking and slashing, of course!
Hatchet and Shank?
Hyper Knights puts the player in charge of a hero and an upgrade-able horde of minions. The minions do most of the important work, such as destroying caravans and enemy outposts. They can be controlled by opening the area map and assigning where a portion of them will go attack. As they make their way to the objective, they also help by picking off any foot soldiers that may be in the way.
While the minions are doing their thing, the player takes control of their avatar to hack their way through the waves of enemies. One element of the hack-and-slash gameplay I enjoyed was that enemies weren’t just decimated by one attack button. The sequence of button presses needed to destroy each enemy floats about their heads. An enemy will only be destroyed by pressing the buttons in the right sequence. This goes for enemy captains and rogue knights – which act as boss enemies – as well.
However, in Hyper Knights battles aren’t just won with regular attacks. There are also four-button commands that will issue combo attacks or defensive maneuvers. The player can heal, put up a barrier that deflects arrows, perform ground-shaking attacks or use one of two super attacks that decimate every enemy in the vicinity. A combo bar accumulates as the player attacks, and this dictates the level of combo move they can use. It’s a great mechanic that can work swiftly to change the tide of battle, provided the combo bar is full enough.
Each map area in Hyper Knights can have as little as three battles for conquest, but usually more will arise. Enemy infantry wander the map, as do rogue enemy knights. They can pick away at the number of minions following the player; however, this is easily remedied by visiting a previous town, castle or outpost claimed. These spots on the map can be upgraded, and a fresh batch of minions can be collected. It’s important to take out any villages and fortresses before attempting the castle, as doing so will reduce the number of enemies in the castle significantly. This makes it easier to claim the castle and hence the new area.
All these gameplay mechanics come together slowly and don’t feel overly complicated in execution. As the player moves through the map, other units – friendly and opposing – will move as well, and even conduct skirmishes with each other. I found it fairly easy to begin taking over sections of the map, and also found that my avatar character leveled up really quickly. This meant I was able to make a lot of upgrades and unlock every combo quite early on, after only an hour or so of gameplay.
This game also states that a controller is recommended. I found the controls much more accessible with a controller. Using the keyboard felt a little disjointed.
Hyper Knights is a fairly casual experience, just complicated enough to garner interest but not deep enough to consider investing a large amount of time into it. It’s an enjoyable game, but I have to admit I lost interest fairly quickly. Regardless, Hyper Knights has a great amount of polish. Endless Loop Studios definitely went the extra mile while the game was in Early Access to turn out a bloody (literally) crowd-pleaser. A short game with a repetitive soundtrack, but fun nonetheless.
Hyper Knights is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Hyper Knights below: