Hades is a fast-paced rogue-like dungeon crawler that at the same time draws an interesting atmosphere from its quirky style of humour. Rogue-like games are usually characterized with distinctive gameplay where the player proceeds from another dungeon level to another. Hence also the name dungeon crawler. These games also usually implement periodically increased difficulty and permanent death for the player when failing to meet the expectations to survive. You can dodge the inevitable death by collecting powerups and just by simply getting better at the game. This “get good or die trying” style isn’t certainly everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I find it somehow relaxing and fun. It’s also very rewarding when you succeed.
In Hades you are Zagreus, the rebellious Prince of the Underworld and of course, the son of the almighty Hades himself. Your aim is simply to battle your way out of the Underworld. You can achieve this by wielding the different powers and mythic weapons known from the Greek mythology. You also get help or might also find some enemies from the Gods of these tales. When encountering death, you spawn back to the start and just have to try again. When dying you also lose all the possible power ups you found during the last try, but there are certain improvements that last even trough death. There is also a mode where the player becomes stronger every time they die if the idea is just to enjoy the story of the game.
The game has a distinctive graphical style that stands out. It feels like the developers really put an effort to find this artsy visual style. Each of the games character have a self-portrait that resembles their known features. While I enjoy the graphics, most of the characters seem to be at least one of latter – super muscular, lean, stereotypically good looking or the combination of all of these. This might be turn-off for some of the players (I think this is a much larger issue in games overall), but all and all the visuals are rocking the boat in a good way in my opinion.
Hades uses a lot of this cheeky, smartass humour. It seems to fit well for the rebellious Prince Zagreus, and you actually might want to read the conversations between the characters. Each character also has their own style driven from the Greek mythology manipulated with a hint of the cheeky humour. You by no means have to read the conversations if you don’t find them pleasing, but I would highly recommend giving them a chance at least. During my testing I didn’t get that far in the game. Still, even though when dying you have to start once again from the start, it’s never really not the same experience twice. You combine the power ups in a different way and counter different things in different order. So, I think I’ll end my review with these words and power up my PlayStation for more of some Hades.
Pictures: Supergiant Games.
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Developer: Supergiant Games
Platforms: MacOS, Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One,
Xbox Series X/S
Release Dates: September 17, 2020, for macOS, Switch, Windows and August 13, 2021, for
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X/S.
Genres: Rogue-like, dungeon crawler, action role-playing game
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