An action packed Rogue-like rich in Greek mythology and decision making.
Publisher: Supergiant Games Played on: Nintendo Switch
Rogue-likes are a modern genre of gaming and one that I truly enjoy. They are action packed, simplistic in there design and the randomness always keeps them fresh. I had heard about Hades, its outstanding reputation being shouted from the roof tops! And let me tell you, this game doesn’t disappoint.
Hades is a game that follows the young Zagreus, who is the son of Hades, trying to escape hell itself in the hope of discovering the truth about his heritage. In order to escape he needs to battle his way through multiple floors, each containing a variety of monsters tasked with stopping you. Once you die, you are returned back to the beginning to do it all once again, until you eventually escape.
The most prominent feature within Hades is choice. From before you start your run and throughout, you have a heap of choices before you and as you play through the game multiple times, you steadily learn what you have out there to chose from. The game does a wonderful job of gradually teaching you how to play, never overburdening you until you have had enough failed attempts to understand the ropes. Your first choice, is which weapon you are going to pick. There are 6 to choose from, with some quite traditional like the sword to more bizarre, like the Gatling gun. Each weapon is different from the others, and all have a normal and special attack. What I enjoyed about the weaponry within Hades, was that the first time I managed to escape from hell, it was with a weapon that I didn’t at first consider to be useful, which made completing the run with that particular weapon even more satisfying. As you play through the game, you will also need to select with favour you will equip – personally I enjoy the one which granted me an extra life, it was always handy knowing I could die and come back to life. Then as you play each run, the level of choice builds. When you defeat the monsters on each floor, you are sometimes presented with different paths, granting different rewards. But then within this choice, if you select a path which leas you to a boon from the gods, the god will provide you with a choice of three to select from. There is a lot of trail and error with both of these decisions, often making bad choices informing your future playthroughs. The level of choice is fantastic, making each run feel completely different from the last and the RNG never being too harsh where I ever felt hard-done by.
The story within Hades is very gentle, being told mainly through conversation with the various characters that can be found within Hell. If you love lore and deep story, then it is present for you to immerse yourself in but if you just want to get one with the action, then you can just skip over it all pretty quickly and get one with the monster killing. I found myself somewhere within the middle, enjoying the conversation when I came across the bosses within the game but not too bothered by some of the loiters in Hell. The ending within the game made sense, playing into the idea of completing multiple runs.
The gameplay within Hades is simplistic to understand but satisfying to master. Each weapon has a standard attack, special attack and dash strike, all utilising a dash in order to escape from damage. When you first play the game, you will most likely die quite soon as you become accustomed to the flow within the game but over time you will adjust to the flow of the fast paced combat. The game rewards those who are quick yet direct, taking advantage of their weapons abilities and being cautious when needed. After playing over 12 hours, I have grown comfortable with the combat, appreciating the brilliant flow that Supergiant games have created within Hades. Completing Hades for the first time felt unbelievably satisfying – a feeling that you don’t get from bigger triple A titles.
This review could go on and on – I could dive into the god boon system and the web of decisions and choice that lies in there, the fun boss battles, the brilliant art style and so much more but I like to keep my reviews on the shorter side. What I will mention before I finish up this review; is the end game. Hades doesn’t end after you finish the game once – even after finishing 4 times, new things are being unlocked and discovered and Supergiant games introduce new features to keep the game fresh throughout.
Hades is one of the best indies I have ever played and a perfect example of the brilliance that Indie developers bring to the table. Hades is action packed, thoughtful in it’s design yet so simple to understand and play. The art style is awesome, soaking in the inspiration from Greek mythology. This game is an easy 5/5 and must play for any Switch owners, and a pre-order must for any PS5 and Xbox players who are waiting.