Hades isn’t a new addition to the PC gaming world. However, now the Supergiant game is officially released, allowing it to be a game of the year contender. It is, in fact, a contender. One of the odd games that’s only available on the PC and Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PS4 players are officially missing out.
The Rogue Lite genre is certainly a crowded one. In order to stand out, a game has to do something quite different. The standard bearer, in my mind in that regard has been Dead Cells. That game made dying over and over again, cool and fun.
That’s not to say that it’s not a bit annoying when you get super far into a run only to have a misstep kill you off. Like any Rogue Lite, the game makes you start over again at the very beginning.
The good news here is that while you lose most of your special powers, there are a few things you can carry forward for your next try. It’s that little tweak that adds to the replayability.
Art style In Hades Second To None
It should come as no surprise that one of the things that makes Hades so delightful is the art style Supergiant used in the game. The creators of both Bastion and Transistor, their style stands out from the pack.
When it comes to a game where you’re trying to battle monsters in the depths of hell, the comic book/cartoony approach might actually be best. It’s not even the part of the game where you are moving, shooting and fighting that makes this title look so good.
There are also the still images when you are talking to one of the gods or monsters that are also really, really pretty. In fact, it’s one of the prettier games I’ve seen. The game deserves a special shoutout considering you’re talking about levels that are meant to be dark and dank.
You are literally playing your way through dungeons. The sun isn’t shining on you. At least not for most of the story. And yet, it’s never bland. The scenery is never dull.
Every screen is a delight for the eyes. At the same time, there is a cramped feel for the maps in Hades. You understand why there’s such a desire to get out.
The art is also good enough that I wanted to keep playing in order to see what was in store next. I wanted to get to the next screen to see what beauty awaited me.
Certainly there was also the pressing need to keep going so I could get closer and closer to the end. But even when I had to backtrack after a death, it didn’t get boring. I still loved looking at everything and anything.
Add in the palace that is your starting screen, where the actual god Hades kept you prisoner and there’s just a ton to take in an enjoy.
Weapons, Powers and More Weapons
One of the things that adds quite a bit of re-playability to the game are the weapons and powers you pick up along the way. While most resets once you “die” and have to start over, you are able to build up a few things that carry over. That includes one power to “defy” death and not have to start all the way over.
There are also weapons like a sword, a spear, a shield and a bow and arrow. The longer you play, the more weapons will unlock. Hades is so good because what weapons works best to get through the dungeons really is up to the individual play style.
Some people will love the sword. Some will do better with the spear. Still others can live out their Captain America of the underworld fantasies with the shield.
You’ll be able to pick up quite a few different power ups that give you new and interesting ways to go after opponents. These changes are only aided by the boosts and powers you’ll be handed by gods like Athena as you work your way through the world.
Get the right combo of powers and weapons and you can craft yourself into quite the juggernaut.
Verdict: Rogue Lites and Rogue Likes can be hit or miss. There’s a thin line to walk. You’re either going to have a game that’s too hard, and people give up on, or one that’s too easy and doesn’t have enough original stuff to keep people coming back. Hades absolutely hits its mark. Not only is this a great game. It’s currently my game of the year. Now excuse me while I go do another run.
- Great art style
- Weapons and skills change the game enough that re-playability is great
- Story sets itself apart from other Rogue Lite
- Enemy diversity could be better