Quick look: Hades
I know nothing of rogue like games, I know a little about Supergiant Games, and I know a bit about Hades, after watching the ongoing NoClip documentary of the development process.
So, to say I was a little bit like a fish out of water, would be an understatement. But, glowing reviews all-over the place, a vested interest from following the development, and a £10 Epic Game Store voucher meant that it’s time I got stuck in.
No way Hades can be as good as everyone makes it out to be, right?
Why is it good?
If we cast aside the slick visuals and bright, vibrant colours. Let the incredible soundtrack (listen to it on Spotify!) wash over you, and take the the wonderful world of Greek mythology out of the equation. What are you left with?
Anyone and their dog can tell you Hades is a great game. It’s exceptional, frankly. But the appeal to me (aside from everything above) is exactly what appeals to me about battle royale games.
It took me a while to connect the two. But Hades, and other rogue likes are the same. No run is ever the same.
Random boon drops and randomised encounters see you scratching that same itch. Hades is no exception.
You’re never solely as good as the gear you’ve got, because you could potentially get a completion with relatively poor boons (power-ups) and minimal buffs. But you could be gifted some next-level support and still die.
Your skill and willingness to try and try again, are where it comes to life. Everything else is supplementary.
You could be dropping at Pochinki and leaving with only a frying pan and a silencer. The start to PUBG doesn’t necessarily determine the end. There are too many random factors to take into account.
Hades is exactly the same. Sure, you’ll always start in that first chamber of Tartarus. But that’s it.
Playing Hades has opened my eyes to a genre that I’ve never really considered, but more than that. It’s helped me realise that non-AAA titles can be more satisfying than all the gloss and advertising afforded by big publishers.
Heaven or Hell?
With a name like Hades, you know this game involves Hell, right? Well, yeah. You play Zagreus, son of Hades.
The entire premise of the game is to escape the underworld and join your extended family on Mount Olympus.
So how do you bother to give a crap about the story when you’re essentially stuck in a repeating loop of “make a run, die, repeat”? This is where Supergiant Games really shine.
Hades is full of dialogue, clever delivery of exposition and honestly great writing and voice acting. So many contextual conversations with people mid-run, post-run or pre-run.
You learn about everyone, and the world within which you’re in. It’s so clever and delivered in such a natural way. It’s honestly what elevates Hades above everything else.
This is story-telling heaven, in hell.
All in all
If someone said the term “rogue like” to me a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t have flinched. I barely understood the premise, and certainly had no experience with the genre.
Somehow, in a perfect storm of hype, Greek mythology and money off. I found myself playing Hades, and in a few runs, things slowly began to click.
It looks incredible, with butter-smooth animations all over the place. It handles with the precision you need, to know that it’s only you letting yourself down. And it sounds amazing. The soundtrack is bloody special, and voice acting is great across the board.
Above all of that, you’re deep into a story before you know it. Combine that all with the fact that you’re never going to play the same run in the game, twice. You’re always challenged and always learning.
Hades is scratching so many itches, it’s not even funny!
I’m now playing Dead Cells, too. Another rogue like that I’ve heard about, but never bothered with. Man, I’ve missed out on so much by being so ignorant of the genre!
It’s a little over the top to say, but in a way Hades has opened my mind, and honestly, kinda changed my life.
If only I could actually escape……I’ll get there! 31 runs in, but it’s only the start of my journey into the genre, and out of the underworld.
Simply exceptional, top-to-bottom. Pick it up when you get the chance, you won’t regret it!
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