Tally, bally ho! Here was what (for many critics and gamers) was the greatest video game of 2020. Hades! A roguelike with lots of spiffing action.
It’s basically Dead Cells, but with a Greek setting and an isometric view. But is it really the shizzles? You know what… it really bloody well is.
Hades: The Enthralling Roguelike Thingy
Okay, so you can get this action-packed, fast, furious, and complex roguelike on pretty much any device you fancy.
Hades has an enormous amount to offer. As you might expect—San Francisco’s indie dev Supergiant Games is responsible for gems such as Bastion (2011).
In the roguelike genre, death is an active part of playing the game.
And in Hades, it’s generally good to die quite a lot. You have “runs” through the game heading through opening levels and then you get a type of Choose Your Own Adventure set of pathways to follow.
Inevitably, you die during each run against stronger baddies. But you skill up during each session and make your character (Zagreus) more and more epic.
The plot involves your dude attempting to escape his father’s underworld realm, for which he relies on the Gods of Olympus to gain power-ups and skill sets.
This means you’ll meet folks from Greek mythology. The likes of Achilles, Asterius, Theseus, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Zeus.
And so your goal is to try and escape the underworld with a trusty weapon, plus a range of abilities you can configure by making choices and developing skill trees.
So, yeah, it’s a type of genre that rewards perseverance. After a few hours of playing you get into the swing of things and start ramping up your strategic thinking.
Roguelikes are about grinding (playing something over and over), failure, and learning from your errors.
And although Hades isn’t quite as frantic as Dead Cells, it ramps up proceedings by wrapping a fun story into the mix.
But what’s really important is just how enthralling the title is. It’s an absolute blast to play and the more time you put into it, the more you’ll be drawn into its surprisingly complex depths.
It has that addictive quality roguelikes need. The desire to pick up and play—to keep returning for more punishment and glory.
We don’t want to give too much away as Hades is a game best enjoyed by throwing yourself into it and learning as you go along.
That’s where it excels. No handholding, just into the action and continue thrashing it out over weeks and months. The longevity it offers is impressive.
Top off this experience with fantastic visuals, tight controls, and (again) that complexity. There’s a lot to get your head around and ramp up as you progress.
The soundtrack is also good, although often it feels like the same track is used and over and over but with variations on dramatics.
It fits Hades well, but we wouldn’t say it’s up there with the finest game soundtracks. For example, Dead Cells is outstanding with its brooding chamber music. Whereas here it’s more repetitive.
But for what it’s worth, here’s a sample of Hades’ sounds in action.
Altogether, Hades delivers on its reputation with serious panache.
It’s enthralling, thrilling, and the blend of roguelike, action, and RPG elements stand it out in a crowded marketplace.
But above everything else it’s just a lot of fun.
And, for us, it’s another example of why the indie game scene is just way ahead of AAA titles with creativity and sheer enjoyment factor.
There’s no pomp and ceremony here. Hades delivers pure gaming brilliance that’ll draw you in and make you remember why you love this hobby of yours.