Hades (2020) by Supergiant Games

There is little I can say about this game that hasn’t been said already. Made by the relatively small studio, Supergiant Games, this rogue-like is a culmination of the studio’s best traits and experiences. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you go check out their earlier work as well as the NoClip Documentary about them.

Presented with gorgeous, unique, detailed artwork, and scored with inspiring, thoughtful, and emotive music, Hades is eye and ear candy that can be run on most systems. The rogue-like game-play is a mix and match of Supergiant’s previous works such as Transistor and Bastion but with a much faster pace. Tieing together all of this is a unique premise. You are the son of Hades, the God of the dead. And you are trying to escape his realm. Each time you die, as an immortal, you are brought back. Each time you die, everyone recognizes it and responds to you with new dialogue. Which brings us to the other incredible aspect about this game.

The sheer amount of dialogue and intel you can gather is so exhaustive that at a 42 attempts and 20 hours, I am yet to come across a repetition. And if others are to be believed, then this ingenuity is sustained for another 20hrs.

That said, if the initial gameplay does not appeal to you, it is unlikely that the rest of the game will either. The combat remains more or less the same at its core but feels unique because of the boons you stack on. Your ‘build’ and play styles across two runs will never be the same and that is part of the appeal. You will have to constantly adapt while keeping the core mechanics in mind.

Hades is the type of game that you can tell was made with lots of love and care. It is felt in every little detail present in every map you cross. In every unique bit of dialogue the various characters spout and the stunning music that plays throughout. The game is insanely well put together and is thus, always a joy to jump into.

This is the first rogue-like that I have been so addicted to. Part of the appeal lies in the fact that the game rewards attempts. No run is a waste and each attempt brings you closer to the finish line. This is unlike other rogue-likes which feel so punishing that after a while, they become unfun.

Like I said, nothing I say here is new. Supergiant has hit it out of the park and honestly I can’t wait for their next game. Speaking off, I never got around to Pyre, need to do that soon. By which I of course mean, after Cyberpunk 2077 which is probably the most awaited title of this year.

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