I’m pretty sure no developer is making as interesting and unique games as SuperGiant Games. They continue to put out hit after hit, each one of them ending up on my best of lists in the respective year they came out. Pyre, Transistor and Bastion are all incredible games in their own right. Their newest game Hades is no exception and I consider it one of the best games SuperGiant Games have ever put out.
Honestly, why even read this review, just go out and buy the game (Sorry to the editor). I’m telling you it’s one of the best games of the year hands down. Hades, is a roguelike game unlike anything you’ve ever played. You play as Zagreus, the son of the god of the underworld, Hades. Zagreus has made it his life mission to escape Tartarus. Unfortunately, Zagreus is weak when you first take control of him and he will die on his mission, prompting you to be reborn via blood bath. Thankfully, in death, you start at the beginning again with most of the items you picked up, which will help ease your quest as you go on. Each escape attempt into Tartarus will power you up and slowly but surely you will get closer to freeing yourself from the underworld. That is if you want the game to ever end.
The gameplay loop is, I’m not exaggerating when I say this, the best I’ve ever experienced. On top of that there is an incredible story being told. The more you die the more plot points you are provided. You must die to experience all this game has to offer. Zagreus wants to escape hell (who wouldn’t?) but his motivations are much deeper than you are originally told. You’ll meet a large list of side characters who will help fill in the blanks and help you out along your journey. The story isn’t overly complicated either, so if you stop playing for a bit you can reenter the world knowing that the core of the story is to get outta hell. It’s as simple as that on the surface but for those looking to be fully absorbed in the world know there’s a huge story waiting to unfold.
Every run is different, as rooms change every time you visit. It’s up to you to decide what room you go into, there are usually 1-3 rooms on display. The only hint you get to what’s ahead is an item on the door which will help guide your decisions. Every run I made through the game I felt a sense of accomplishment. It never felt like a chore starting over from the start where as in most games if I continued to die I would simply shut it down and uninstall. There’s a real sense of adventure and progress here and no two runs ever felt the same. It’s been incredibly hard to put down Hades. I keep telling myself one more run and next thing I know I’ve been playing for 5 hours straight.
I’m still trying to figure out what weapon is my favourite. You are presented with six different weapons, each one is very different from the last. A fan favorite online seems to be the Aegis/ Shield of Chaos but I find myself using the Malphon/ Twin Fists a lot. Everytime I pick a new weapon it feels like a whole new game all over again. On top of weapon variety are a near endless combination of buffs and specials you can play around with allowing you to play any way you choose. The game does such a great job giving you tons to play and experiment with but not making it overwhelming.
I have nothing negative to say about Hades. The only thing that stood out was the framerate dropped twice in my nearly 20 hours playing the game. The game runs beautiful at 720p in Handheld mode and 1080p at 60fps on the TV. This is an absolutely brilliant port and other than the few drops it’s a near perfect game.
Hades has to be the freshest and most rewarding game I’ve ever played. As someone who’s on the fence with roguelike games, this one stands out on top. I can easily call this one of the best games of the year. I’m absolutely in love with it and can’t see myself stop playing anytime soon. I highly encourage giving it a try, I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. It’s not often I would call a game perfect, but Hades truly is. Now here’s hoping Pyre makes its way to Switch one day cause everyone should give it a try.