‘Hades’ Review: Addicting Death-loop Of Pure Fun

Hades, Photo: Courtesy of Supergiant Games

Hades, Photo: Courtesy of Supergiant Games

Hades is the fabulous new triumph from Supergiant Games, makers of Transistor, Pyre and Bastion. Hades demands attention from players and onlookers alike from its freakishly detailed environments, hand-drawn portraits and engaging voice acting. The angsty Zagreus, son of Hades and Persephone, is on a death march out of the Underworld, but the catch is, you can’t die in the land of the dead. After every failed escape, and there will be many, Zagreus is sent back to the lair of his dreaded father, the lord of the Underworld. Zagreus is supremely charming, so is the entire cast of mythological people and beasts who call the Underworld their home. Sarcasm and wit drips from every interaction in this devilishly well-written game.

The game runs without a single stutter on the Nintendo Switch, so other platforms like PlayStation, Xbox and PC have no reason to worry about performance. The controls are basic enough to not over-complicate, but also allow for dense combat  thanks to the large collection of weapons, as well as power ups which come in the form of blessings from the many Gods and Goddesses who help Zagreus on his climb out of the Underworld. Every blessing comes with a witty quip from whichever God from up on high gives charity to the young prince. Hades will have you slashing through hordes of the undead, dodging fiery barrels, and constantly engaged throughout the game’s twitchy combat.

Hades is a rogue-lite game meaning all of the power-ups, items and boosts you earn on your climb, minus some special few, disappear on your unceremonious death. While it can be devastating to lose those hard-earned items, Hades makes each climb feel valuable by letting a few currencies follow Zagreus after each run to buy hub-world upgrades, new weapons, or gain favor with the Underworld’s many denizens.

Hades is a captivating and addicting adventure. The game also recently took home the Game of the Year Award at the first annual Gayming Awards in February. Under the slamming score and mesmerizing environments, slashing away at the Underworld’s most unlucky feels like a dream.

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