Hades – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike (lite), ARPG
Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Hades – Review

Site Score
9.8
Good: Visuals, Original, Controls are great
Bad: RNG is still able to mess up a run completely
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

When Hades was originally released for PC and Switch nearly a year ago, it became an instant hit, earning one perfect score after another. Sadly, PlayStation and Xbox gamers were left in the cold, not being able to break free Zagreus’ chains from the underworld, escaping his father’s clutches. After a literal hellish year, we now find ourselves in the aforementioned underworld on the next generation of consoles, as we were lucky enough to receive a review copy of Hades for PS5. With boons of the many different Greek gods bestowed upon us, we did our best to venture towards the surface world; even if it meant dying over and over again.

Story

Without spoiling too much, Hades tells the story of Zagreus, the son of Hades, who is trying to escape the underworld. At first glance, he is seemingly fed up being forced to live in the confines of the underworld and wants to escape this afterlife prison. To achieve this goal, he’ll need the help of the Olympian gods, as they can bestow powers upon him, aiding him in his quest.

At first, you’ll hardly have any story value as to why you are trying to escape the underworld. You seem like a bratty entitled son of a god, only trying to annoy his father. Soon, things will become more clear as to why you are reaching out to the other Olympians and why you actually want to escape. The story is brought through short dialogues, often giving you small snippets of information, until you die once more, ending up at your father’s desk once again.

Graphics

Hades is an absolute delight to look at. Even though after a few runs you’ll start encountering the same dungeon rooms over and over again, the decors are well-crafted, and even after the tenth time, you still notice small new details. The different layers of the underworld also have their own distinct style, which makes it extra fun when you make some progress, as you’ll have new backgrounds to inspect and new enemies to kill. The cast of enemies is not overly diverse, but having too many patterns to memorize would be a bit too taxing anyway.

The character portraits are once again amazingly handled, as well as their actual NPC models in the game. There’s a lot of intricate artwork to uncover, and it’s always a delight when you meet new characters on your arduous journey. Overall, it’s amazingly fun to explore the confines of the underworld.

Sound

On top of the visual spectacle, we also get a stellar soundtrack to enjoy. The background music kicks in at the appropriate moments and wells up when in the midst of hectic battles. Rather than annoy you, which happens a lot when games make their soundtrack too bombastic, the game motivates you to pull out all the stops. The overall catchy music then also flows into the superb voice acting, which is often also an overlooked aspect for roguelike/roguelite games. The sound effects also pack a proper oomph, which makes the many battles you’ll have to endure all the more satisfying.

Gameplay

Even though Hades is classified as an action-packed roguelike experience, we’d rather call it a roguelite, as not all progress is lost when you die. You’ll be trying to make your escape out of the underworld, but you’ll be hindered at every possible turn by your father, trying to send you back to the lowest level. Upon dying, you will keep the items you have collected, safe for the money and boons bestowed upon you by the Olympian gods. As you progress, you can unlock new passive abilities, as well as a few active ones, and new weapons and keepsakes. These keepsakes also grant an additional passive bonus, but you’re only allowed to use one at any given time (you can swap later, however).

Truth be told, Hades will become a fairly straightforward experience after a few attempts. You’ll notice that you’ll gradually start to learn certain enemy patterns, get used to the different environments, know what boons to choose when being granted the option to choose between different rooms for progression, and so on. As you go, you’ll unlock the aforementioned upgrades and items, while also renovating the underworld, once again granting you bonuses when trying to escape. These may come in the form of you collecting money quicker, finding fountains that replenish your health, and so on. Even though the game may look simple at first, it has a lot of intricacies that make you come back for more.

Not only is it nice to see your progress after a few runs, but the game also plays extremely smoothly. Even those not familiar with the genre will find the controls very intuitive and easy to work with. The game relies heavily on you repositioning Zagreus throughout the many battles you’ll endure, as standing still means almost certain death when enemies start wailing on you. After a few weapons are unlocked, you’ll also find the one that suits your playstyle, making the game gradually easier as you go.

Conclusion

Hades is somewhat of a masterpiece in its respective genre. Not only is the game filled with lore, the fluid gameplay mechanics and the fact that casual players can still make some progress is something that allows a broad audience to enjoy this title. Even though the game still has a lot of RNG embedded in its core, the game never feels unfair, unlike in titles such as The Binding of Isaac. This combo of roguelite gameplay with its masterful visuals and great backstory makes for a very entertaining grind. We can easily recommend this title to aficionados of the genre, as well as those interested in the entire roguelike/roguelite concept. This is basically as good as it can possibly get.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Hades - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.