Hades – Review

Death is only the beginning.

Release Date
August 13, 2021
Private Division
Supergiant Games
PS4, PS5
Reviewed on
Review Copy Provided By
Private Division

Hades is a roguelike, action, hack and slash, dungeon crawler game where you play as Hades’ son Zagreus who is attempting to escape the underworld.

Akin to other roguelike games you go through levels called encounters, each encounter is filled with monsters from bomb-throwing skeletons to laser shooting floating crystals, there are also some unforgiving boss battles so hard that you will surely meet your demise.

After death, you reawaken in a pool of blood within the house of Hades. Here you can choose your equipment, do upgrades and you will be able to converse with the house’s inhabitants. Here is where most of the story would take place between escape attempts. Each character will play an important role in the story in a way that is not typical of any other roguelike games as everyone is aware of Zagreus’ attempts to escape and may choose whether or not to aid him.

hades image 1

You can sometimes even interact with bosses that you have slain during your escape attempts, you get to feel their emotions and views of the underworld. The first boss in particular “Megaera”, every time you defeat her she starts thinking that she is just a means to an end up to the point that I didn’t want to fight her anymore. But don’t worry about the game becoming less of a challenge as bosses will be replaced with new even more deadlier ones who also play a role in the story.

At the start of the game, you are greeted by your cousin Athena, who informs you that the Olympian gods are aware of your attempts to escape and they would want to help you out. They help by providing boons, these are upgrades to your abilities like Zeus adding lightning to damage surrounding enemies by or Hermes letting you run faster.

hades image 2

As you clear each encounter you are often given a choice on the next one and what type of boon you get as a reward for clearing it. Boons can also differ depending on the weapon you have, from a sword that helps you fight in close combat to a shield that you can throw. My personal favorite is the bow that you can charge up to do tremendous amounts of damage from far away. You can also combine boons like giving your bow the ability to do rapid-fire as well as giving it poison. But don’t rely on the gods too much, they are selfish, and when the time comes that you have to choose between two boons the god you don’t choose will take out their grievances on you.

The gameplay is fast-paced and timing your attacks and evading is very important. Sometimes the game gives you little to no time for mistakes as waves of enemies charge at you. You’ll have fun dispatching enemy after enemy as you go through each and every encounter.

One ability that I’m not fond of is the “Call” ability, its a boon that lets you do a unique special attack based on the god or goddess you take it from, this ability lets you either surf a wave of water that crushes enemies in your path or throw an assortment of projectiles at enemies. What’s bad about it is that to use it, a gauge needs to be filled up. It fills up so slow and most of the time the damage it does is so minimal that it feels like you’re just throwing grass at the enemy and the worst part is the gauge resets after every encounter so you can’t even save it up.

The art style is amazing. From the character models to the visual effects of abilities to the jaw-dropping environments that leave you in awe. Like the blood rivers of Tartarus, the molten lakes of Asphodel to the vibrant fields of Elysium. It will surely make your journey out of the underworld a captivating one.

Altogether Hades is a fun game to sit back and enjoy as you dive deeper into the story and push through waves upon waves of monsters as you push your way out of the underworld.

Hades – Review
Score Definition
You know that it’s an amazing game that can also be described as almost perfect.
Combat is fast paced and enjoyable
The story is engaging
The progression is satisfying
Encounters are sometimes repetetive