Hades is the latest title from Supergiant Games. Players take control of Zagreus, a son of Hades, lord of the underworld. He’s decided that his time in the underworld is over. He wants to leave and search for this mother, but Hades won’t allow it. Each time Zagreus falls, he’s resurrected in his father’s palace, but not only is he determined to escape, he’s willing to die a thousand deaths to do it. 

The game plays similar to Bastion or Transistor — players will move around an arena, fighting off enemies and collecting gold and experience. Players can utilize a basic attack, a special attack unique to the weapon that’s equipped, a magic bolt for offense and a quick dash for defense. Throughout each run, players may be blessed with powers from  gods that boost their skills for that run. For example, one run may have the blessing of Aphrodite that weakens foes, or the blessing of Zeus that summons lightning bolts each time the player dashes.

The path out of hell of hell does give the player some choice. There are occasionally multiple paths which allow players to choose which arena (and reward) they would like next. Also, as players collect more experience, they can utilize it to increase Zagreus’ skills or to purchase a new weapon. Players may also come across relics which give passive boosts like extra health or increased environmental damage. 

While currently in Early Access, Hades sure doesn’t feel like it. The controls are responsive, each weapon feels like it has weight, and some tongue-in-cheek humor helps gives that infectious “just one more try” feeling to escaping the underworld.

Hades has so much polish on it already, I can’t wait to see the full release. 

Eugene Sax
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