Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Tech: Hades review


Supergiant Games's action-RPG rogue-lite Hades finally exited early access last month, and I've been noodling around the game on my Nintendo Switch. In Hades, you play as the rebellious son of the titular Lord of the Underworld, fighting an army of your father's minions in a hopeless bid to reach the surface. If you die, you are carried by the River Styx all the way back to the start, to be needled by Hades for your insouciance and to prepare for the next try.

In each run, you are aided by other gods, both Olympian and otherwise. Through repeated escape attempts, you'll gradually get stronger and also unlock more conversations with the gods, propelling the story forward in a manner that is most unusual in this genre. The artwork and voice acting for these bits are excellent, making each sideplot a neat little reward in its own right.

Repetition does set in, though, because there isn't enough variation in the enemies and environments to make one run substantially different from another in Hades. While there are plenty of weapons, boons, and trinkets to try, none of them fundamentally change the gameplay. After I reached the surface for the first time, I felt no need to get there 10 more times for the "true" ending.

Rating: 85/100

P.S. - I played on Nintendo Switch, and while the game ran fine for the most part, there were very rare framerate dips when things got frantic. I also found the handheld mode unusable, due to the small relative size of your character and the text on screen.


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