Hades is a game wherein you, playing as Zagreus (the son of Hades himself), are trying to escape the underworld. It’s a single-player roguelike game and an action roleplay experience with a complex storyline to accompany your dungeon crawling.
When escaping the underworld, you are forced to travel through three layers, each with their own boss at the end. First is Tartarus, then Asphodel, and lastly the Elysium. They have their own unique mobs and require a variety of skillsets to defeat. Along the way, the gods of Olympus will come along and grant you extra abilities to use alongside your base weapon skills and dash.
You may fail to escape the underworld many times, ‘dying’ and coming back to the House of Hades. Inside the House of Hades, you may upgrade different abilities, including healing yourself a small amount each time you defeat a room. Additionally, you can decide on your weapon of choice. There are many weapons available in the game, but the default is a sword. By gaining keys throughout your escape, you can spend them on the visible locked weapons. The first weapons to be visible will be a shield, a spear, and a bow. Others will appear the longer you play the game, and each weapon has multiple different fighting styles associated with it.
The best part of this game would easily be the fighting mechanics. With enchantments given to you by the gods, you can change how your weapon may work. For example, some enchantments to your bow can change it from a long-range firing weapon to a short-range burst machine gun. Using the right combos of abilities and weapon skills, you can defeat almost any enemy instantly.
Additionally, the voice acting of this game is brilliant. The emotions of the characters are captured perfectly without feeling like much of a caricature, and you can enjoy the spark of happiness or take in the sombreness that Zagreus may exude. The supporting characters also have their own charm, from the cheekiness and anxiety of Hypnos to the subtle worry of Nyx, and even to the haunting echo of Chaos himself.
For me personally, this game is a combination of a long-term grind and fast paced sprints. It is extremely enjoyable even when I can’t get to the end. I often struggle to manage my health, which is perhaps the most important thing to learn while playing. My favourite weapon is the bow as I can shoot from afar and still strike down the majority of enemies. My only criticisms would be the lack of ranged enemies early on in the game, as it reduces the contrast in mob variety. I would also really love to see this game brought into a co-op format.
Hades is a single-player roguelike action-roleplay game that has won both the Game Award for Best Independent Game, and the Game Award for Best Action Game. It has a brilliant and mysterious story, and incredible combat system. As a game, it will go far. As a story, it will become a classic.