Hades is a roguelike dungeon crawler published by Supergiant Games, which follows protagonist Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he seeks to escape the Underworld and reunite with his mother, Persephone. Along the way you meet the numerous denizens of the Underworld ranging from the endearingly infuriating god of sleep, the ever loyal (and petable) guard dog Cerberus, to the primordial being Chaos whose boons always carry a cost, as well as Zagreus’ Olympiad family who are trying to aid him in his escape.
Probably the best part of Hades is that failure is built into the gameplay. For someone like me who is not that great at video games, it was nice to have my constant deaths validated and even rewarded. Although it is certainly possible to complete an entire run on your first go, it is incredibly unlikely. For context, I did not beat the final boss until around run 30. You might think this would make the game feel repetitive, but every single run is actually very unique: You can choose from six very different weapons, a variety of gifted items to aid in your run, and even receive boons from either Chaos or the Olympians.
The story is the other big appeal of the game. Over the course of Zagreus’ attempts to escape you have the option of growing closer to a wide cast of mythological characters. Sometimes you want to die early on a run so you can get back to the house and visit a character to progress their story. The gameplay is fun and engaging but it’s the story that keeps you attempting run after run.
There is a reason Hades was named 2020’s game of the year by multiple media outlets and had such impressive sales despite being an indie production: the game is simply good. I would personally say it is up there with my favorite games of all time.
Overall Rating: A+