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Hades Review | Greek Mythology Reimagined


Title: Hades

Developers: Supergiant Games

Genre: Single-player rogue-lite action dungeon crawler

Rating: Action-packed and replayable; Fast-paced action, compelling narrative, and fitting soundtrack makes Hades one of the best in its genre.

Play as Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he tries to escape The Underworld. With the amount of customizability in this game, each run will not play like the previous. A roguelike experience to its core for sure, but with enough variation to stand apart from the rest.

This is my first time investing in a rogue-like video game and I have to say that I’ve been blessed that Hades was my first experience. Technically, Hades is considered a rogue-lite game since the death mechanics differ from typical rogue-likes but it's this death mechanic that makes this game’s progression feel impactful in future runs. I have been playing Hades on Nintendo Switch, for its portability feature, but it’s also available on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.


Hades contains one of the best soundtracks an indie game can have. When the music intensifies for certain bosses, you get a sense of scale for their power and your skill. Music is an important part of this game because unique songs are obtainable within the game when defeating bosses. The fast-paced action and personal narrative keep players invested and wanting more. Each run is never the same and is equally as important as the one before because of the overall progression Zagreus makes when completing a run. Zag gets stronger after each run, making his next that much closer to his objective of escaping The Underworld. The customizability of his stats is up to the player to decide after each run. There are also unlockable and upgradable weapons that Zag can obtain, diversifying and creating a unique play style for each run.


The story of Hades begins with Zagreus, the son of Hades, wanting to escape the treacherous underworld his father has built to keep him in. As the game progresses, the player will obtain information about Zag’s personal narrative and his reasons for wanting to escape, creating an invested bond between characters and players. The Greek mythology in this game is true to its original source but adds some reimagining to fit in the style of a rogue-lite dungeon crawler. As Zag progresses through his escape from The Underworld, he discovers secrets and information from talking to other gods scattered in his path. These gods include Olympian Gods as well as Chthonic Gods (gods from the Underworld). It’s important not to skip the dialogue between Zag and the gods he talks to because it provides essential information about the narrative and reasonings for their assistance. If you’re thinking this is a lot to remember, fear not because Zag keeps a log of everything he encounters, providing information on not only the gods, but also the enemies, bosses, and materials collected throughout runs.


Here’s one thing that makes Hades stand out. Instead of losing everything after each run, Zagreus dies, and becomes resurrected and stronger due to materials like Darkness which can be collected throughout runs and can be used to increase his stats before venturing into the depths of the Underworld again. On top of permanent stat upgrades, after completing a room, Zagreus can obtain different materials like the Pom of Power, which upgrades the chosen weapon’s abilities, increasing your chance of escaping. In addition, boons from gods can also appear after each room, powering up your abilities and weapons with the power of that specific god. For example, boons from Zeus give your abilities a lightning effect while boons from Hermes give movement buffs. The different weapons available to unlock and choose from consist of The Stygian Blade, Heart-seeking Bow, Shield of Chaos, and a few others just to name a few. These can be unlocked using Chthonic Keys found from completing rooms.

With different weapons, come different types of enemies. Some are tanky and have unique abilities while others are a one-shot kill. On top of goons running around in the Underworld, each level ends with a boss fight. Defeating bosses with a specific weapon gives Zag rarer items, but the next time you defeat the same boss with the same weapon, the item is common. So make sure to keep track of which weapon you used to defeat bosses to obtain a specific item. The first level, Tartarus, is completed once Zag defeats one of the three Fury Sisters, each having its own special abilities. There are four levels to Hades, each becoming more difficult as you try to escape so try to choose your best combination of boons, power-ups, and Darkness stats.


The graphics in Hades are stylized to fit the aesthetic of modernizing Greek mythology. The colors pop off the screen but don’t distract from the enemies wandering around. The abilities are crisp and impactful so you can feel the amount of damage you’re doing. The effects created by Zag, the enemies, and the environment are top-notch, immersing yourself in the depths of the Underworld. From Asphodel’s fiery and dark vibe to Elysium’s bright and vibrant aesthetic, each level of Hades is uniquely designed. On top of Hades’ exceptional visual identity, the animations are just as good. Each weapon has its own animation style, paired with the upgrades obtained during a run, creating a cohesive and distinct fighting effect. I’m playing on the Nintendo Switch, a less graphic-intensive device, but it still captures every visual language that Hades has to offer.

Is It Fun?

Every time I open Hades and play, it’s hard to stop. Each run can last from 10 minutes to 40 minutes depending on how fast you mess up and get merked by bosses or enemies. A short run can still feel as impactful as the last because when you die, you can spend Darkness to increase your permanent stats, giving Hades that unique mechanic unlike any rogue-like. Each run is never the same as the last due to the random assortment of boons, items, and materials obtained. Adapting your build to fit the level you or the boss you’re about to fight are in is what makes Hades so fun. This comes from the copious amounts of boon combinations on different weapons to see how fast you can defeat the goons. Boss fights have the right amount of frustration so they aren’t as rage-inducing as other games but feel incredibly fulfilling when you beat them.

Should You Buy It?

Hades is perfect for those who want to find an action-packed single-player game to sink their time into. Hades is a game that you can play for hours or for 10 minutes because you can leave and pick it back up no matter what the situation is. Hades has a great auto-save feature so you don’t have to worry about losing all the progress on your last run. Winning the BAFTA Games Award for Best Game in 2021, Hades is a strong rogue-lite so try it out for yourself. A friend recommended me to play this game a while back and now I understand why. The fast pace nature and easy-to-learn mechanics are fit for every gamer including rogue-like newbies like me.

1 comment

1 comentário

Ae Xiong
Ae Xiong
17 de jul. de 2022

Great review. Very informative and provided many details. I'm excited to pick this game up

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