When it arrived in early access in December 2018, it could be said that the people looked carefully at the future of little Hades, a game from Supergiant Games - like the previous ones - very promising. Their spinning work completed with the release of version 1.0, have the deities been able to weigh in so that he fulfills all his ambitions so as not to end up in the Rogue-like cemetery without any real added value? Before some popular TV soaps such as Dynasty, Dallas, Santa Barbara and other shows stuffed with twisted family stories and twists that hold viewers in suspense, there were also the Greek gods. In the dysfunctional family genre, you will never get better, or worse. And go ahead that we transform into an animal to seduce a landlady, that we spawn demigods, that we eternally torture too enterprising humans, that we grant privileges to heroes to zigzag disgusting creatures, that we fight, that we are jealous, that we separate, that we tear each other apart, that we put everything to fire and blood when paying the bill at the restaurant ... Greek mythology is a source almost inexhaustible epic stories and absurd destinies, from which many works were inspired - with dry cleaning on the side of God of War. But also and above all a hell of a mess, a warning of everything you need to avoid in order to live a peaceful existence. What Supergiant Games wanted to remind us of through an action game in isometric view which proves that it is not only good intentions that paved Hell.
Far from Olympus, the Underworld might seem foreign to the intrigues and other mysteries relating to Zeus and the rest of the family. For some time now, one of Hades' sons, Zagreus, whom you play, has taken it into his mind to reach the surface to breathe the fresh air of Greece. However the father always has in its mind the paperwork to managing the new arrivals of the deceased, so he refuses categorically that the idea of its own son. So because of a deity responsible for the kingdom ironed by Zeuz himself, Zagreus will have to try to escape, armies of monsters rise up to kill him, and bring him back to the waters of the Styx, and therefore to the reception hall where wander some missing heroes. And it works. But why go to so much trouble to prevent this son from doing what he wants? There is eel, even Echidna, under the rock. While crossing the Tartarus, the Asphodel or the Elysee, Zagreus will discover many things that will upset his life and motivate him more.
But to progress, you have to beat up again and again through dozens of closed rooms. The scale of the task seems at first quite insurmountable. Our protagonist, trained by Achilles himself, knows how to wave his sword, the Blade of the Styx. The fact remains that the incessant assaults quickly erode and exhaust a very thin health bar. Familiarizing yourself with the use of a classic attack, a more devastating "technique", a projectile with fairly limited impact and the rush is not enough. Hades isn't complicated at all. The precision of the controls means that it is easy to find its automatisms, with a certain pleasure, as the whole story is revealed by an exhilarating dynamism and explosiveness. It is easy to empty the first rooms, sparsely populated. Then a lack of inattention, a badly timed pressure, a semi-boss or a boss gives you a lesson in humility. But remember Jesus - or most Rogue-lites, for that matter: to survive he has to die.
Sisyphus, the family
We do not guarantee that the more skilled will not find a way to go to the end once by making speak the reflexes worthy of a Golden Knight in the full seventh sense. For the average person, on the other hand, achieving the main objective can take a dozen hours. Several dozen if you are the type who wants to fill the codex and your knowledge of a universe of a delightful richness. During this time, which will never seem long, and we will explain to you why in a few lines, it will be a question of observation, choice, and of course luck and opportunities. Observation of areas crossed, often full of traps for you, but also your enemies, as sneak attacks or tackles against a wall or a destructible pillar and specific times, or place a dodge. Choice of (upgradeable) weapons used, your blade being able to be seen, after unlocking, replaced by a lance, a shield, a bow, or even gloves, helping to try and surely adopt other styles, that a kind immortal skeleton you will help to test. Chance to have the rewards that suit you once a room is clean or when you show up in front of the taciturn and very venal Charon's shop.
The parameters - let's take this opportunity to salute the clarity of an interface of great limpidity - to be taken into account during this torture of virtual Sisyphus do not stop there. The Benefits, in other words the powers of divine uncles and cousins such as Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, Athena, and so many others, guarantee the acquisition of more or less rare powers that directly refer to their mythological representation. And even an ultimate attack to trigger according to a rage gauge. The bonuses to accumulate are numerous. You will electrify, overwhelm, freeze, intoxicate ... We can even consider, knowing how to spare the susceptibilities, combinations, complementarities. The shimmering bestiary made up of skeletons, lost souls, bomb-throwers, vermin, sharp warriors, chariots (?), Begs to taste. Bosses, like the Hydra of Lerna or the Minotaur, as well.
It is still necessary to take advantage wisely of other subtleties and layers of gameplay to gain power, confidence, and knowledge. We were talking about the choice above. Each cleaned part usually offers several paths. You always have to think about what you want to favor, such as your style: should you spend your money anywhere? Dive into the basin leading to Chaos and suffer penalties before seeing reinforced? Upgrade what you own or try something new? The race towards the keys to then unlock the permanent skills of the Night Mirror, collecting black diamonds that don't fall so easily? Who should you give Nectar to first to improve friendship and get Relics that also guide your outlook? Rather a large health bar, more rights to the resurrection, more speed, resistance, strike force, reach, force to push back? The overall action-style gameplay is very successful, which can only be faulted when the screen is overloaded with explosions and magical effects. It is supported by multiple possibilities, fully and adequately interweaving, like the gameplay, these well-known myths, which give it a rather phenomenal richness. But that's not all.
Orpheus the match
Hades is a Rogue-lite where death is an integral and indispensable part of the journey. Procedural as it is, it can be repetitive in its design and even its unfolding - although, and the hero, his progenitor or an unknown narrator have fun, surprises are not lacking. But at Supergiant, which has sufficiently eloquent talents to allow me to ignore a thorough description of the visual and sound artistic prowess (Darren Korb, still there to delight) of the game, we could not help but Do more. This plus is writing and characterization, areas in which they have only excelled in the past. Does the story look like a boat? At almost every "resurrection", there are always discussions to follow, relationships to be deepened, and veils of mystery that rise. Thanks to tasty dialogues, brought to life through completely successful complete dubbing, we get attached to Dusa, the shy gorgon, the spleen of Orpheus and the relaxed Eurydice, the austerity of Thanatos, and the severity of Hades. And what about the right to cuddle Cerbère? The progression leads to the discovery of certain links, bits of the past ... And everything that follows after your first escape, such as certain improvements that are believed to be just cosmetic, is not a simple bonus: the price of the real outcome will be new and probably numerous attempts, a maximum investment required, which the most masochists will embellish with penalties, with a premium at the end of the tunnel of suffering, via the Pact of punishments. Supergiant has thought of everything ...
In the realm of the Rogue-lite, Hades has made itsself a comfortable place by the fireside, where he deserves to rest while gorging on ambrosia. Zagreus' Odyssey, which could make you think of a Bastion having sipped a few liters of Red Bull, has everything to seduce fans of unbridled action, motivated by the idea of starting over and over again certain sequences with writing and direction overall artistry far above the rest. By presenting us a gallery of endearing characters that we are eager to know in detail and by perfectly integrating Greek mythology directly into its gameplay, nervous, precise, rich, and often surprising, Hades presents itself as a work without real heel of 'Achilles, undoubtedly the most successful of Supergiant Games, who does not deserve to fall into the limbo of your indifference. Check out the Hades official website for more details.
Check out the Hades video trailer below as well