Lately there are a lot of awesome games coming out from independent developers. Some, like Spelunky 2 and Spiritfarer , were ready right away - they didn't need any content updates and were polished to a shine. Others, like Risk of Rain 2 and Hades , had been pickled in Early Access for over a year, but seemed promising from the very early stages. This is especially true for the latter - the Supergiant Games team , as you know, does not knit brooms. But this time the studio has surpassed itself and consolidated its position in the pantheon of the best indie developers.

Blessing of the gods

Only one plot of this "roguelike" seems original - in the role of the prince of the underworld named Zagreus, who was unlucky enough to be the son of Hades, we are trying to escape from the kingdom of the dead. Hades is sure that this is impossible, because the world is reassembled by accident after each death. However, Zagreus enlists the support of the gods (and other heroes of ancient Greek mythology), thanks to which subsequent attempts to leave the kingdom will be a little easier.

Not a single race is wasted here - even if the first region was not completed, it was still possible to collect some valuable resources along the way, which will not disappear anywhere and will be useful for something. Gems allow you to improve the central location or add certain rooms to the underworld. Darkness is the local currency for buying passive skills, such as increased damage when struck from behind or the ability to respawn after death. Keys are spent on unlocking these very skills, and are also needed to obtain new types of weapons. Bosses also leave behind items that are spent on the right things. Thanks to the excellent system of progress, the next death does not spoil the mood.


In Hades uses the familiar structure for these games: the underground world is divided into several regions, each of which consists of a dozen rooms, and at the end of each fight with the boss. An element of non-linearity has been added here - although sooner or later you will still get to the end of the area, the path to it can be different. Many rooms offer a choice for which reward you want to fight with the next group of opponents. On the doors, icons of resources, a store (where you buy goods for collected gold coins that are not saved in case of death) or gods can be painted - in the latter case, you get passive skills that are relevant only for a particular race.

Hall help

The gifts of the gods affect the abilities of the protagonist in battle or beyond. Athena has a shield icon - her abilities allow her to reflect attacks of enemies when dashing, hitting, or taking damage. The god of wine Dionysus will help to impose the effect of dope on the weapon, due to which opponents will begin to take additional damage. Zeus has everything to do with lightning: attacks create chains of electrical discharges, when he jerks nearby opponents, he shocks him, and so on. The skills of the goddess of beauty Aphrodite weaken the monsters - their attacks do less damage. Especially against the background of the rest, Chaos stands out, offering to suffer for several rooms due to difficult conditions, but giving a strong increase in characteristics after that.

Since there are a lot of gods, and you do not receive gifts from them too often, each attempt to complete the game is different from the previous one. Sometimes you will bump into Hermes and increase your movement and attack speed, sometimes you will receive Poseidon's abilities and push enemies towards traps and magma. Some doors lead to a power grenade that enhances existing gifts, and sometimes you get the opportunity to improve or modify your weapon. This also affects behavior in combat - there is a difference when your bow shoots one arrow or three at once.

All Hadessix types of weapons - from a banal sword to the ancient Greek "firearm". All are completely different: the shield allows you to block attacks and run forward, knocking down enemies on the way, the spear can be thrown, and then summoned back, in addition, causing them damage from the back. The numerous gifts of the gods also affect how you start eliminating enemies within a few minutes after the start of the next race. Whether you come close to them in order to leave traps on the ground after a dash, or start inflicting damage more actively from afar - the deeper you plunge into the game (and learn about double and legendary gifts and much more), the more amazed you are by the level of elaboration.

The amazing combat system makes the adventure especially exciting: what smooth and beautiful animations are here, how tastefully the special effects are drawn, how easily the character changes attacks and can beat the opponent immediately after the dash - even for Supergiant, this is an impressive level of quality. Outwardly, some opponents may not be very interesting (there are all sorts of skeletons and flying skulls), but this seems to be done on purpose - for Zagrei, they are all obstacles that he will forget about after clearing the next room. But beating them after a dash behind their backs, pushing them to dangerous areas and pressing them against the columns, achieving destruction of structures and additional damage, is fun in any case.

In addition, the game throws bonus entertainment over and over again. Then you face a choice, whose gift to receive next, and then you try to escape from another angry god - he floods the room with dangers. Then you stumble upon a treasury with a test, destroying opponents as soon as possible in order to receive a worthy reward for it. Then Hades decides to interfere in your journey through the kingdom of the dead, locking you in a small room and forcing you to survive for almost a minute.

And talk?

The main feature of Hades is its strong emphasis on storytelling, which is very rare in the case of bagels. You can recall RAD ( Double Fine ), where people commented on the protagonist's mutations, but here everything is much larger.

In the central location - the house of Hades, something constantly happens when Zagreus returns there after an unsuccessful attempt to escape. Hypnos will definitely comment on the death of the hero (even name the enemy) and give not very useful advice, Achilles will utter parting words, Hades will certainly repeat that his son is wasting his time. The heroes often talk among themselves, and eavesdropping on their conversations is also fascinating. This is not a game where after death you immediately start the next race - you can do that, but it is better to go around all the rooms (their number grows as you progress) and say hello to everyone.

The same happens during the exploration of the underworld: here the bosses like to exchange a couple of phrases, and the gods often say something before offering gifts, and tertiary characters are ready to talk - sometimes you find yourself in rooms with them, receiving pleasant bonuses from them. Plus, Hades has a gift system - the nectar discovered during the journey (like many other resources, it does not disappear after death) can be given to anyone, and in return the player will be presented with one of the many amulets. This is another opportunity to gain a useful passive skill, like increasing health, reducing damage from certain attacks, or additional resurrection after death. The more often you use an amulet, the better its characteristics become.

Charisma literally oozes from the characters, luxuriously painted portraits perfectly convey their characters, everything is sounded wonderfully - it's just a pleasure to spend time with them. Every element here is made with such meticulousness and such talent that any independent developer would envy. Therefore, when you are not playing Hades , you want to return to it as soon as possible, and when you pass it, you do not want to come off.

You disappear in the game for dozens of hours, and thanks to a well-thought-out system of progress, you constantly find something new in it. The easiest way to explain this is using the example of the armory, where at first they show only four types of weapons instead of six, and after receiving them all, you learn about another feature that allows you to customize equipment. And the "endgame" with new rewards and even more difficult conditions only confirms that even after tens of hours spent on the first full playthrough, the game has something to surprise.

Before streaming services emerged, musicians enjoyed collections of the best songs with titles like Greatest Hits. Hades reminds of these albums, and it is not only a collection of the best that Supergiant Games has to offer , but also a combination of many other people's ideas. Here they were wrapped in a more original shell, equipped with their own findings. This is a roguelike game for all roguelikes, the culmination of the genre, the main source of inspiration for future followers. And, of course, one of the best games of the year.

Pros:a huge number of dialogues makes the world alive, awakening interest in getting to know all the characters; the combat system is very exciting thanks to the different types of weapons and the mass of God's gifts, which greatly influence the approach to battles; the progress system is designed in such a way that after each race you can unlock something useful; a large amount of content, surprising at every turn; great visual style; excellent sound for all heroes without exception; it is not necessary to get involved in ancient Greek mythology to have fun.

Cons: not found.

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