Hades II Review | PC

You can't go wrong with Hades II as a roguelite, even in its Early Access version.

By nine_toes, Posted 29 May 2024

Hades II is a narrative-driven, action RPG roguelite game developed and published by Supergiant Games; the indie studio that first debuted with Bastion in 2011 which set the precedent for their mesmerizing art style, interesting storytelling, and innovative gameplay mechanics. With the original Hades, the developers have racked up numerous Game of the Year awards including the BAFTA Games Awards—it seriously blew up in 2020. With such a reputation and accolades under its predecessor’s belt, Hades II has big shoes to fill. Now, the question arises, does it live up to its expectations and should you buy the game now, or should you wait until the 1.0 release?

Hades II, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Intro, Cinematic, NoobFeed

First things first, if you enjoyed Hades, then you are going to love Hades 2. Despite how improbable this may seem; Hades II improves upon several aspects of the original. Supergiant Games has never made a sequel before, but I’m glad that they did because the original Hades had plenty left to explore with the world and systems it built.

If you’re completely new to the series, it is recommended that you play Hades 1; it’s probably on sale right now. The elevator pitch for the game is that it’s an isometric, extremely fast-paced action game with a large amount of plot advancement and meta-progression surrounding its story.

Coming back to Hades II, this story takes place in the same mythologically inspired world as the original. This time, you play as a new protagonist, Melinoë, who is the sister of Zagreus, the protagonist of the first game. Melinoë is another offspring of Hades, the god of the Underworld. The core plot revolves around Melinoë’s quest to take on and ultimately defeat Chronos, the Titan of Time. When you start, you are dropped right in with little context. You hear your character say, “Death to Chronos” and you’re off. As you progress, you find out more about this objective and the story that takes place.

As this is a spoiler-free review and since this game is in early access, this is all I will go into for now about the story. As for how finished it is—it feels like it is 90% or so the way there. There are some clear roadblocks that tell you the game isn’t finished yet, but even in its unfinished stage, I think the amount of content in Hades II is about the same as Hades 1. While I don’t know how many roadblocks there are, in my time with the game, I have come across two significant ones that clearly gate the game’s progression.

Hades II, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Exploration

Despite the roadblocks, the game has plenty of content. Even in its early access stage, this game is already more polished than many fully released games, there are more stages, more enemies, more bosses, more music tracks, more systems, and more meta-progression elements than there are in Hades 1.

There aren’t as many gods and boons yet and there aren’t as many weapons, but there is still enough content to allow for plenty of replayability and variety between each run. For some perspective on how finished the game is, five of the six planned weapons are available with the possibility that there will be more. Each of these weapons has two unique modifications to them that change some of their core features.

While the game is still very clearly under development, it feels like what is planned for Hades 2 is very much set in stone, and the reason that it's in early access is that there is some feedback and some details to give around the game. From a design perspective, Hades 2 takes the metaphorical tree of Hades 1 and modifies the core a little bit. It also adds several branches. The branches are not fully grown, but you can tell where they are headed.

Aside from the different protagonists and stories, there are some gameplay changes as well. You still have your normal attack, your special attack, and your cast. This time, your cast is a big circle that spawns beneath your feet which roots down enemies and acts as a form of crowd control. It also adds the Magick meter that sits above your health bar on your screen.

Hades II, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Boons of Chaos

By holding down any of your attack buttons, you can charge them up your normal, your special, or your cast to use a bigger, better, and oftentimes very different form of attack that does expend mana. This means that within your core loop, you're going to find yourself prioritizing some of that mana, and it opens a lot of different build archetypes.

In the 26 hours that I have spent in the game, I have more or less reached the end of what the game has to offer. I haven’t obtained every single aspect or maxed out every single meta-progression aspect in the game, but I do have a lot of experience with Hades 1 and I’ve gotten quite lucky with some of the boons and hexes in my runs.

Each run I did was unique from the last in one way or another. There have been runs where my main source of damage was from my Omega normal attacks or my Omega special, while others have prioritized my cast. I have also done a few runs that revolved around hexes, which is a modification of an ultimate skill that charges up during combat.

Despite having reached the end of the game, I’m still encountering new things here and there. There may even be a chance I run into a new god. I know for sure that I have not encountered every little detail that has been put into the game. I can see myself playing this for another 8-10 hours and still discovering new aspects about it, after which I will probably boot up to kill some time every now and then.

Hades II, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

Roguelites are centered around replayability, and this game is no different given how many different builds you can try out. As someone who is not particularly skilled at this game, I finished it in around 26 hours, and I think I represent the average player in this case. I particularly had a tough time dealing with the final boss who seems to be a lot more difficult than the final boss of Hades. I expect a lot of people to get around that much time as well.

Since Hades II is in early access, it comes as no surprise that some aspects of it need balancing. I have noticed that some boons and weapons are considerably more powerful than others. I think the axe is one of the strongest weapons in the game, and it was what I used to beat the final boss.

On the other hand, I found that the Argent Skull was a bit too underpowered for the odd playstyle it required from you. There are some weapons that stand out in terms of how transformative they are throughout your run, while others just seem bland. Generally, you will encounter things that are not in their final form yet.

I have also come across some bugs throughout my runs. There are two enemies in particular that have wonky hitboxes and I’ve found them to teleport around sometimes. The issues I found were little technical problems though that don’t ruin your overall experience of the game.

Hades II, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Eris, Bath Scene

As for whether you should buy Hades II—I think you should. Despite being early access, the game shows more promise than Hades. There’s already the equivalent amount of content as the original with more to come. One thing of note is that you may have to deal with the fact that some parts of Hades II are not complete and you will have to wait for the full release.

Hades II can be kind of a bummer sometimes when you find yourself sucked in with a really good build only to realize the game isn’t finished. If you are the kind of player who appreciates complete experiences, you may want to wait, but if you are the kind who enjoys seeing the journey of a game that is being actively worked on, playing Hades II seems like a no-brainer.

Ahnaf Tajwar,
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Hades II


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Supergiant Games
Developer(s): Supergiant Games
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Roguelike, Role-Playing
Release Date: 2024-05-06

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