Hades 2 Early Access Review

Hades 2 Early Access Impressions

It is surprising to see that Hades 2 is only in early access and Supergiant Games plans to keep it there until at least the end of 2024 before considering it version 1.0. Despite this, it already includes everything one could desire from a sequel to one of the greatest roguelite action games ever made. Hades 2 successfully retains the essence of the original while rearranging the pieces to create a fresh and distinct identity, rather than feeling like a mere expansion. The outcome is a sequel that feels familiar yet innovative, challenging, surprising, and captivating with each success and failure. While there are a few elements missing, such as a definitive ending to its narrative, it is hard to envision Hades 2 not living up to the legendary status of its predecessor.

If you haven’t experienced the delights of the original Hades yet, now is the perfect time to do so. IGN awarded it Game of the Year in 2020 for a reason, and if you enjoy smooth, stylish isometric action coupled with a narrative that deepens with every playthrough, you should definitely delve into the game before embarking on the sequel.

Alright, now that you’re up to speed, you can appreciate the remarkable features of Hades 2. The game introduces new weapons, boons, enhancements, and other components that reimagine familiar mechanics in exciting and novel ways. Playing as Melinoe, Zagreus’s sister and daughter of Hades, offers a fresh perspective with unique gameplay elements and a distinct personality.

Hades 2 Early Access Review Screenshots

While Melinoe shares some similarities with Zagreus in terms of controls, there are significant differences that lead to unique playstyles. For instance, her sprint ability allows for continuous evasion or aggressive charges, with trade-offs like fewer dashes compared to Zagreus. The game cleverly adapts enemy encounters and boss fights to accommodate these gameplay changes, ensuring an engaging experience without the need for multiple dashes. The addition of Omega variations for attacks enhances combat fluidity and decision-making, offering new strategic possibilities that enrich the gameplay and build crafting options.

Hades 2 Gods and Characters
Hades 2 Gods and Characters

Melinoe’s revamped magic system introduces mana-dependent Omega attacks that require thoughtful resource management. These abilities add depth to combat, requiring players to strategize their moves and consider different playstyles. The diverse options for character building in Hades 2 offer a plethora of choices for each run, ensuring that every gameplay session feels unique and challenging.

One of the standout aspects of Hades 2 is the extensive range of regions that offer varied and engaging gameplay experiences. Each area is distinct, with the third Underworld section presenting open fields and multi-encounter challenges that test players’ skills and strategies.

Exploring New Horizons

The game introduces additional levels, enemies, and bosses above ground, expanding the gameplay possibilities and showcasing diverse level designs that enhance the overall experience.

The Crossroads serves as a hub between runs, providing opportunities to interact with NPCs, unlock milestones, and engage in meaningful conversations with iconic Greek figures. Progressing Melinoe’s abilities involves unlocking Arcana cards that offer unique bonuses and strategic advantages, adding another layer of depth to character progression and decision-making.

Resource gathering in levels introduces various elements like flowers, metals, and monster parts, which can be used to create incantations unlocking new gameplay mechanics. The game’s progression system allows players to prioritize their resource management and choose between different concoctions, adding a strategic element to their playthroughs.

Aside from gameplay features, Hades 2 maintains its exceptional art style and soundtrack, with memorable boss fights and dynamic music compositions that enhance the overall atmosphere of the game. The addition of the Testament of Night, a customizable difficulty modifier akin to New Game+, provides additional challenges and rewards for players seeking a more intense gameplay experience.

While Hades 2 still has some placeholders and unfinished elements in its early access phase, such as missing character portraits and visual effects, it holds great promise for its future updates. The game’s ongoing development roadmap hints at new regions, cosmetic enhancements, and additional content, ensuring a steady stream of updates and improvements for players to look forward to.