In the month and a half since its release, Hades has generated massive hype — and for good reason. The indie Switch game is a rogue-like game (crawl through dungeons and slay beasts, etc.), but it’s also an entirely new take on the genre, with a complex storyline and unforgettable characters. And until November 5 you can snag it for just $19.99 — 20 percent off its usual price of $25.
The basic premise of Hades is simple: you’re Zagreus, the downtrodden son of Zeus, and you need to find your way out of the Underworld. In order to reach this goal, you’ll need to pick up a weapon and battle your way through all manner of hell-beasts bent on your total destruction. You start from the beginning again each time you die.
But Hades doesn’t force you to re-live exactly the same path over and over again into eternity. Each run presents “Boons,” power-ups gifted to you by various Greek gods and similar, that stack and interact to create a unique fighting style on each run. You can’t just re-use last run’s techniques; this time your dash might be less powerful, for example, with your special attack boosted instead.
Hades keeps itself interesting by forcing you to choose your fate. You’ll be making tons of choices as you progress — choices that fork off of previous ones and build, if you take the time to strategize, an arsenal of upgrades to carry you through boss battles and into the endgame.
There’s also a juicy storyline rife with family secrets and backstory to consider. Hades allows you to feel like a protagonist in the truest sense of the word. You’re not just a slick sprite flourishing an ancient sword; you’re Zagreus, Prince of the Underworld, the angsty but complex son of one of the most powerful gods in Greek lore.
Despite its complexities, though, Hades is super easy to jump in and out of — perfect for those of us with short attention spans or who might want to check presidential ballot maps every few minutes.
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