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Hades 2 Review (Technical Test) | A God-like Sequel in The Making

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Hades 2 is a God-like action roguelike from the legendary minds at Supergiant Games and the sequel to 2018’s breakout hit. Read on to learn everything we know, our review of its Technical Test, and so much more!

Everything We Know About Hades 2

Hades 2 Story Plot

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The original Hades ended on a good note, with Prince Zagreus uniting his family and mending his father's ties with Olympus. There’s trouble in the Underworld, however, as Hades’ past has seemingly caught up with him all at once, allowing Chronos, the Titan of Time, to bring low the House of Hades and send the Underworld into disarray.

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With Prince Zagreus, Queen Persephone, and Hades out of commission, it’ll be up to Princess Melinoë, sister to Zagreus, to save them all and bring order back to her family. Assisted by the Titaness of Magic herself and the remaining Chthonic gods, Melinoë will fight her way through the underworld and face the Lord of Time…if she can even make it that far.

Hades 2 Gameplay

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Hades 2 is a rogue-like dungeon crawler in which players use dark sorcery to take on the sinister Titan of Time. The game builds on several aspects of its predecessor, Hades, in an all-new, action-packed, endlessly replayable experience rooted in the Underworld of Greek myth and its deep connections to the dawn of witchcraft. New locations, challenges, and upgrade systems are also added to the game.

In the Hades 2 reveal trailer, Melinoe was shown to wield melee weapons such as a knife and sickle. Likewise, she is shown dashing around, performing long-ranged charge attacks, area-of-effect attacks, and attacks that inflict status effects.

Hades 2 Full Release Date

Early Access Available in Q2 2024

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The release date of the completed Hades 2 game is still to be announced and confirmed. However, the game is slated to launch in Early Access in Q2 2024 on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

A Technical Test was launched on April 17, 2024 to identify, isolate, and address any technical issues before the game’s Early Access launch slated to release shortly after. The Technical test was only made available to a select subset of players and will be running for "longer than a week, shorter than a month".

Hades 2 Review (Technical Test)

A God-like Sequel in The Making

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Never in my years did I think that a mere technical test—an unfinished facsimile of a game still in development—would blow me away so handily. Knowing Supergiant Games’ repertoire, I knew I was in for a good time, I just didn’t think that a game of this magnitude would smite me from the heavens as if Zeus himself chose to cancel me.

I only got to play a fraction of what this game had to offer and I was already sold. I’ll say it right now but be prepared for me to reiterate it throughout the review: this game has more heart, polish, and stellar game design in its technical test than many other games have in their entire runtime. And with that out of the way, like Orpheus before me, allow me to regale you with the splendor of Hades 2.

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I usually prefer to talk about gameplay first whenever a roguelike is on the docket but I’d rather talk about what truly makes Hades 2 tick: its characters and story. What made the original Hades special was its robust world-building, unique art style, and how well the game managed to translate the roguelike formula into an in-game phenomenon.

It also managed to tie a pretty scarlet bow on the whole story, so I imagine that brainstorming a possible sequel took Supergiant more than a few brain cells to muster. And it wasn’t for nothing too, because Hades 2’s story—or whatever snippet of it was present in the technical test—managed to build on what world the previous game started without alienating it completely.

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Hades 2’s story happens well after Zagreus’ happy ending. The length of the time skip isn’t clear, but it was significant enough for Zagreus’ sister to be born and grow into adulthood. Chronos has taken down the House of Hades and scattered the Underworld’s residents to the wind, taking the God of the Dead as his trophy. It is now Melinoë’s turn to fight through the Underworld and get to the surface to stop Chronos and save her family. With a premise like that, you can’t help but be hooked.

It’s a grander affair than Zegreus’ bid for freedom, but it’s also respectful of the legacy of the characters from the first game, many of whom got to reprise their role as boon-givers or NPCs. This harkening back to the original extends to Hades 2’s gameplay as well, which is as fiery and frenetic as ever. You’re still hacking and slashing through shades and bosses down in the Underworld, only this time, you’ve got the Titaness of Magic in your corner and a spell-fueled fighting style separate from Zagreus’.

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Let’s talk about how Melinoë fights as it pretty much covers everything new about Hades 2’s gameplay, at least on a surface level. Melinoë is noticeably different from Zagreus when it comes to combat chiefly due to her mana bar. As a student of Hecate, she learned the ways of the witch and came to rely on spells more than traditional weaponry. This reflects the combat loop’s new focus on charged attacks, spells, and abilities, all of which use mana.

The new gameplay mechanics go further than Melinoë’s new fighting style. Without access to the Mirror of Night in the House of Hades, the progression goes very differently in Hades 2. Instead of gathering Darkness and spending it like a currency, Melinoë unlocks Arcana cards that grant her new abilities and bonuses. She can have a certain number of these equipped based on her maximum loadout limit, but both the new abilities and maximum loadout limit can be increased through further gameplay.

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The keepsakes make a return in Hades 2, although there are far fewer in this game than in the original. I assume it’s because of the technical test’s nature as an early build, so I won’t consider it a downside for now. Hopefully, there will be more in the future as these keepsakes generally define runs.

In addition to keepsakes, Melinoë still has a fresh arsenal of different weapons to fight with. Only two are made available for the tech test—the Witch Staff and Sister Blades—but they provide a large enough difference in playstyles to keep things entertaining. Curiously, there’s also an array of equippable gathering tools, including a pickaxe, a shovel, and potentially a fishing rod.

You can only carry one of these per run, although the resources each respective tool collects are omnipresent. There are notably more resources to juggle in Hades 2 than in the first, although I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It certainly amps up the replayability of the game, although the additional grind might turn other people away. I, for one, appreciate the excuse to go on another run.

The god boons are still there with their deity-appropriate effects, although there are far more gods of Olympus to gain boons from this time around. A few of the Olympians missing from the first game show up this time, sporting an updated art style alongside their divine brethren. Just off the top of my head, the deities I encountered included Zeus, Artemis, Selene, Demeter, Hephaestus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, and Apollo. Selene is unique in that she provides a powerful ability similar to the companion summons from the first game, only this time it recharges based on mana usage.

Audio-wise, Hades 2 is tearing up the place as wildly as the first game did with its powerful guitar riffs and S-tier voice acting. I'm not hearing any earworms to rival In the Blood quite yet but I have perfect faith that Supergiant will roll out a few bangers come the game's full release.

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Overall, this is a hefty package of old and new mechanics working in unison and I’m all for it. The game’s operating with a lot of placeholder art for the NPCs, keepsakes, and boons at the moment but, hey, so was the first game for a while, and we know how that went. The art that we do get is phenomenal and is every bit as ostentatious and gaudy as the first game’s. The redesigns on the gods and the existence of multiple speaking poses for Melinoë are just the icing on the cake.

There’s a lot to this game, even if this is just a technical test. My only complaint is that it’s so short, but that’s not too bad as far as complaints go. Supergiant really hit it out of the park a second time with this one and I simply cannot wait to be a part of this game's final release. If great game design and amazing art can be compared to divinity, then this game is about as god-like as it can get.

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Comments

MasonForabout 1 month

Hola, quería saber tu precio..

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