Andre Calvert’s Favorite Game of 2020: Hades (PC)
Hades, developed by Supergiant Games, is a game I had my sights on for a long time, but waited to play until it released out of beta (Early Access). Supergiant Games is an indie developer that I’ve developed a great liking for due to Bastion and Transistor. Hades, a rogue-lite experience, is a game that seems to be a mish-mash of all the great qualities of their previous game, with a story using themes and characters of Greek Mythology as the backdrop. What makes Hades my favorite game of 2020 is how Supergiant Games was able to successfully intertwine great storytelling about Zagreus escaping his father, Hades, while at the same time managing to create new dialogue and plot sequences on top of repetitive rogue-lite gameplay. This is not an easy task, and my 2019 game of the year Children of Morta managed to do it decently, but Hades does it differently and takes it to a new level that ultimately sets it apart from every other rogue-lite I’ve ever played.
The superb game design by Supergiant Giant games to create addictive gameplay by mixing powers from the Gods of Mount Olympus with a constant evolving story that makes you want to play it over and over again is incredibly refreshing. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but there is a certain X-factor in Hades that is hard to put in words about the feeling of getting better and better at the game. losing constantly, but you still wanting to play more that other games can’t match. Not only that, but the soundtrack, graphics, and animations keep the player captivated and players can play however they choose, with different weapons and personal item customizations that are just enough to feel broad, but not overwhelming. I read a lot of forums about Hades and what reinforces how good the game was developed is that there is such a huge diversity of opinion among the players about what weapons and item combinations are the best. The Hades experience is ultimately driven by your personal skill and item choice, but the journey from the beginning to the end as you learn the game is euphoric. That moment that everything clicks, that you figure out how to beat certain bosses with ease, and discover a good combination of weapons and items allowing to you consistently perform at a high level is the feeling few games can achieve. It’s actually a feeling that I remember mostly from my NES Super Mario Bros. days that I rarely feel today, unfortunately.
Hades is favorite game of 2020 because it represents the pinnacle of the rogue-lite genre.
HadesDeveloper: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Release Date: September 17, 2020
Platforms: PC and Switch
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