Video Game Review: Hades


Credit: Elizabeth Zhong

Join WSPN’s Izzy Poole-Evans as she reviews the best video games to play during quarantine.

Hades was released on PC and Nintendo Switch last Sept. 17. Hades is a dungeon-crawling, hack-and-slash game with aspects of roleplaying. You might be able to tell by looking at the title that Hades focuses on the Greek Gods, and furthermore, is set in the underworld.

You play as Hades’ defiant son, Zagreus, who is tired of being kept in the dark, no pun intended, so he sets out on a mission to escape the underworld and reach Mount Olympus. From the start of the game, it’s clear that Zagreus and Hades don’t have a typical father-son relationship. However, their relationship steadily deteriorates further and further as Zagreus persists in his mission to escape. In certain dungeons, Hades himself personally sends enemies to kill Zagreus, despite being family. Luckily, there are people in the underworld who try to aid Zagreus. Achilles, Charon and Sisyphus are among them, while the Fury Sisters attempt to stop Zagreus’ escape progress.

Leaving the underworld isn’t as easy as you may think. The enemies inside dungeons get progressively harder to defeat as you progress in the game, and if you die in one of the dungeons, it’s game over. That’s right, “There is no escape” flashes in your face, and you are sent back to the very beginning of the game. It can be a frustrating process at first. There were many points where I began to feel so dejected that I closed the game. However, the more you play Hades, the more control you gain over the mechanics and bosses, and eventually you begin to cruise through the underworld like it’s nothing! That is, until you encounter a new boss and freak out because it’s shooting five different lasers at you. Next thing you know, “there is no escape” once more.

There are many immersive elements of Hades such as snarky comments from Hypnos when you die, home renovations and a romance system that the creators did not have to include in the game. It’s easy to pour hours upon hours into this game. One of my all time favorite things about “Hades” is hearing the other characters’ stories. Sometimes, I don’t even load up the game to play Hades, but to be entertained by Achilles’ and Patroclus’ angsty backstory or Megaera’s jabs at Zagreus after you’ve defeated her.

As I have stated in almost all of my other reviews, music in games is very important to me. I wasn’t expecting this, but I was pleasantly surprised by Hades’ music, although, it almost cost me a battle with Megaera because I was bopping my head a bit too hard. Hades has the perfect balance between battle music that makes your heart pound and simpler, calmer tunes. Two of my favorite tracks are “God of the Dead” and “Good Riddance” because they’re uniquely powerful.

Hades deserves a 10/10. It should have won game of the year. From gameplay to music, “Hades” doesn’t disappoint. If you’re thinking of picking it up, whether it’s on PC or the Switch, I highly recommend it. I didn’t play “Hades” for the longest time because I thought it wouldn’t peak my interest; look at me now. Hades deserves all of the love and recognition it receives.