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Hades 2 Review (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, & PC)

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Malinoe in hades 2 review

Full disclosure: Hades 2 has only just begun the journey into Early Access. Supergiant Games confirms it may be a long way off before we get our hands on the final product. Precisely, Hades 2 will spend at least the rest of 2024 in Early Access, possibly launching sometime next year. And so, going into Hades 2, I was aware that I'd only be scratching the surface of what’s to come. After pouring a good amount of hours into the game, though, I must say that I was lost for words. 

Well, I have found my words for the Hades 2 review. However, the game out on Early Access is nowhere close to what you may expect. It may still be in the process of adjustment here and there, alongside new content to be released over the upcoming months.Even in its current form, the sequel distinguishes itself as one of the most memorable games of the year, whether in Early Access or not. But what exactly makes Hades 2 leave such a lasting impression? How much value does it truly offer? Let's delve into our review of Hades 2 to find out.

To Hell and Back


While Hades followed Zagreus, the son of Hades, Hades 2’s lead is Melinoe, Zagreus’ sister and daughter of Hades. Not only has the protagonist changed, but also the story. As it turns out, Melinoe was raised in exile after Chronos, the god of Time, invades her home. She grows up, training and mastering elemental power to return and seek vengeance. Even though, in the end, we never get to unravel the true ending, which remains under wraps for the final reveal, the story here remains deeply evocative. 

It starts seemingly straightforward but quickly grows roots and branches that spread out to the core of existence. It grapples with mature themes of family and friendship. You encounter old and new characters, each fleshed out with unique backstories and complicated outlooks on the present and future. 

Not only has Supergiant Games created a lovable protagonist who is incredibly well-written and carries herself with grace and a strong presence,. She commands attention throughout her journey, building friendships and romantic pursuits. Meanwhile, she also grapples with the in-depth personalities of her family, Chronos, and herself. You’ll meet several gods and titans as they bicker, flirt, and challenge you to battle. There seems to always be something new to discover, directly or indirectly, by eavesdropping on conversations—something to add narrative depth to an already compelling story. 

Yet all of the discoveries you make are much welcome, especially given Hades 2 is also a rogue-lite, and as such, having the pleasure of always expecting something new, and often always to your complete satisfaction, ensures each run remains fresh and engaging. I won’t spoil the story any further. This one needs you to unravel it on your own.

Feel at Home

Melinoe fighting

You can tell from the get-go that Hades 2 is very much a sequel to Hades in the way the gameplay quickly sinks in. Much of the gameplay remains the same, including slaying enemies across multiple encounters in different regions and receiving multiple rewards in return before moving on to the next region until you come to the final boss fight against Chronos himself. 

However, Supergiant Games has added quality-of-life changes to the structure and gameplay. So, even though you feel at home, it’s still a fresh experience every step of the way. Take the new region in the Underworld, for example, which adds more depth and variety than ever before. Or the chance to explore the surface world, which adds way more enemies, levels, and bosses to contend with. 

Looks Don't Deceive


Hades 2’s art style hasn’t changed much. That’s entirely a wise choice on the part of Supergiant Games. Hades donned stunning visuals, and there isn’t anything I would change either. The sequel, however, may see some polish here and there, especially on the UI, and some of the icons that you can see are incomplete. 

Placeholders aren’t uncommon, suggesting future addition and refinement, particularly adding unique art to set each UI tool apart from each other. At times, battles can become chaotic, and the visual effects can be too fuzzy to decipher. Perhaps these too will be cleaned up. 

Meanwhile, the soundtrack is excellent, as in Hades, from stellar voice acting to theme songs matching the momentum of combat. Speaking of combat…

Never Enough Enemies to Slay

Melinoe choosing port

At the basic level, you have the melee attack combos, the ranged special moves, and the area-of-effect cast move that Hades 2 puts a new spin on. While the previous two are largely similar to Hades, with options for upgrading each one in varied ways, the third acts as a crowd-control move that drastically changes your gameplay. You can make it by throwing a circular sigil on the ground that keeps any enemy that comes into contact with it in their place. Another upgrade can make it explode after a few seconds, decimating every enemy within range. 

However, the biggest change to combat is the Omega attacks. While the basic melee attack, special, and cast moves have the standard three-hit combo, you can activate Omega on each one to unlock a fourth elemental attack. You do so by holding down on the respective attack, special, or cast button, before letting it rip on enemies. Omega shoots out a powerful elemental blast attack that stretches out before and behind you. Oh, and the effect on enemies is to die for, evidently inflicting more devastating damage. 

When you factor in the freedom to upgrade Omega, adding even more ways to decimate enemies, it adds layers and layers of strategy and an in-depth approach to battles. Indeed, character progression is incredibly packed with options, which comes in handy as enemies grow stronger with each run. Powerups, at those points, always feel like just-in-time upgrades that can take a while to master, constantly pushing you to experiment and try again. And we haven’t even gotten to the weapons, which, in addition to the bulky but devastating axes and the swift twin daggers, also include skulls, staffs, and much more to be unlocked and added over time. 

Keep ‘Em Coming

Melinoe fighitng enemies

Hades 2’s gameplay, despite borrowing plenty of what worked in the predecessor, takes the brave step to change and move things around. Nearly every element feels more, whether the narrative, environments, or combat. But perhaps the area in which I feel Hades 2 does the finest job is progression. We’ve briefly touched on the varied combat options and different ways you can modify each one to fit your playstyle. However, Hades 2 takes it a step further, thanks to boons and Arcana cards. 

Boons are upgrades you receive from gods, titans, or other characters you meet. They further add depth to your usual gameplay, ensuring crafting an even more distinct playstyle. Like a boon that allows you to unleash a powerful attack every few seconds or one that allows you to deal damage over time. You may unlock a boon that gives you 100% more attack damage, one that allows you to freeze enemies with knife throws, and many more. Some boons now have essences that allow them to grow more powerful the more essences you collect on your journey. 

Fresh, Always

Boons Hades 2 Review

These buffs can drastically tip the scales in your favor or they may not. See, despite how overpowered they sound, enemies, too, keep up the pace. And so, it comes down to how strategic you are in shifting your boons around to carve out the best possible playstyle that works for you. As if that’s not enough, Hades 2 can also test your economics. It pushes you to manage resources, which determine the Arcana cards you can unlock, and thus equip yourself with the bonuses they give you. 

When you run low on resources, you have to carefully decide whether to prioritize scavenging for more. What’s more? Hades 2 has levels that each offer different types of metals, flowers, monster parts, and more, each paramount for performing incantations that unlock a new mechanic or gameplay element. It’s always a constant engagement playing Hades 2 that never feels overwhelming. In fact, it’s all so well packaged together that, despite the sheer wealth of content, it is still digestible at your own pace. 


Charon talking to Melinoe in Hades 2 Review

Much more can be said about Hades 2. In all the words and phrases possible, though, none will undermine the work and effort so clearly put into the release of Hades 2, Early Access or not. The sequel already feels much bigger and better than the original, which makes you wonder what the final product will bring to the table. Certainly a more polished look and feel than what’s already stellar at this point. More characters and a new region, too, add even more depth and content to explore, including the true ending. 

Meanwhile, while the combat feels familiar, with newcomers doubtlessly finding their way around, it also introduces several new changes and quality-of-life additions to the progression system and overall gameplay. For now, great job, Supergiant Games. I can't wait for the final game.

Hades 2 Review (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, & PC)

Hell Never Sleeps

It’s back, bigger and better than ever, which sounds insane because Hades 2 is only still in Early Access. Apparently, the sequel will remain in early access for at least the rest of 2024. Yet, for what we have already, it rocks all around. The narrative is as compelling as you remember, perhaps even more, definitely more. In fact, more seems to be the constant, as you unravel all Hades 2 has to offer, old and new alike. 


Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.