The Top 10 Games Of 2021: Hades

The Top 10 Games Of 2021: Hades
Images via Supergiant Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman


23rd Nov 2021 16:37

We're taking up our Infernal Arms and heading out into Tartarus for one more run at trying to escape the Underworld. If you know what we're talking about, it means you've probably played Supergiant Games' Hades. Although the roguelike dungeon crawler first hit the scene in 2018, the fact Hades soared onto Xbox and PlayStation in 2021 easily makes it one of this year's biggest hitters.

Roguelikes are a dime a dozen these days, but there's something about the unique art style and setting in Greek mythology that was a hit with fans. Effectively a brutal version of Disney's Hercules, who didn't see a whole new side to Megaera when she constantly bested you trying to escape the first realm?

Brat Out Of Hell

Meg Hades Game
Click to enlarge

The basic premise of Hades was simple enough. You play angsty teenager Zagreus, who just so happens to be the son of the big guy himself - no, not Zeus. Having enough of being trapped with the poor unfortunate souls of the Underworld, Zag headed out through each level, trying to escape an eternity in his father's domain. Along for the ride is a host of gods and monsters, while Zag improves his skills with each run. 

Let's be honest, you're either going to love the roguelike genre or hate it. We'll admit it takes a little getting used to, but once you've smashed past Meg, bosses like the Bone Hydra and a duelling duo of Theseus and the Minotaur are relatively easy. The man himself appears as a final boss, but even as your escape the death-riddled depths of the Underworld, there's still plenty of reason to go back. 

By the time Hades came out on console, most of us had probably run the gauntlet numerous times and polished off the main story, but still, there was plenty that was new. In particular, the PS5 version made the most of the DualSense's spatial audio and haptic feedback. If being named 2020's Game of the Year by many wasn't enough, Hades showed why it was also worthy of the crown in 2021.

Son Of A Butch

Hades Game 2021
Click to enlarge

Alongside Zag, the titular Hades is effectively a goth version of Zeus. Speaking of which, everyone from the Lord of Olympus to Aphrodite, Poseidon to Ares pop by for a chat. The gods will give you a series of boons to make your escape attempt a little easier.

Away from the major ones, the colourful cast of characters includes the haunting Nyx, dithering Dusa, and an adorable skeleton known as Skelly. We also can't do any rundown of Hades without giving the nod to Cerberus. This Clifford the Big Red Dog sits loyally by Hades' side, and yes, you can pet the dog.

There's a wide array of different enemies to best, with the likes of the poisonous King Vermin being a particular annoyance. Each of the various levels come packed with a different feel and some very different foes, meaning every run offers up plenty of variety. 

With razor-sharp dialogue, more unlockables than you can shake a skeleton at, and an impressive arsenal of weapons to rip through the demons of this shadowy realm, Hades is more packed than the River Styx. Although there's an argument that we don't need a sequel, here's hoping Supergiant visits this world all over again to flesh out the already complex characters of this Greek goldmine. 


Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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