One of the biggest surprises that came out of last week's The Game Awards was Hades from Supergiant Games. This is the fourth game from the fiercely small studio, with the excellent Bastion [Gaming Nexus score 9 out of 10], Transistor [9 out of 10], and Pyre [9 out of 10] formulating one of the most consistently high-rated portfolios across the entire gaming industry. The surprise within the surprise was that Hades went into early access exclusively on the newly opened Epic Store the same night it was announced.
In Hades, you're the (possibly) prodigal son of the lord of the underworld, Greek pantheon-style. Everybody wants to pay the ferryman to arrive safely in the afterlife, but it looks like this son is looking for a way to leave the nest. Can you blame him? Even though the father says he won't stop his son, it looks like every other creature in Hades does want to stop him. There's a whole lot of hacking and slashing going on in this trailer, but the folks that made Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre know how to layer on an incredible story, too, and they always manage to tell it in slightly unexpected ways—whether it's told through Bastion's gravelly voiced Wild West voice overs, Transistor's date-your-weapon love affair, or Pyre's sportscasted globe trotting tale of freedom.
Wait, Hades is another bat-out-of-hell action-RPG from Greg Kasavin's crew? Well, I'd roll my eyes harder if his entire body of work was slipping.
We return to that isometric view from above, following the son's roguelike recombinant path through the awesomely illustrated underworld. Supergiant Games has such a distinctive art style at this point that, during The Game Awards, I'd returned to my seat during the middle of this trailer and said, "Huh, this looks like a Supergiant Games game."
Hades is $20 for Early Access, and you'll only find it in the Epic Store. The developers' exodus from Steam has begun.