With a tagline like ‘Go to Hell’ you know you’re in for a treat.
It’s an epic adventure; full of interesting characters that you’ll have to find and interact with by getting through punishing level after punishing level. But don’t go thinking it’s all about a steep difficulty curve hiding away content that the average gamer won’t see behind ever harder boss fights.
No, in this game your death is the only way to progress the story. Seriously. Even if you are good enough to make it through in a single run you will be missing out on most of the content. Not returning to the starting point means you can’t chat with your fellow denizens of hell.
It’s refreshing to have some kind of reward waiting for you after each death as your friends move about, clue you into new paths and secrets as well as unlock new story content. It’s a fun and compelling way to handle death and failure, one that’s got to be appreciated by the kind of game reviewers who can’t clear the Cuphead Tutorial in less time than it takes oil to be formed.
A Colorful Cast of Characters
The real highlight in this game is the characters. Your introductions to and interactions with the various subjects of your fathers rule is what really brings this game to life.
Look forward to getting absorbed with an ever-expanding cast of characters. Deciding who to spend your time conversing with and giving gifts to is a big part of this game. Each character will offer you rich dialog and an interesting boon if you see fit to give them a gift.
Expect to quickly find yourself loving to hate some while just loving others. Things really take off when you start listening to your various friends and colleagues interact with one another while you stand nearby.
This is where you’ll get some of the best plot and character development.
Where it fell short
There is one area in which I found myself sorely disappointed. That would be the music.
Now, mind you, it’s not bad music by any means. It’s just that it’s not really memorable or catchy music. I’ll grant that I may be judging the game a bit too harshly. After all, you don’t get to pick your family and expecting Hades to follow in the footsteps of it’s predecessors may be asking a lot.
Bastion and Transistor were known as works of art for not only their unique art style but stunning soundtracks as well. It’s a bit odd to play a game from the same people that feels so much like an entry in this magnificent series but not to have a single song stuck in my head. Perhaps I am holding the game up to a standard that’s a bit unrealistic but it’s hard to avoid.
So, should you give this game a try? If you’ve played Bastion or Transistor and enjoyed more than just the music then absolutely you should. If you’re a fan of fun and quirky characters then absolutely you should. If you want a brutal challenge that’ll have you feeling accomplished if you can beat it then absolutely you should. If you’re not some kind of sad sack who hates fun then absolutely you should.