Thursday, May 30, 2024

‘Hades 2’: Our 8 Best Tips to Get You Started

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Hades II is a witchy roguelike that Supergiant Games somewhat surprise-dropped on Steam earlier this week. Unlike the first Hades, where gamers play as the underworld’s prince, fighting his way out of the depths of hell, Hades II hands the weapons over to the underworld’s princess, Melinoë, who must fight her way further into the depths to defeat Chronos, the Titan of Time.

As fans of Hades, we were stoked to play the early access version of this game. Even though the developers are still working to improve Hades II and add more content, it might already be the best game we’ve played so far this year. (And, yes, that even includes Balatro.)

While it’s currently available only on PC, the game is expected to be on consoles for Supergiant’s full release, likely sometime in 2025. After playing the opening hours of Hades II, we have some advice for beginners who are about to embark on their next journey into the underworld.

Definitely Use a Controller

Even though there’s a giant notice on the opening screen of Hades II stating that a controller is recommended for the best experience, we were confident that our keyboard skills would be sufficient to fight our way down to Chronos. Wrong! After 30 minutes of playing (and not doing great), we switched over to a PlayStation DualSense controller, and the game immediately clicked.

Understand the Arcana System

The witchy themes are such a delightful addition for Hades II, but to be honest it took us a second to grasp the revamped power-up system. As you’re fighting your way through the different chambers, make sure to collect plenty of Ashes and Psyche. Then, use these to gain abilities and power-ups that stick around for every run attempt. The Ashes will unlock new arcana cards for you to pick from, and the Psyche points will allow you to use more cards at a time.

Slow Down Time

One of the first Arcana cards that you’ll unlock is called The Sorceress—lean on this ability to get through the game’s opening section. With The Sorceress, whenever you use the Omega variant for one of your combat abilities, you slow down time for two seconds. Although that doesn’t sound like much time, this gives you an extra moment to dodge and aim better.

Catch Enemies With a Cast

The earliest enemies we struggled with were these monsters that aggressively chase you around with a screaming attack. It’s frustrating to dash away unsuccessfully, and they sent us back to the starting location multiple times. In addition to slowing down time, you can try to avoid their attack by using your cast power often to create a large area where enemies are temporarily stuck and vulnerable to attacks.

Gather Absolutely Everything

The ability to gather items on your runs is a cool new feature added for Hades II. Whether it’s a deathcap mushroom or a lotus flower, most of what you can pick by hand is useful for crafting special recipes in the cauldron at the home base. Though, some of the items require tools to gather. For example, you might want to unlock the Crescent Pick to mine the Silver that sometimes appears.

Be Friendly and Generous

This strategy will be familiar to Hades players, and it remains true for the second game. Yes, nailing the combat is critical, but talking to every NPC you encounter is also important. In the spirit of generosity, offer them Nectar. In addition to improving your relationship to the character, they might return the favor and give you a keepsake with different bonuses.

Toggle God Mode

Are you having a tough time on your journey to defeat Chronos and just want to follow the rest of the Hades II story? Is there a boss fight that you’ve had enough of, and you’re ready to move on to the next challenge? You can toggle God Mode anytime you want from the Pause screen to become impervious to damage. Simply select Options and enable it under Gameplay.

Just Play Hades

OK, hear us out. If you haven’t already played the original game, you might really enjoy going back to Hades. Plus, if you don’t have access to a PC, it’s available on consoles. We’ve been replaying the game on Nintendo Switch for months, and it’s just as awesome as it was back in 2020.

Are you a Supergiant superfan who’s eager to play the early release version of Hades II? You’ll likely have a blast playing either game, as long as you keep in mind that the early access option is still unfinished. New to the franchise? Although the second game will still be quite fun and approachable without playing the first one, you might have an even better time playing Hades now and diving into the sequel after the developers polish it up and add more content with the complete release.



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