The time I’ve not spent crashing in bed, reading trashy books or swearing at Jedi: Fallen Order has been spent revisiting Hades.
I’m playing it over again, and this time – unsurprising – I get farther a lot faster. The progression feels smoother and more in line with what I suspect the developers had in mind.
What gets me about Hades, though, are all the tiny details. There’s the chef in the Lounge, hacking away at his onions and I absolutely love that animation. The timing, the audio, everything. There are the shades with them making faces in little speech bubbles that I absolutely adore. There’s the animation of Cerberus when you pet him that is just adorable and then there’s Dusa, flitting about the place, flinging and just generally being a lovely little Dusa.
It feels as if everything, including the ghostly hands that feebly finger the ground, sticking up out of the lava in Asphodel, is very well conceived as if it is meant to be there. (Which I suppose it is, but it is so well designed.)
Hades is one of those games that could potentially have turned me off the game completely by putting one of its feet wrong, but it doesn’t.
It allows me a choice of getting to know the characters I want to get to know, giving them ambrosia and nectar and talking to them.
I think Zagreus’ attitude helps a lot here. Zagreus is respectful and treats everyone – including his father and somewhat useless brother Hypnos – with respect. I like that.
One of the things that is really important for me is that the player character I engage with is sympathetic. Zagreus manages to be that and still have a personality of his own. I’ll keep replaying Hades for a while as an antidote to Jedi: Fallen Order.