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A roguelike game that somehow took Greek mythology and added even more sex appeal, Hades combines a unique art style with ever-enticing gameplay. Full of action, death, laughs, death, and death, there's plenty here to keep you playing long past your bedtime.
Following its official launch this year, for both PC and Nintendo Switch, critical praise was heaped on Hades like affection on a newborn kitten. In fact, GAMINGbible's own Ewan Moore and Imogen Mellor awarded it 10/10 in their review - only the second time a game has received that ranking from our site. Regretfully, I'm not Ewan or Imogen, but I can safely say they're absolutely right to be so fond of Supergiant Games' accomplished title.
Playing as Zagreus, Prince of the Ancient Greek Underworld, you hack and slash your way through the realms of the afterlife, hoping to reach Mt. Olympus and the comfort of your godly relatives. To do that, you'll need to overcome procedurally-generated levels filled with a variety of enemies, who all want nothing more than to cut you down and send you back to your dad, the titular god.
To aid you on your quest, you're granted boons by your Olympian kin. These are essentially power-ups that range from increased attacking power, to new moves and increased use of abilities. You also collect various currencies throughout your travels, which can be used for things like buying upgrades to tip the odds ever in your favour. However, none of this will make you infallible. Honestly, death feels inescapable in Hades, but that's not a bad thing.
Sure, each death sends you back to the beginning, as you would expect from a roguelike, but there's always something there to make your restart worthwhile. From talking to interesting characters like Achilles and Nyx, to petting your loyal pooch Cerberus, Hades is full of charming ways to kill time. You can also take this opportunity to buff your stats, gain new abilities, and unlock weapons to take on your next escape attempt. Hell, there's even romance options for when you want to flirt with Megaera the Fury (seriously, who else would you pick?).
Perhaps most impressive of all, Hades recognises that not every player wants to "git gud" (*wretch*), giving the option of playing in 'God Mode'. Despite the name, this setting doesn't turn Zagreus into some all-conquering, Ares-type war-machine. Instead, it makes you slightly stronger after each death, gradually building your resistance to the threats that await you. This mechanic is a genius inclusion, because it doesn't remove the sense of triumph as you push further through the game. Your wins are still earned, especially those trickier boss fights where one wrong move basically voids your whole run.
However you choose to play Hades, it's undoubtedly a masterpiece of a video game. One that you'll keep playing over and over again, as you try out new weapons and boons. Where you savour every piece of dialogue with the fascinating, yet doomed, characters around you. A game where you smile even in defeat, because it really is all about the journey, not the destination. That's why Hades is our PC Game of the Year.
Check out GAMINGbible's picks for other platforms:
PlayStation Game of 2020: 'Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales'
Nintendo Game of 2020: 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'
Xbox Game of 2020: 'Ori and the Will of the Wisps'
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