Hades 2 Continues the Best Video Game Trend of 2023

We’re here for the plot.

A stylized illustration of a female cyborg with futuristic headgear and robotic limbs, standing in a...
Supergiant Games
Hades 2

When Hades launched in 2020 it was immediately a smash hit because of its phenomenal combat and ingenious narrative spin on the roguelike genre. But if we’re being honest, there’s another reason the game was so popular — it was saucy as hell. Supergiant Games practically perfected tastefully provocative character designs, while injecting the game’s writing and storytelling with an impeccable sensuality. I’m pleased to report, then, that Hades 2 has all the sauciness of the first game, and even doubles down it. In short, Hades 2 is everything you could want it to be.

Hades 2 picks up an unclear amount of time after the first game and doesn’t focus on everyone’s favorite hunky underworld prince Zagreus. This time around you play as Melinoe, Zagreus’ sister and the long-lost daughter of Hades. Luckily, Melinoe has all the overflowing charm and charisma of her brother. It must run in the family.

Every character from the first game feels like they’ve been given a “glow-up.”

Supergiant Games

Melinoe is a fascinating character, headstrong, and independent like Zagreus, but not lacking in self-confidence and street smarts. This creates a much different narrative tone than the last game, especially since Melinoe’s mission is to retake the underworld. But what’s really important about Melinoe’s differences is how it ties into the new wrinkles we see on the first game’s characters, and how Hades 2 is able to explore its sensuality in new ways.

Every returning God has a new tweaked character design, perfectly leaning into that idea of being tastefully seductive. Aphrodite is the goddess of love so she’s not afraid to show skin, but has little details to her design that evoke a sense of playfulness. Every returning character has been redesigned with this kind of emphasis in mind. Each one exudes overwhelming charm and personality, lavishly designed with details that lean into their unique personalities. Shimmering particles dance off Aphrodite, while the chiseled body of Zeus radiates crackling energy.

But what’s really important is that you aren’t just getting a stream of fantastically attractive people, as Hades 2 emphasizes the representation of different body types, ages, genders, and races. The round-bellied Hephaestus has a devilish charm, the finely aged Demeter radiates with a regal aura, and Poseidon’s meticulously styled facial hair is astounding.

Hades 2 is already doing a great job of depicting different body types and characters.

Supergiant Games

Yes, Hades 2 wants to have attractive characters, but it also wants to make sure each and every one is empowered and painstakingly realized. This idea then permeates through the game’s writing, which consistently treads the line between playful and serious.

Melinoe develops meaningful relationships with her allies and relatives of Olympus, and just like the first one they each have their own story to tell. There are real, compelling, relationships that develop, even in just the first 10-15 hours of the game. Hilariously, it seems like Supergiant Games knew that relationship-building was a key aspect of what players enjoyed. People love love.

There are new elements that let you delve even further into the game’s “sexiness.” Chief among these is a hot spring where you can invite an ally to take a dip with Melinoe. These aren’t debaucherous affairs but tastefully rendered moments that, again, lean into that kind of ethereal sensuality the game does so well. And while these moments are certainly scintillating, they also provide meaningful growth. For example, the first hot spring scene I uncovered displayed Odysseus’ clear embarrassment of bathing with Melinoe but crucially showed how much he respects her at the same time. (Melinoe, on the other hand, seems to be refreshingly comfortable bathing with just about anybody.)

Hades 2 bumps up the sauciness of the first game, but still manages to depict everything in an exceedingly tasteful way.

Supergiant Games

That’s what makes Hades 2 so special, its characters aren’t just there as eye candy, but those attractive features perfectly accentuate their personalities. Last year proved that games are perfectly capable of having meaningful sexuality that feels realistic and grounded. Baldur’s Gate 3 made intimate scenes and relationships feel complex and compelling, Final Fantasy XVI wasn’t afraid to tackle adult themes and make its male lead overtly sultry, and Thirsty Suitors found a comedic way to tackle relationship drama and exes.

Hades 2 feels like it carries on that trend perfectly, using its sexiness to enhance everything else around it. It’s not just there to be titillating but has context and purpose. For decades, video games have struggled to incorporate sexiness and intimacy, but Hades 2 is one of the best examples of how it can be done right.

Hades 2 is available on PC in Early Access.

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