A Hades sequel is a game I see so much potential in following the success of the original indie title. Alas, the developers, Supergiant Games, have given no indication that a sequel is in the works. Even so, the surge in popularity the game recently received with its next-gen release only expanded its fanbase.
The roguelike found itself as a Game of the Year contender and found fans even among haters of the genre. The game’s repetition was somehow its main appeal, as the process of dying never halted progress. Each death led to new dialogue, new upgrades, and an urge to try it again. While this premise was expertly woven into its narrative, the question remains whether a sequel would be possible. Additionally, despite the original’s success, the sequel could stand to improve a few things. Here are changes we fans would like to see in a Hades sequel.
A New Setting
While I found the many escape attempts from Hades very enjoyable, the sequel can’t afford to re-tread old ground. Although it wouldn’t be impossible to change the underworld to be beyond recognition, it wouldn’t be as exciting again. Thankfully, in choosing to focus on Greek myth, Supergiant Games has a wealth of possibilities to explore. Perhaps the most obvious would be to continue the journey upwards past the gates of Hades.
Zagreus’s next destination could very well be the peaks of Olympus. Fighting his way through Greece and then the climb towards the summit of the Gods has a lot of potential. Where things become a little more complex is in the repetitive aspects of the game. The underworld was uniquely situated to facilitate the endless nature of the game. Enemies could never truly die, and neither could Zagreus. Additionally, the shifting maze of the underworld added to the roguelike gameplay.
When also factoring in Zagreus’s incompatibility with the surface, a new setting would require some clever writing to function. While by no means impossible, I suspect an easier solution would be a change in protagonist. Although they would need their own means to return from failure, they would have access to a realm Zagreus lacks.
Alternatively, I see potential in new realms altogether. The Infernal Arms in the game hint at figures from other histories and myths, expanding the world’s potential. Hades sequel changes could involve another mythos entirely, journeying into Viking or Egyptian tales instead. This would sacrifice the ability to return to familiar faces and scrap previous developments. However, the chance to explore a new world would give players the same feelings of discovery experienced in the first.
A New HUB World
This next suggestion essentially ties back into my previous point. The House of Hades served as the return point following each run in the game. It housed the various confidants Zagreus could encounter, in addition to his weapons and upgrades. Players were also gradually able to improve their home with various cosmetic additions. For all of Zagreus’ attempts to escape, it was always fun to return home. However, despite its charms, it somewhat limited the various character encounters. Hades’ house wasn’t exactly open to all visitors, so plenty of characters were excluded from the more intimate homely moments.
In order to switch up which characters the player can regularly visit, I propose that the HUB might need an adjustment. Finding a way to spend more time with the Olympians could allow for some charming new interactions. This would naturally imply Olympus would make for an ideal new return point. However, there are other locations throughout Greek myth that could serve similar functions. Perhaps Poseidon’s realm could be explored with Atlantis as the centre. Even the higher floors of the underworld could provide some potential. A HUB in Elysium, for example, could allow for more demi-god heroes as friends rather than enemies. Jason, Bellerophon, Atalanta, and many more heroes could very easily show up.
Of course, as I mentioned in the previous point, a Hades sequel changes could deviate from Greek myth entirely. If so, naturally the HUB would follow suit, exploring the likes of Asgard for example. What matters above all else is that the HUB does not force players to solely interact with familiar faces. In many ways, the game was all about forging new bonds. Similarly, the King of the Underworld’s home might actually feel like a prison if I’m stuck there again.
New Boon Givers
A significant portion of the roguelike’s random gameplay comes from the boons provided in each run. Essentially magical care packages sent from the Olympian gods, each factor into the uniqueness of every run. From stat buffs to wildly altered attacks and effects, the combination of boons is perhaps the most exciting part. Finding that perfect loadout of boons to deal maximum damage is extremely satisfying.
While each boon is very useful, it would be a shame to receive the same power-ups in the sequel. This would not necessarily require a complete overhaul, but rather an expansion of pre-existing abilities. There are so many more possibilities for Poseidon’s water powers than the knock-back moves seen thus far. Additionally, some existing moves could be reworked to be more effective. For example, I found Demeter’s ice powers useful, but also prone to very underwhelming displays of accuracy.
Hades sequel changes could very easily include the absent Olympians from the first game. Deities such as Apollo, Hera and Hestia were notably missing from Zagreus’ allies. Alternatively, the game could explore more boons from the Chthonic gods, such as Hades and Persephone. This could even extend to items such as the hammers of Daedalus that upgrade the Infernal Arms. A game outside of the Underworld could instead use the Olympian blacksmith Hephaestus for a new set of enhancements.
This idea relates to a few aspects of the original game. The Mirror of Night does a serviceable job providing lasting upgrades that don’t negate the necessity of boons. It’s important that the rewards Zagreus obtains make each run more worthwhile without making it too easy. As such, services with the house contractor could expand healing and looting capabilities without weakening enemy encounters. Additionally, Zagreus could use Titan Blood to gradually upgrade the Infernal Arms, or even unlock hidden aspects.
Where the prizes become a little more controversial is in the seemingly arbitrary rewards. One of the main features of the game is the customization available within the House of Hades. Zagreus can spend gemstones looted during his escape attempts to lavish up his home. While these make subsequent returns cosier and appealing to the eyes, they don’t do much else. The game actively taunts the player over this, having Zagreus comment on his unwillingness to use his new furniture. While the cosmetic improvements to the halls were pleasant, it would have been more satisfying if they offered more benefits.
This also extends to some of the harder to achieve accomplishments. Completing runs on higher heat levels can unlock rewards from Skelly that I found entirely useless. Similarly, Zagreus can submit excess resources for promotions that do nothing but change the badge next to the health bar. Even the gifts of nectar to various confidants does nothing after the first. The first provides a useful trinket, but the rest simply expands the relationship and some story elements. Each relationship requires a lot of nectar to complete, and it’s purely dialogue rewards. All in all, a Hades sequel needs more tangible rewards to encourage engagement with the post-game.
The difficulties in a Hades sequel primarily lie within the narrative. While the story of the first game was by no means fully closed, it had a few limiting factors. From Zagreus’s inability to stay on the surface, to the eternal yet ever-changing nature of the Underworld. The first game crafted a world and story to facilitate its style of gameplay, which isn’t easy to replicate. Nevertheless, my list has presented various avenues that certainly suggest the sequel has potential. Whether Supergiant Games acts on the game’s immense popularity or moves on to new ideas, remains to be seen.