It's not every year that an indie game competes for Game of the Year at The Game Awards. However, Hades gave a lot of AAA games a run for their money in 2020 after making a huge impact. This rogue-lite inspired by Greek mythology turned out to be another jewel in Supergiant's crown, telling a gripping story full of lovable characters while also contributing massively to the roguelike genre. Although Hades is filled to the brim with content to play after the plot is complete, all good things must come to an end. There's probably lots of Hades players in the market for a new roguelike right now.
Fortunately, a really strong candidate just released. Passtech Games first released Curse of the Dead Gods for early access in March 2020, but now the finished version of the game is available. Although the lore of the game is very different, Curse of the Dead Gods is uncannily similar to Hades in a lot of ways. The core plot thread has some major echoes of Zagreus' quest to escape the underworld, and there's tons of mechanics that are reminiscent of Supergiant's game. Curse of the Dead Gods is its own game, but anyone who liked Hades is likely to be interested in Passtech Games' work.
The biggest antagonist of Hades is Hades himself. The Greek god of the dead is determined to keep his son Zagreus from escaping the realm of the dead, and commands all kinds of undead minions who stand in Zagreus' way. Curse of the Dead Gods has a pretty similar plot in its pocket. In this game's lore, the temple to a pantheon of gods has been corrupted by the god of death. The player character stands in defiance to this god of death as they explore the ever-changing temple. Just like Zagreus, if Curse of the Dead Gods' protagonist dies, he is resurrected, meaning his battle with the death god lasts forever.
When it comes to fighting a god, the power of a god makes for a great weapon, which is a core mechanic of Hades gameplay loop. Zagreus' relatives in Olympus are eager to see him get out of the underworld, so he can gain all kinds of boons from other Greek gods that change up his attacks and make him stronger. In Curse of the Dead Gods, the player character also gains the power necessary to fight through the gods' temple by claiming the power of the gods. It's up to the player to find godly powers and put together into a strong skillset like Zagreus does.
There's tons of mechanics that Hades and Curse of the Dead Gods share. For instance, an important part of Hades is choosing what kind of room Zagreus will go to every time he completes one. Curse of the Dead Gods also empowers players to pick what kind of rewards and loot they can find deeper into the dungeon. Curse of the Dead Gods players will also earn more weapons over time, much like Zagreus. They're also encouraged to use traps that fill the room to damage enemies, rather than simply considering them obstacles.
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