2020 was a strange year for many reasons. With this being a transition year between current and next generation consoles, the slate of games we got was on the lighter side. Furthermore, with a pandemic raging across the world, many game developers were forced to work from home, forcing delays for many upcoming releases.
Of the games I did play this year, very few were actually published in 2020. Nevertheless, there were some serious contenders for the crown. My 2020 game of the year is…
Hades is a masterpiece. Created by Supergiant Games, this brilliant action Roguelike excels on every front. It looks gorgeous. Contains a killer soundtrack that perfectly capture’s the game’s moody tone. Plays like a dream. Possesses a ton of replay value. Not only is it one of the best games of 2020, but quite possibly the new pinnacle for the Roguelite genre.
What ultimately sets the game apart from its peers is the way that it handles story. Roguelike games generally don’t have much in the way of story, as the randomization of levels and events makes it difficult to write a narrative around.
Hades found a way to not only have a story, but to have a great story that is rich in detail while also working within the framework of the Roguelike genre. From moment-to-moment, the constant monologue of the protagonist Zagreus provides moment-to-moment context. Dialogue between the same characters you see in each run evolves as you play. You can even unlock codex entries that allow players to really dig into the lore if they so choose. If not, unlocking the codex entries also unlocks items that make your runs a little more manageable.
Congratulations to Supergiant Games for earning my most prestigious award for your work on Hades! Thank you for providing the world this this absolute unit of a game! Though the struggle to climb out of the underworld was real, I had an amazing time doing so!
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