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Hades 2 looks like a Magickal sequel to PS5 and Xbox’s roguelike king

The Hades 2 livestream featured a full playthrough of the roguelike’s first region, offering up a proper look at new gods, boons, and more.

Hades 2 reveal livestream PS5 Xbox: Melinoe casting a magical circle next to a close-up of the goddess herself

Supergiant Games surprised us with a Hades 2 Technical Test dev livestream out of nowhere yesterday, and oh my god, it looks incredible. I have been gnawing at the bars of my enclosure ever since Melinoe and co. were first revealed back at The Game Awards 2022, and now the princess of the Underworld is here to show why she’s the superior sibling. She’s also more than shown why the wait for the Hades 2 Xbox and PS5 versions is going to be an agonizing one. If you’re looking to dodge spoilers before you can play, click away.

During the three-hour-long stream, creative director Greg Kasavin and studio director Amir Rao took us on a journey through Erebus. With Rao at the wheel, we were treated to seven stabs at getting to and defeating the first region’s major boss, Headmistress Hecate – you may remember her as the mysterious character with the giant witch’s hat from the TGA trailer. Baldur’s Gate 3 enjoyers will definitely recognize her, as Amelia Tyler has graciously lent her iconic voice to one of the roguelike game’s most important characters.

Naturally, the road to passing Hecate’s test is long and filled with ghastly beasties – ghastly beasties that seem far more sophisticated on balance than those found in the original Hades. Fortunately, Melinoe is more than equipped for the challenge ahead, brandishing blade and manipulating Magick – a new spell-weaving resource – to blaze her path to rescue her old man from her grandfather, Chronos – “death to Chronos.”

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Under Hecate’s tutelage, it seems a dead cert that Melinoe will easily succeed in her quest. Unfortunately, Hades is a tough series to brute force without appropriate upgrades, as well as a little assistance from the gods, and the sequel to one of 2020’s best games isn’t an exception. After being vanquished the first time, Melinoe returns to The Crossroads – Hades 2’s main hub that operates in the same way as the House of Hades did in its predecessor. Here you can interact with new faces like Hecate, Nemesis, and Odysseus, as well as the returning Schelemeus (who definitely isn’t Skelly) and Hypnos (though he’s permanently snoozing for now).

The Crossroads is also where you’ll find the Altar of Ashes, which appears to replace Zag’s Mirror of Night. As Kasavin notes, this is “an all-new system in Hades 2 for how Melinoe can grow stronger in a variety of ways from one night to the next.” Ashes acquired during a run can be used to unlock specific Arcana cards, such as The Sorceress, which makes everything move slower for two seconds while you channel your Omega Moves. It’s a fabulous-looking system that looks right at home with the more arcane thematic of Hades 2, and I can’t wait to see what lies beyond the nine cards available in the tech test.

‘Omega Moves?’ Well, I did say Melinoe has a penchant for magic, and these powerful moves can be game-changing as long as you have the Magick to use them. Fortunately, as with everything in Hades 2 there’s a boon that lets you regenerate this powerful resource – but it comes at a cost. At one point, Melinoe runs into Hestia, whose reward options include ‘Hearth Gain.’ By sacrificing a chunk of her max health – 20 to be precise – the goddess gains Magick regen, shifting her playstyle dramatically into a more fragile, all-out caster.

Hades 2 livestream: The Crossroads

If pure, magical destruction isn’t your bag, and you’re after a more melee-based, don’t worry. Over in the Silver Pool, you can currently choose between the Witch’s Staff, Descura, and Sister Blades Lim and Oros. Descura is a must-pick for accessing Omega Moves, while the blades will let Melinoe play out her best assassin life. The Silver Pool also stores important tools that are required for resource gathering. While I didn’t spy any fishing – I heckin’ love a fishing minigame – you can gather herbs and mine rocks.

Between all of this and the bounty of boons showcased – including those from Apollo, Aphrodite, Artemis, Hestia, and Poseidon (Rizzeidon’s back, baby) – I’m already eagerly piecing together the buildcrafting possibilities in my mind. I most likely won’t be able to get involved until early access arrives on PC – don’t worry, console master race, I’ll be playing with my trusty Xbox controller – but even that already feels like a lifetime away. Kasavin reiterates that the Hades 2 Technical Test will hopefully last “longer than a week, but shorter than a month,” so with a bit of luck it won’t be long before we properly get on the road to that all-important PS5 and Xbox Hades 2 release date.

For more of the latest news on the best PS5 games and best Xbox games, check out the major player milestone Sea of Thieves has just passed as it heads to PS5. Additionally, peep the Elden Ring player who’s managed to conquer Malenia with Morse code. If you haven’t already, drop us a follow on Google News so you’ll never miss a beat again.