Hades 2 gets a huge gameplay stream out of nowhere: devs reveal new features, characters, Boons, and more in the roguelike sequel ahead of its technical test (2024)

Hades 2 gets a huge gameplay stream out of nowhere: devs reveal new features, characters, Boons, and more in the roguelike sequel ahead of its technical test (1)

While fans wrangle how to access the Hades 2 technical test, developer Supergiant Games casually dropped a hefty gameplay reveal stream for the hotly anticipated sequel.

Today's Hades 2 gameplay showcase was announced literally minutes before it went live and introduced several new features, mechanics, abilities, and other elements that distinguish Supergiant's first-ever sequel from the original smash-hit roguelike. New protagonist Melinoë, sister to the first game's hero Zagreus, was the focus of the reveal, with creative director Greg Kasavin and studio director Amir Rao demonstrating what separates her from Zagreus.

Melinoë seems to wield greater range and more crowd control compared to Zagreus. Her base weapon, the first of what looks like six available from the Silver Pool back at the Crossroads hub area, is a Witch's Staff capable of melee and magic attacks. She can also use charged Omega spell attacks for screen-sweeping AoE, tied to a new mana-like resource called Magick. We also saw the Sister Blades, a pair of fast close-range swords with new, more aggressive Omega moves like an AoE fan of knives and a teleport. These two are the only weapons available in the technical test.

"These are key weapons that are almost like characters in their own right, and they each support a different play style," Kasavin said. "They're each meant to be equally or at least similarly viable in different situations, and the way that different Boons influence them opens up a lot of different possibilities for different builds and different play styles."

The Silver Pool is additionally used to unlock a variety of tools tied to gathering resources mid-run that can fuel things like incantations back at base. That's right, folks: we're picking herbs, mining rocks, and witching it up with a proper cauldron. Incantations are "often world-changing" effects that seem to unlock new characters or other key elements, with one early incantation entreating the very sisters of fate itself – and ultimately accomplishing nothing, as the devs demonstrated. Should've gone with the one that marks gatherable resources, I suppose.

This goes down under the watchful eye of new character Hecate, the headmistress of the Crossroads, voiced by Baldur's Gate 3 narrator Amelia Tyler. She's joined by newcomers like Dora, our ghostly roommate; Nemesis, one of the daughters of Nyx; and Odysseus. Our good buddy Skelly lives on through training master Schelemeus, and underworld merchant Charon – who has placeholder art in the technical test – is back as well.

Ducking into the dungeon-crawling, Hades 2 uses the same system for drafting Olympean Boons during runs, but there are several new gods this time and even returning characters will offer all-new Boons tailored to Melinoë's style. We first saw Boons from new god Apollo and returning god Demeter, collectively offering ways to expand Melinoë's attack radius, improve her sprint and cause it to daze enemies, restore Magick, or apply freeze with her attacks.

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In another run, "Lord Uncle" Poseidon turned up bearing Boons for knockback, additional damage, and randomly generated "Spirit Bubbles" that recover Magick. The devs chose a perk that adds knockback to attacks by summoning a wave behind struck enemies, turning your main foe into a springboard to push enemies away. "Melinoë is really big on controlling these fights, thinning the herd, making sure she can contend with these foes surrounding her on her own terms," Kasavin explained.

Hades 2 gets a huge gameplay stream out of nowhere: devs reveal new features, characters, Boons, and more in the roguelike sequel ahead of its technical test (4)

Aphrodite, now wielding a spear, offered a suite of Boons that apply debuffs or boost your damage while you're near full health. New fire goddess Hestia made an appearance as well – again with a temporary portrait – offering Scorch for damage over time, and improved Magick regen at the cost of lower max health.

Back at base, you can unlock permanent upgrades through a system of Arcana cards fueled by a resource called Ash. There are cards for your base life and Magick, minor health regen, stat boosts, the familiar Death Defiance buff for a second life, and more. Unlocking a card on the grid reveals adjacent cards, and while the technical test will only have nine Arcana, it sounds like the early access build and final game will add many more. "Early access we look at as just the beginning," Rao said.

Just like in the original game, new story events and dialogue options appear run over run, keeping the story ticking in the background as you get entrenched in the gameplay systems in the foreground. As a reminder, Melinoë is trying to slay the time Titan Chronos to avenge her family. Very importantly, there's a dedicated "Brood" option in her room in front of a family portrait featuring Zagreus, Hades, and Persephone.

Hades 2 continues to look fantastic, and its early access launch will follow the upcoming technical test as quickly as possible. Supergiant expects the test to run for more than a week but less than a month, with proper early access coming later in 2024.

In equally big roguelike news: Slay the Spire 2 announced, the roguelike card game that spawned countless deck builders gets a gorgeous and expanded sequel in 2025 with new class Necrobinder.

Hades 2 gets a huge gameplay stream out of nowhere: devs reveal new features, characters, Boons, and more in the roguelike sequel ahead of its technical test (5)

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.

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Hades 2 gets a huge gameplay stream out of nowhere: devs reveal new features, characters, Boons, and more in the roguelike sequel ahead of its technical test (2024)


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