The increasingly great roguelite dungeon crawl Hades has just rolled out another early access update. The High Speed Update is focused on Hermes, messenger of the gods. He’s fast, but developers Supergiant want you to slow down and ruminate a little on their efforts, so they got voice-of-gold Logan Cunningham to read the entire patch notes in character as The Storyteller. Personally I’d have asked for him to bring back Rucks from Bastion or the Sword Boyfriend from Transistor, but the video below is still an enjoyable twelve minutes of raspy ASMR-adjacent tech talk.
While not a massive update, there’s enough new stuff here to make a few more runs through mythic Greek hell interesting and fresh again. Hermes is the new Olympian of the day, offering speed-upgrading boons. They’ve also added a bunch more variety to Elysium, the punishing (if idyllic) late-game zone. The new Soul Catcher and Flame Wheel enemies (oh god, Dark Souls flashbacks) sound mean, and there’s a lot more variety to Elysium’s room designs. They’ve also given Thanatos his own musical theme. He’s definitely cool enough for one.
And here’s an hour of developer stream, giving us an insightful, in-depth look at how Hermes works in-game.
Hermes, as mentioned in the stream, works a bit different to other gods. All of his boons for you are additive, not taking up slots on your perk bar. This means that he can take the abilities from other gods and just make them faster, stronger and better overall. I’d love to see Poseidon’s aggressive dash boon paired with Hermes’ fast triple-dash. It’s just one more layer of tactical nuance on top of an already deep game. As Jay wrote, the game is strong enough to keep her coming back, even if “early access” and “roguelite” would normally turn her away.
The next update sounds like it’s going to be one of the biggest yet, adding whatever environment comes after Elysium. It’s a big undertaking, and Supergiant reckon it’ll take them another two months. You can see the countdown on the game’s main menu.
Hades is still in early access, and normally £15.49/€17.49/$19.99 on the Epic Games Store. At the time of writing, the flat sale £10/€10/$10 discount still applies, making it far cheaper, although that is likely to expire today. Bargain hunters, make like Hermes and hustle.