I'm a big fan of Hades. You'd think an early access roguelike wouldn't be a great fit for the Bastion devs, but I should never have doubted Supergiant's ability to knit a story around whatever genre or development structure they please. Last night saw the release of the Chaos Update, and there's something else lurking among the balance tweaks, art changes and new room types. That something is Primordial Chaos, and they've got a deal for you.
I've encountered them once, so far, though unfortunately their powers seem to extend to messing up my screen-capture software. They offer three deals that give you a handicap for the next three rooms, but then a permanent bonus if you survive - stuff like more damage, health or money. It's an interesting decision delivered through a novel character, adding an unexpected layer to an already intriguing world. You can take the Supergiant out of traditional story structures, but you can't take the story out of Supergiant.
The player character, Zagreus, has received a makeover. I can't figure out what's different about him, but that's probably because I've always been too busy boshing or chatting with the dead to give him a proper look.
Also new are Pacts of Punishment, which let you spend a new resource on making the game harder in specific ways. I have not felt the need to do that. There are also three new enemies, six new room layouts, and a heap of balance changes. S'good stuff: more details can be found in the patch notes.
If you want more proof that this is something you should check out, there's none better than Steve Hogarty's early access review:
"This type of low-investment and chance-based customisation rewards experimentation and keeps repeated runs from ever feeling too stale. My most successful playthroughs had me mixing and matching different upgrades to complement one another, until my attacks felt game-breakingly strong, and gradually training the muscle memory needed to properly manage each of the different enemy types: skull bastards, magic bastards, bomb bastards and big bastards."
I feel bad for picking a quote that's mainly explanatory when there are so many funny ones.
"The word 'mate', which Zagreus deploys with all the frequency of a Tory MP desperately trying to sound human, sounds about as welcome in his mouth as a vegan sausage roll at an EDL march."
There we go.