We Need More Greek Mythology Video Games Like Hades – GameRant

Greek mythology is, as anyone would know, one of the oldest folklores passed down to the modern days. While there are currently an insurmountable number of works that tell these myths, often in collections of stories that tie all of the lore together, it is oddly not depicted extremely often through modern TV shows, movies, and video games, and especially not in 21st-century pop culture like the game Hades does.

There are a few notable examples of modern retellings of Greek mythology that cater to younger generations. In video games, there is, of course, the God of War franchise and the story of Kratos, who tragically kills his own family and Ares, taking over his role as the god of war. For folks who like to read, the ongoing Webtoon series Lore Olympus blends modernism with the mythical settings of Olympus, the Underworld, and the ancient mortal realm. The series was popular enough to get signed for a Netflix series, while Song of Achilles and Circe are a couple of the most praised Greek mythology fictional novels in recent years. But for gamers, it would be great to see if more developers explored the stories of the gods and goddesses in a manner similar to Hades.


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Hades’ Storytelling and Design


From developer Supergiant, Hades is a roguelike that sees Hades’ son Zagreus attempting to escape the Underworld by fighting his way through Tartarus, Asphodel, Elysium, and the Temple of Styx before confronting the final boss which, as many would guess by the game’s title, is the prince’s own father, the king of the Underworld. On its surface, Hades is about getting stronger with each run, but beyond that, each run—successful or unsuccessful—also opens up the stories and histories of other characters such as Eurydice and Orpheus as well as possible romances with Zagreus.

Even by dying again and again, players slowly learn more about Nyx and Hades’ relationship as well as each individual within the House of Hades and the other gods via boons by gifting them nectar. Of course, if players want to experience the true ending of Hades, they’ll need to best the game 10 times, which can be quite daunting but is nonetheless rewarding. And between the intense grinding of each procedurally generated level, there’s plenty of comic modern relief that caters to younger generations like millennials, such as the anxiety-ridden Dusa and her adorable crush on Zag. It’s qualities like these blended with its expertly crafted combat that make Hades such a successful retelling of a Greek myth, but it shouldn’t be the last of its kind.

Greek Myths That Would Make Great Games

feature image hades romance thanatos guide zagreus and thanatos in front of the house of hades

The ironic thing about gods and goddesses is that their drama is essentially the same as human drama—it’s all love and war, fighting and affairs. But that makes its material perfect for any medium of storytelling. But while these tales can be as entertaining as they are beautiful or tragic, lots of folks might want to explore it through a visual medium, or even an interactive one, rather than open a book full of short stories.

The story of Persephone and Hades, both the backstory of Hades and the previously mentioned Lore Olympus, is one of the most popular Greek myths probably because of its romance, as some retellings opt for a willing trip to the Underworld by Persephone rather than an abduction. There are similarly many other romances in Greek mythology such as the tragic story of Orpheus and Eurydice, Eros (a.k.a. Cupid) and Psyche, and the love triangle between Apollo, Zephyrus, and Hyacinthus.

For more thrilling tales, Pandora’s Box was used as part of the premise for the first God of War game, lending Kratos the power to kill a god. The Titan god Prometheus defied the other gods by stealing fire and giving it to the humans for their advancement and is recognized by them as a champion. And the epic tale of Odysseus, who left behind his wife Penelope and their son. While on his own harrowing adventures for twenty years, Penelope cleverly kept the throne for Odysseus’ return through many tricks. And of course, Zeus’ journey to becoming the king of gods by releasing his siblings Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, Hera, and Demeter from Kronos’ stomach would make an epic battle perfect for a video game.

Hades is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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