The Game Awards 2020 was an award show that honored the best video games of 2020 and video game fans all over the world, who’ve played multiple 2020 newly-released video games this year, eagerly awaited the results.
Produced and hosted by Geoff Keighley on December 10, 2020, the Game Awards 2020, unlike previous Game Awards, was broadcast virtually from several locations due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The theme of the show this year, according to its Keighley, was about strength and comfort, given the impact of the global pandemic. He also wanted to implore the theme of unity, similar to The Game Awards 2018.
With this, here is a look at this year’s Best Action Game and Best Indie Game, Supergiant Games’ Hades.
Developed and published by Supergiant Games, Hades is a roguelike action role-playing video game, released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Nintendo Switch on September 17, 2020, which followed an early access release from December 2018.
Players control Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from Underworld to reach Mount Olympus, at times aided by gifts bestowed on him from the other Olympians.
Each run challenges the player through a random series of rooms populated with enemies and rewards.
The game has a hack and slash combat system; the player uses a combination of their main weapon attack, dash power, and magic ability to defeat them while avoiding damage to progress as far as possible.
While Zagreus will often die, the player can use gained treasure to improve certain attributes or unlock new weapons and abilities to improve chances of escaping on subsequent runs.
Hades was developed following Supergiant’s Pyre, a game in which they wanted to explore procedural narrative storytelling. Still, due to the nature of the main gameplay, they found that players did not play through Pyre multiple times to explore this.
The roguelike structure of Hades gave them the opportunity to tell these branching stories to the player over the course of multiple runs.
Hades received critical acclaim, particularly for its gameplay, dubbing, art, and narrative, and was nominated for and won several awards, including Game of the Year by numerous publications.
Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Designers: Amir Rao, Gavin Simon, Greg Kasavin, Eduardo Gorinstein, Alice Lai
Programmers: Gavin Simon, Andrew Wang, Dexter Friedman, Alice Lai, Nikola Sobajic
Artist: Jen Zee
Writer: Greg Kasavin
Composer: Darren Korb
Platforms: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Release: September 17, 2020
Genre: Roguelike, hack and slash
The player takes the role of Zagreus, the prince of the Underworld, who is trying to escape the realm to get away from his dispassionate father, Hades, and reach Mount Olympus.
Zagreus’ quest is supported by the other Olympians, who grant him gifts to help fight the beings that protect the exit from the Underworld.
Zagreus is also helped on his quest by notorious residents of the Underworld, such as Sisyphus, Eurydice, or Patroclus. The game features four “biomes,” or locales of the underworld: Tartarus, Asphodel, Elysium, and the Temple of Styx.
The game is presented in an isometric view with the player in control of Zagreus.
The player starts a run-through of the game by trying to fight their way through a number of rooms. The room layouts are pre-determined, but their order and the enemies that appear are randomly determined.
The game has a hack and slash combat system.
The primary weapon, a special attack and a magic “cast,” which can be used from long range.
Upon starting a run, one of the Olympians will provide a gift, a choice of three persistent boosts for that run that the player can select from. The gifts are themed based on the Olympian, for example, with Zeus providing lightning damage effects.
Subsequently, after clearing a room, the player will be shown the type of reward they may earn if they complete the next room or choice of next rooms, ranging from additional Olympian gifts, restorative items, in-game currency, a store to purchase improvements or keys that can be used in the meta-game to improve Zagreus’ initial attributes for the next run.
Should Zagreus’ health points drop to zero, he “dies” and ends up facing his father, removing all gifts granted from the last run.
Between runs, Zagreus can explore the Underworld before setting on a new quest. Here, the player can use the keys to unlock permanent upgrades for Zagreus, order construction of new support features for the Underworld, or obtain new weapons.
They can also have Zagreus interact with the various characters of the Underworld, which provide narrative elements to the game and may also provide quests with additional rewards.
Here are a few reactions of video game geeks towards Hades: