Get ready for Hades 2 with Steam sale on Supergiant’s unmissable past
The mere thought of Hades 2 has me shivering with anticipation in a way few games do; I still almost can’t believe we’re really getting a follow-up to one of the best roguelike games of all time. But Hades is built on everything developer Supergiant Games made previously, and now a massive Steam sale lets you catch up on the spectacular history of the powerhouse indie studio ahead of Hades 2 without breaking the bank.
First up, of course, is the original Hades itself. With a wealth of awards and accolades under its belt, Supergiant’s latest should likely need no introduction. If you haven’t played the tale of Zagreus attempting to escape his dull life in the house of his father Hades by fighting his way through the hordes of the Underworld with the help of the Greek pantheon’s most famous faces, I can’t recommend it enough.
Hades takes the repeatable progression of other excellent roguelikes such as the Binding of Isaac, Dead Cells, and Spelunky, and enhances it with both a more approachable ramp that lets you control your level of challenge, and a constant sprinkling of story that reassures you that you’re never wasting your time, even when a run goes badly. It broke out of its established genre boundaries for good reason, and at half price now’s a great time to find out exactly why so many people have fallen in love with its charms.
If the combat of Hades is what excites you most, then see where it all began with Bastion. I replayed Supergiant’s debut game just a few months ago and, while it’s certainly not quite as smooth and flowing as Hades is, the core feel of its fighting holds up well. The lush environments you traverse, meanwhile, absolutely do stand side-by-side with everything else Supergiant has made since, and its soundtrack is a perfect accompaniment.
Playing Bastion, you’ll quickly realise that Supergiant’s penchant for a wealth of weird and wonderful weapons has been there right from the get-go, with all manner of different tools at your disposal, each with their own range of special abilities to choose from. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to hear the first outing of regular Supergiant narrator Logan Cunningham, who takes up similar roles in Transistor and Pyre, and voices the eponymous big man himself alongside several other characters in Hades.
Perhaps the thing you love most about Hades is its intricate web of characters, each clearly defined on their own yet constantly intermingling with one another in all manner of cleverly designed interactions. If that’s the case, let me present Pyre. Supergiant’s third game tells the tale of a ragtag bunch of outcasts attempting to win their freedom from the Downside by travelling the land and competing in matches of 3-on-3 fantasy basketball.
That’s right: half narrative adventure, half sports game, Pyre effortlessly blends the two together to tell a branching story that can pan out in a multitude of ways. Losing a match doesn’t mean game over; it simply changes what happens next. The complex relationships you build in Pyre will make you care about every outcome, however, and they’ll also leave you genuinely agonising whether you should tell your dog pal Rukey to shave off that distinctive moustache.
For those of you who crave interweaving systems that let you combine abilities in all manner of fun permutations much the way Hades boons do, there’s an easy choice. Transistor tells the beautiful, haunting tale of Red, a singer on the run through a high-rise sci-fi city who is accompanied by a talking sword, the titular Transistor. Its real hook, however, is its skill system.
The Functions you get in Transistor are skills that offer three different… well, functions. You can use them as an active ability, you can use them to upgrade the effects of another Function, or you can apply them to Red for a passive effect. This turns the sixteen Functions you’ll gain over the course of the game into thousands of possible build combinations, and you’re encouraged to experiment as using a Function in different roles will unlock additional story snippets about the world and its inhabitants.
As a simple example, Ping’s active ability fires rapid shots in one direction. Alternatively, you can apply Ping to another Function to lower its cost and speed up its execution, or you can fit Ping as a passive, where it’ll grant you vastly more movement in Transistor’s ‘Turn’ mode, which allows you to freeze time and plan out a rapid-fire sequence of actions that Red will execute in quick succession upon unpausing. While Hades is certainly the pinnacle of Supergiant’s catalogue to date, Transistor still holds a very special place in my heart.
Alongside all the games, there are also discounts on each of the official soundtracks – led by composer Darren Korb, who also voices Zagreus, these are some of the most finely crafted accompaniments to their respective games, and absolutely worth picking up on their own merits.
Supergiant Games Steam sale prices
Here are all the deals in the Supergiant Games Steam sale:
- Hades – $12.49 / £10.49 (50% off)
- Hades + Soundtrack – $15.73 / £13.27 (55% off)
- Pyre – $3.99 / £3.35 (80% off)
- Pyre Soundtrack – $2.49 / £2.12 (75% off)
- Transistor – $3.99 / £3.35 (80% off)
- Transistor Soundtrack – $2.49 / £2.12 (75% off)
- Bastion – $2.99 / £2.55 (80% off)
- Bastion Soundtrack – $2.49 / £2.12 (75% off)
- Supergiant Collection – $34.77 / £29.41 (73% off)
The Supergiant Games Steam sale ends on April 27, so move fast if you don’t want to miss out on the bargains.
If that’s not enough for you, then why not take a look at the best free PC games for even more excellent options to keep you busy while you wait for the biggest upcoming games in 2023? Alternatively, we’ve picked out the best indie games on PC if you’re looking for some amazing experiences from smaller developers.