Hades PS5 hands-on impressions: Hell's bells and whistles

Hell has never looked as good as it does in the PS5 version of Hades.

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Last year when Supergiant Studios released Hades it was met with applause from players and critics alike. To say it was an indie darling though would be an understatement. This three-headed-puppy was hotter than Hell itself thanks to a combination of refined mechanics, an addictive gameplay loop, and some fantastic art design. Even though Hades is already a heck of a game, it’s getting a chance to burn even brighter due to the fact that it’s now coming to PlaySation 5 and Xbox Series X/S with a 4K facelift (It’s also coming to PS4 and Xbox One!). I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the latest iteration of Hades on my PS5 ahead of launch and it should come as no surprise that Hades is still hella good!

Hades looks even more amazing in 4K
Hades looks even more amazing in 4K

For those who haven’t experienced Hades yet, it’s a roguelike game that borrows quite heavily from Greek mythology. You play as Zagerus, rebellious son of the titular Hades, who has a real chip on his shoulder about the whole being trapped in the world of the dead for an eternity. Players must help Zagreus ascend to freedom by battling through randomly generated dungeons and killing a variety of damned demons to unlock the next gate. Along the way, he’ll gather goods and make friends with his distant deity relatives hanging out way on top of Mount Olympus who will gift him with boons that augments his abilities.

Our own TJ Denzer said, “Hades might be my preferred recommendation for romps through Hell.” in his review last year and I’m inclined to agree with him. The hack-and-slash action mixed with a compelling story that makes all the dying and ending up back in Hell’s waiting room (Where was he gonna go? Detroit?) more than bearable. Fortunately, for new and old players alike, nothing has changed with the fundamental aspects of Hades in this latest release. It’s still the same action-packed experience that players have been enjoying since last year.

The only thing that’s really changed about Hades for its release on the current-generation is the fact that you can now play it in stunning 4K resolution. Up until playing the PS5 version for these impressions, I had only experienced Hades on my Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, so a lot of the finer details in the visual and static art had been lost on me. Playing Hades in 4K is an awe-inspiring experience and that really says something in this case because this game was a real looker to begin with.

There's nothing really new to speak of beyond the 4K graphics.
There's nothing really new to speak of beyond the 4K graphics.

I mean, this little spitfire of a game already won our award for best art style of 2020 for a very good reason. And yet somehow Supergiant found a way to make the colors more vibrant and the environments so detailed that you may find yourself getting easily distracted in the heat of combat. The art of Hades just bleeds style and it’s somehow even more noticeable with a 4K upgrade. With deep colors, thick black outlines, and dark shading, It’s like playing a Hellboy comic book come to life. There are a few areas where you can sort of gaze out into a landscape of the various levels and I found myself visiting them often during my playthrough just to check out the art.

Hades also plays as solid as ever on the PS5. I did not experience frame drops or slow-downs throughout my playtime and loading times don’t really exist. Things just basically flow like the river Styx and the only real wait times are just scene transitions, which don’t really count. The only thing that’s missing from the newest version of Hades is the ability to cross-save like you could between the Switch and PC versions of the game. I’m sure that some people will take issue with not being able to hop from console to PC, but it’s hardly a dealbreaker, especially for newcomers to the game.

If you haven’t played Hades yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try and you could do a lot worse than playing it in its most gorgeous form on a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S. Even if you're still rocking a PS4 or an Xbox One, you'll have a blast. Hades was a phenomenal experience to begin with and its glory is only amplified by its oh-so-pretty 4K graphics. If you pick this up, you’re going to have a Hell of a time.


These impressions are based on a key provided by the publisher. Hades is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC and will be available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on Aug 13, 2021.

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 10, 2021 6:00 AM

    Blake Morse posted a new article, Hades PS5 hands-on impressions: Hell's bells and whistles

    • reply
      August 10, 2021 7:04 PM

      "The only thing that’s really changed about Hades for its release on the current-generation is the fact that you can now play it in stunning 4K resolution."

      i see this mentioned a few times, but unless the game for some reason has had its render resolution upscaled, this has been available to players on PC.

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