33 Immortals mixes Hades' roguelite action with MMO raids

In this first look, 33 Immortals tests the idea that if enough rebellious souls make a break for the gates of Hell, nothing can stop them.


Fighting through the underworld is hardly a novel concept in gaming today. Since Hades broke out as one of the biggest indie gaming hits of the last decade, more than a few developers have tackled the idea of fighting from the depths of the afterlife in a roguelite fashion. Developer Thunder Lotus Games, the team behind Spiritfarer, has a fascinating twist on this idea: Take that idea and apply it to co-op... for 33 players. That's the ambitious idea behind 33 Immortals and Shacknews recently had the opportunity to try it out.

First revealed during Sunday's Xbox Games Showcase, 33 Immortals is set in the depths of Hell. The story in this game is inspired by Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, the epic 14th-century poem that contains Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Players take on the role of one of the Inferno's many lost souls, who seek to fight their way out of eternal damnation and into the bliss of paradise. Of course, since Hell is filled with the baddest demons imaginable, there will be strength in numbers, which is why every run will start with 33 players connected through online co-op.

Buffing teammates in 33 Immortals
Buffing and healing teammates will only work if you have enough of them available.
Source: Xbox

While we didn't have a full 33-player party available during our demo, our party of six was able to get a small taste of how each run will play out. Each hand-drawn section of Inferno contains hordes of enemies, each of which can be cut down relatively easily to help players earn rewards toward character progression. Each character carries their own specific weapon, each granting access to a different set of special moves and traits. For example, as a swordsman, I was able to heal teammates, while those wielding bows could boost teammate attack power. The catch is that three, and only three, teammates can trigger the boost. After attempting to lay down a healing spell, I noticed that two other healing markers were on the ground. If two other players don't step on those markers and press their buttons to activate them, the spell won't trigger. As action gets heavier and enemies get more intense, taking a pit stop for an interrupted spell becomes much more difficult.

Speaking of enemies getting more intense, part of getting through Inferno involves stepping into Torture Chambers. Completing these gauntlets of foes not only helps teams progress into the next section of the Inferno, but they'll also reward everyone with a chest filled with equippable items containing passive buffs. Torture Chambers can get tough as boss characters show up, each with the ability to wipe out players by the dozen with debilitating attacks.

Initially surviving the Torture Chamber is just half the battle. God is not happy that there are rebellious souls in Inferno. Surviving Torture Chambers will call down the Wrath of God, and since He's... you know... God, His holy wrath comes down like an orbital strike, covering a vast majority of the screen and capable of wiping out players en masse.

Enemies will likewise see the benefit when it comes to strength in numbers. Our run was cut short when three boss characters ganged up on us just before we could reach our exit. While we weren't treated to this portion of the game, players can take time in-between runs to examine their characters, improve stats where needed with spoils from their previous runs, and try again with a new crop of 33 teammates.

There are a few aspects of 33 Immortals that we're eager to check out in the future. Beyond seeing more of Inferno, we're interested in seeing character progression at work, more weaponry, badder bosses, and how the story (adapted from one of history's greatest literary works) unfolds for parties of 33.

We'll learn more about 33 Immortals in the months ahead. Look for it to release on PC and Xbox Series X|S in 2024 with Game Pass users able to pick it up on Day One. A beta is also coming later this year and we'll have more information on that as it arrives.

This preview is based on a pre-release demo played on-site at the Xbox Games Showcase. Snacks were provided.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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