Check out an in-depth look at the art of Supergiant’s Hades.
Hades is simply one of those games that you could spend hours soaking in its visual beauty. More than just a hack and slash title, Hades has acquired unprecedented success for its interesting storylines, stunning voice-overs and also unique character representation but one of the key sticking points for Supergiant Games’ roguelike, underworld title is the sheer amount of artistic talent that’s piped into this steller dungeon crawler. Set in the gritty and looming Underworld of Greek myth, Hades still manages to provide a palette of electrifying colors and this is all thanks to the incredibly talented and innovative artists that make up the team at Supergiant.
Thanks to Kotaku, we get to have an in-depth look at The Art of Hades in which many believe it to be one of the best-looking games of 2020. Having played the game myself, I can honestly say that I happen to agree with the folk who can’t get enough of its rich artistic endeavors and its array of striking Olympian gods. For those of you that maybe haven’t heard much about Hades, allow me to give you a quick run-down: 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, and 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. For those who enjoy a less punishing adventure, Supergiant implemented a feature called God Mode which will make you more resilient to damage and a little tougher still each time you die.
Now, onto the art. JenZee, illustrator and concept artist currently working as Art Director at Supergiant Games, has created concept art and illustrations for projects such as Bastion, Gaia Online, A Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Call of Cthulhu, and Warhammer. As you can see in the images below, JenZee has created some amazing characters for Hades that include Artemis – the Olympian Goddess of the hunt and the wilderness. She offers boons to Zagreus which gives his abilities the chance to deal with Critical damage. In addition, she also offers boons that improve Cast abilities. Cerberus – a massive three-headed dog charged with guarding the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from escaping. He is also a household pet and a very good boy. JenZee’s art also sees images of Zagreus, Hermes, Nyx, Asterius the Minotaur, Hades, and Theseus, former hero and king of Athens.
Also included in the art of Hades is Joanne Tran, Environment Artist at Supergiant. Joanne previously worked at EA Visceral and Sledgehammer Games, where she produced stunning and incredibly moody environment concepts for those studios’ spectacular first-person shooters. Joanne’s renowned environmental talents are easily pin-pointed in her work in Hades, as shown below. We can see some amazing environmental level design that’s awash with stunning colors and incredible details that make all of her work pop straight out of the screen.
Last in the wonderful artwork of Hades is Paige Carter, 3D Artist at Supergiant Games who has previously worked at Daybreak Games on H1Z1 and Just Survive and also modeling assets for Disney Merchandising. Here we see Paige take Hades‘ character concept illustrations and brought them to the surface in-game whilst also breathing life into Supergiant’s vision of the Underworld of Hades, where her well-honed skill soon took the look of their fourth game to the next level. You can see Paige’s creative talents run through characters that include Achilles, a demi-human hero known for his role in the Trojan War, Charon, the boatman of the river Styx, responsible for ferrying deceased souls across the river and into the underworld, Eurydice, a deceased oak nymph and the former wife of the musician Orpheus, Hypnos, the embodiment of sleep and one of Nyx’s many children, Nyx, known as the “Mother Night”, who is the personification of night and a resident in the House of Hades, and lastly Thanatos, the personification of death.
Cosplayers around the world are huge lovers of Hades due to it’s diverse and colorful characters so Supergiant including an image of the many weapons used throughout the game is a massive bonus seeing as they can now have a much better point of reference and an up-close and personal view of the intricate design for use on their very own cosplaying adventures. What’s also very cool is that Supergiant’s official Twitter account added a short video detailing the opening menu screen for the game laid out by the games’ UI and VFX artist Josh Barnett. You can check out that video below.
Even the simple act of opening a menu screen in a game is an opportunity for that game to draw you into its world. Our resident UI and VFX artist @kirbyLFO has been making our intricate menu animations since Transistor. Have a look, and go deep into the Well of Charon! #HadesGame pic.twitter.com/qSKk7PwEbl
— Supergiant Games 🔥 HADES v1.0 is Out!! (@SupergiantGames) October 22, 2020
Supergiant’s latest masterpiece has already seen a huge success, selling more than 1,000,000 copies and already selling around 700,000 copies in early access. Hades initially launched into early access in December 2018 and since then, we’ve had updates that include The Long Winter in which brought Demeter, the Goddess of Seasons, into the game and also new boons, Guan Yu, a unique new aspect for the Eternal Spear and a fishing rod that allows players to fish in the Underworld. Hades is out now on Nintendo Switch and PC. If you’re interested in getting to know a little more about this roguelike game, make sure to check out our review of it where we ended up giving it a big fat 10/10.