Surprise! Hades II early access release means you can play now on Steam

The Hades II logo
(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Usually, when a highly anticipated video game comes out, we hear about it months in advance. This allows the developer to build anticipation. That didn't happen with Hades II, as developer Supergiant Games surprised everyone by putting the game out in early access on Steam without as much as a press release.

Sure, there was a technical test for the game that could have tipped an impending launch, but game developers often do tests well before the actual release to ensure smooth development progress. The company did announce that it would follow an early access launch plan, as it did with the first Hades, but it didn't say when.

Right now, the early access game is only available on Steam for PC players, but it is Steam Deck certified, so you can take it on the go. A rogue-like game like Hades II is well-suited to a handheld platform like the Steam Deck, so it's nice to see Supergiant Games make it work on the small screen.

In Hades II, players take the role of Melinoe, the protagonist's sister from the first game. She's also the Princess of the Underworld, with all kinds of witchcraft that support the traditional Greek god powers her brother brought to the table. Of course, the sequel comes with the requisite "new locations, challenges, upgrade systems, and surprises."

"Battle beyond the Underworld using dark sorcery to take on the Titan of Time in this bewitching sequel to the award-winning rogue-like dungeon crawler," reads the game's Steam page. The $29 game already features "overwhelmingly positive" user reviews.

The team behind Hades II didn't say how long the early access period would last. "We expect Hades II to be in Early Access development at least through the end of 2024. Given the nature of Early Access development, we don't have a specific end date planned at this time," reads the game's announcement post.

It sounds like there's already a lot of content for players to enjoy, even if some isn't done. "Hades II in Early Access already has more environments, foes, and fully-voiced characters than the full version of the original Hades game. But it isn't complete, and key areas, characters, foes, narrative events, and systems are still to come," said the developers regarding the current state of the game.

Supergiant Games is looking for feedback from players, so it doesn't seem the company is just trying to get the game out early. "This is a game with many interconnected parts, and your feedback helps us ensure everything from the balance to the narrative are working as well as possible," the team said.

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Dave LeClair
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Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.