Hades 2’s best girl is Nemesis because she messes up your run


A bunch of us at RPS have been blattering our way through the underworld of Hades 2, which came out in early access yesterday. Naturally, our favourite gods and goddesses are emerging from our evenings of hacking and/or slashing. For me, Nemesis provides a lot of chuckles. Not because she’s bright and jokey (she is frownier than a wet bulldog). But because she’s determined to put the player in their place and to beat you at your own roguelike. Narratively, she fulfills a role similar to Meg in the first Hades, that of closest frenemy. But in gameplay terms, Nemesis won’t stoop to something as trite as a boss battle. Oh no. She’s out to mess with your build.

Some mild spoilers follow, fellow god-killer. You’ve been warned. I’ve already explained the ins and outs of the over-arching plot in our Hades 2 early access review. But basically, Nemesis is introduced early as a standoffish warrior in the Crossroads (your restful hub area). She’s tasked with guarding the homestead but seems irritated at this assignment, wishing instead to be fighting big enemy Chronos herself. To see your character, little Melinoë, leading the charge against the granddaddy of time, it irks her. How will this ambitious cracker of skulls react?

Well, Nemesis becomes your, uh, nemesis. Makes sense.

Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Supergiant Games

How this manifests, however, is a cheeky delight. At one point, she shows up in the middle of your run, and challenges you to a contest of hacking down foes. Whoever kills the fewest enemies loses all their coin. That’s going to mess you up! You need that coin to pay for upgrades, or to restore health and buy goodies at Charon’s wells. You can prevail against Nemesis in this contest (she doesn’t attack you while it’s ongoing, at least, not yet…) and when it’s all over the forked path ahead unlocks as usual – two doors marked with whatever boon or goody lies ahead. It’s a customary choice between, say, a ice-flavoured boon and a max health upgrade. You take a moment to think about it…

But Nem. Oh, Nem. In defeat, your hellpal reveals herself a sore loser. She snarks, then dashes ahead of you, choosing one of the two paths before you can react, sealing that doorway and eliminating one of your options. That ice boon was yours by rights! What the hell.

This isn’t the only jerk move Nemesis makes. She can show up again during trading areas with upgradey boatman Charon. The first time this happened, I was pleased to see her. Until she nabbed the Pomegranate I was eyeing up amid Charon’s wares and, again, ran off with something I could have used. I NEEDED that fruit, you utter dirtbag.

It’s such a fun spanner to throw into the game’s already abundant machinery. A touch of nifty roguelike rivalry. Guides guru Kiera (she of the Hades 2 top tips for beginners) informs me that you can outpace Nemesis, dashing ahead of her and buying up Charon’s items before your curmudgeonly counterpart gets a chance (provided you have the cash). Pull this off and Nemesis gets “real aggy”, I’m told.

Nemesis hangs out at the Crossroads in Hades 2, where you can give her a gift (which she may reject)
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Supergiant Games

But perhaps we should be civil? I once tried smoothing things over with the rude ravager, gifting her some Nectar while at home in the Crossroads (as in the first Hades, giving characters gifts will earn you helpful items). But Nemesis just handed me the juicy bottle right back, full of contempt. Hmph! I’m not sure if this is simply a matter of the game telling me this gift-giving wasn’t possible, or if she is genuinely so disgusted with Melinoë that she won’t accept presents.

Either way, it works. I thoroughly enjoy fighting in parallel with a fellow hellion who’s driven to the same end as you are, but has ambitions all her own. It’s a competitive kink to the usual action game proceedings that I’m guessing will evolve and deepen as we get to know more about Nemesis’ place among the other Crossroads weirdoes. It’s also worth saying she’s not alone in her run-wrecking methods. But that is a double spoiler, so shhh.

Anyway, now I’ve told you all my favourite Hades 2 character, you have to tell me yours. Those are the rules.


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