Following its announcement in December 2022, we now know that Hades 2 will release on Steam and the Epic Games Store in early access in the second quarter of 2024.
When it does reach this initial stage of availability, Hades 2 will follow a similar roadmap as the first game. Supergiant plans to release regular "major updates" that address player feedback and add substantial story and character updates to the roguelike action game over time.
The first Hades spent almost two years in early access on Steam before it launched in 2020. Supergiant says early access was always the plan for the original game, even "before deciding literally anything else about it, such as the Underworld setting." Hades 2 was conceived the same way, and the developer says it will have "at least as much content from day one in early access as the original game did back when it launched in early access on Steam."
Hades 2 swaps out the first game's main character for the princess of the Underworld in Greek myth, Melinoë, as she chases after the Titan of Time. Like the first game, you'll carve through demons in isometric view and gain godlike power-ups that substantially change your approach to combat from run to run. Death may reset your run back to the start, but a group of eccentric gods and demigods are there to speak to and flirt with as you inch closer to your goal.
In our Hades review from 2020, Jody said it felt like a response to Supergiant's previous action games, but "focuses on the fighting and elevates it to the absolute top-tier." In the Hades 2 announcement trailer from last year, the hack-and-slash combat looks just as swift and satisfying as the first game—if not more.
Supergiant says it's not sure how long Hades 2 will be in early access given what it learned about developing that way with the first game, a process you can peek at in Noclip's excellent Hades documentary series. When that day comes, Hades 2 will be released as version 1.0 with "the conclusion to the story and any other finishing touches."
The developer will hold a short technical test before the early access launch, and will explain how to volunteer for that at a later date.