How Hades 2's Melinoe Plays Differently From Zagreus

How Hades 2's Melinoe Plays Differently From Zagreus

Supergiant Games' Hades 2 is officially in early access, and although it retains the fundamental mechanics of its predecessor, it introduces unique elements that set it apart. One of the most significant changes is the playable protagonist. While Hades saw players controlling Zagreus, son of Hades, Hades 2 puts players in control of Melinoe, the daughter of Hades and younger sister to Zagreus. Melinoe's distinct combat style and approach to upgrades make for a fresh and engaging experience.

Melinoe’s Combat Style: Magick Over Weapons

Melinoe’s gameplay focuses heavily on the use of Magick, reflecting her role as a witch. Unlike Zagreus, who relies more on his weapons, Melinoe excels when she leverages her spells.

"Melinoe is typically at her best when she uses spells, as opposed to when she relies more heavily on her main weapon to deal damage."

Prioritize Magick Upgrades

Players should focus on upgrading Melinoe's spells through Omega Cast Boons and Soul Tonics. These upgrades significantly enhance her effectiveness in combat, allowing her to maximize her magical abilities. While upgrading her main weapon can still be beneficial, prioritizing Magick will yield better results.

Boons and Spell Enhancements

Boons that improve Melinoe's Omega Cast or Special are particularly valuable. These enhancements can drastically improve her combat capabilities, making her spells more powerful and versatile.

Agility and Battlefield Awareness

Melinoe’s agility sets her apart from Zagreus. She is much lighter on her feet, featuring a sprint ability that allows her to evade enemies more effectively.

"Unlike Zagreus, who can only dash, Melinoe can sprint. This is largely on account of her needing to cast spells and stay away from her enemies as much as possible."

Sprinting and Cooldown Mechanics

While Melinoe's sprint ability has a cooldown, it can be enhanced through various Boons, making it faster and adding special effects. This mechanic encourages players to adopt a more fluid and strategic approach to combat, focusing on positioning and evasion.

Strategic Gameplay and Environmental Awareness

Melinoe's gameplay emphasizes battlefield awareness and tactical positioning. Her general moveset includes the Witch’s Staff, which offers a short thrusting move, a ranged projectile on special, and an area-of-effect Omega attack that slows and damages enemies.

"Melinoe is much more about battlefield awareness and tactical positioning. Her dash turns into a brisk dash that lets you weave in and out of enemies, while executing attacks and specials to take advantage of flanking and positioning."

Environmental Interactions

The game introduces elements like destructible environments that can damage enemies. This addition requires players to stay aware of their surroundings and use the environment to their advantage during combat.

New Progression System: Tarot Cards

Hades 2 introduces a new progression system that differs from the mirror used in the first game. Players now use Tarot Cards to empower Melinoe, adding a layer of strategy to character development.

"The mirror you used to purchase upgrades for Zagreus has been changed to a Tarot Card system, where you add cards to a deck to empower Melinoe."

Resource Management

Collecting resources throughout the world and choosing which Tarot Cards to unlock adds depth to the progression system. Players must make thoughtful decisions to align their upgrades with their desired playstyle and build.

Early Access Impressions

The early access version of Hades 2 has already shown that Supergiant Games is committed to making the sequel a distinct and engaging experience. The new mechanics, character development, and storytelling elements all contribute to a game that feels both familiar and refreshingly new.

"Supergiant could have just given us more of the same, but it’s already evidently clear Hades 2 is a different beast entirely, and I can’t wait to see what treats the underworld has in store."


Hades 2 builds upon the successful formula of its predecessor while introducing innovative changes that enhance gameplay and storytelling. Melinoe’s unique combat style, emphasis on Magick, and strategic approach to combat make for an exciting new adventure. As players navigate the Underworld with Melinoe, they will find a game that is both a worthy successor to Hades and a bold step forward for the series.


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