Wish Hades Was A Cyberpunk FPS? Play Deadlink

Deadlink's DNA mixes Hades with Doom Eternal to create a stellar FPS rogue-like.

                                                                            Story Highlights

  • Deadlink is an FPS rogue-like developed by Gruby Entertainment and published by SuperGG.com.
  • Deadlink is a uniquely fun shooter that owes a lot of its DNA to titles such as Hades.
  • If you’re looking for your next rogue-like fix, Deadlink is the way to go.  

It’s safe to say that few indie games in recent memory have been as influential as Supergiant Games’ magnum opus: Hades. From God of War Ragnarok to Returnal, there have already been an endless amount of games that have taken inspiration from it. One such game that I want to recommend here is Deadlink.

It is a game that owes a lot to Hades but also creates an addicting gameplay loop that rises above its inspirations to create something truly spectacular. 

Roguelike DOOM? Sign Me Up!

Deadlink Gameplay
Deadlink features a remarkably polished combat loop. | Source: eXputer.

A major source of inspiration for Deadlink is 2021’s DOOM Eternal with its high focus on cooldown and resource management. It follows a similar design philosophy: It’s designed to push and force you to enter its flow state. By all means, Deadlink is a brutal game, arguably more so than Hades. Every enemy is lethal, and combat encounters test your game knowledge as well as your mechanical skill and reflexes.

The only way to recover from mistakes is to keep fighting back. Running short of ammo in a situation where you can’t afford to reload? Try to kill an enemy with your remaining ammo to gain some shots back in your clip. You’re running low on armor and want to get it back? Kill a stunned enemy to instantly gain a burst of armor.

Doom Eternal employed a very similar style of gameplay where the only way to recover from mistakes was to keep killing enemies. Game Director Hugo Martin described this style of gameplay as “Push-Forward Combat” when giving a GDC talk in 2018 about the development of Doom 2016.

If the name doesn’t give it away, this push-forward combat system is all about getting the player to keep playing aggressively and rewarding aggressive play with more chances to make mistakes. 

YouTube video

This system was a renaissance for the shooter genre. Invigorating it with the same energy that the original Doom did back in 1993. Many developers have been trying since then to create their interpretation of this system with some of them being more successful than others.

Deadlink is another one of those attempts in a sea of similar shooters, yet it stands out thanks to its finely polished gameplay and by learning the right lessons from the games that it is inspired by.


Deadlink Hades
Deadlink features a lot of ideas from Supergiant’s Indie masterpiece “Hades.” | Source: eXputer.

This is where we get to the rogue-like systems present in Deadlink. 

While the core-combat loop of is inspired by Doom, it’s rogue-like systems are where the Hades inspirations shine through. After each arena, players can choose between various different rooms and the challenge can often vary depending on the rewards.

During your runs, you can also earn special currency that can be used to purchase permanent upgrades in the hub area. This works similarly to the darkness system in Hades where players could earn darkness rewards to get permanent upgrades in the mirror. The best kinds of upgrades are usually for your specific weapon classes, drastically altering the gameplay for each class and making them significantly crazier. 

Deadlink is fun!
byu/Elderbug777 inroguelites

Although the similarities are plentiful, the reason Deadlink works and is as good as it is on its own merit is thanks to the way it deviates from them. 

In Hades, at the start of every run, you can pick one weapon to take with you. One of the parts about that system that I loved the most was that I always felt compelled to take a new weapon with every run. If I took the gauntlets in my previous run, in my next run I would instead take the spear or the bow.

A major reason for doing this was also to not get bored of one playstyle too much because I feel that weapons in Hades lack the depth to keep them engaging between consecutive runs.

Deadlink Classes
Deadlink features 4 very distinct character classes. | Source: eXputer.

Deadlink instead offers players the option between 4 different character classes at the start of each run. Outside of the Soldier, you have to unlock the other 3 by playing the game itself. Each class has significant depth to itself, with different armor/HP values, entirely new skills, different primary and secondary guns, as well as their own unique upgrades. 

Thanks to this, I had a fantastic time just sticking to one class until I was satisfied. I’d focus on playing as the Shotgun-toting Soldier, beat the game with him, and then I would move to the revolver-shootin’ sneaky Hunter, beat the game with him, and repeat with the Engineer and Juggernaut


Deadlink Conclusion
Deadlink features multiple distinct biomes. | Source: eXputer.

Deadlink is a phenomenal game that rises above its inspirations to deliver an addicting rogue-like with a combat loop that is strong enough to sustain dozens upon dozens of hours of gameplay. Currently, the game sits at a “Very Positive” user score on Steam. If you’re like me and are waiting for Hades 2 to leave early access, then Deadlink is the perfect game to bide your time until that happens. 

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Nameer Zia is a video game News Writer on eXputer obsessed with hunting down all the latest happenings in the industry. Nameer has been gaming for more than 15 years, during which he has spent more than 3,000 hours on Overwatch 1 & 2. As a literature student, his literary chops feed into his passion for games and writing, using eXputer as the medium to deliver the latest news in the industry. Websites such as GamingBolt and IGN have also credited his works.

Experience: 4+ Years || Previously Worked At: Tech4Gamers || Education: Bachelors in English Literature.

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