I agree a lot with some of the sentiments echoed here. I have not played the game yet, but the pitch for it definitely disappointed me.
I remember liking Bastion a whole lot when it came out. I replayed it recently and enjoyed it still, but I could see where the team’s talent was still growing. Transistor was awesome because it took their storytelling and sense of style and went in interesting directions mechanically. It was a little more courageous, a little more mold-breaking than Bastion was.
Pyre was, in my mind, the product of Supergiant banking on their reputation and confidence as creators to make something totally unique and unexpected. They trusted in the faith of their fans to give it a chance. Pyre is far and away my favorite game they’ve made because of the pathos of its storytelling and the sheer creativity of its world and art. The sports game part is great even just because it feeds into the tension of the narrative, but also because it’s such a playground for interesting design ideas. Even though it was well-received critically, Pyre didn’t really seem like it generated a lot of buzz. You could probably chalk it up to indie market saturation increasing since Transistor, but I suspect a lot of folks were just turned away by its departure from ARPG gameplay.
Hades seems like a return to form, but in a disappointing way. The promotional material for it even says “from the creators of Bastion and Transistor” with no mention of Pyre. I would have loved for their followup to Pyre to be even more bizarre and creative, but it feels like a collection of tried-and-true or popular elements (roguelite, greek myth, ARPG). Glad Darren Korb is getting to do a more rock/metal soundtrack though, because in interviews he talks about how much fun he had composing the theme for the Dissidents in Pyre.