Blasphemous 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed 2019 Metroidvania title. Steeped in religious themes, the game takes place in what developer Team17 calls a strange new land, plagued by a higher power’s curse that citizens are unable to overcome alone.
Blasphemous 2 takes place immediately following the events of the original Blasphemous title’s DLC, Wounds of Eventide. Players step into the boots of The Penitent One; a protagonist who lives a cycle of death, life, and resurrection. seeking to lift the curse and bring salvation to the strange new land.
The name of the game in Blasphemous 2 is exploration. Players may be reminded of the NES classic Castlevania 2, since while the game is a sidescroller, The Penitent One doesn’t just move left and right. The world, as much as it can be, is open for players to live in. In addition, NPC’s in the game will provide advice, ask for help, or even send the Penitent One on missions. This adds to the need to back-track throughout the world. It’s a pleasant feature that feels both retro and modern.
Blasphemous 2 offers smooth and responsive combat mechanics, but with that comes the requirement of split-second reaction time while players must choose whether to counter, dodge, or launch their offensive maneuvers. Learning enemy attack patterns is crucial for success, as these foes pack a punch. Being caught off guard or cornered by multiple enemies often leads to defeat.
The combat in Blasphemous 2 is challenging, rewarding, and most noticeably, gory. Adding RPG elements to the game, players can unlock and switch between three weapons, whereas each weapon offers both advantages and disadvantages, depending on what the current terrain and enemy occupation looks like. Upgrades, spells, and equipable stat boosts further enhance the customization options of the weapons.
Boss encounters in Blasphemous 2 are the ultimate tests of the player’s skill and mastery. Each boss presents a unique and challenging experience, requiring players to adapt their strategies and utilize their knowledge of combat mechanics. From heavily armored knights with projectile slashes to shape-shifting behemoths casting elemental spells, the diversity and difficulty of the boss battles make them the most memorable moments in the game.
Entering a boss arena in Blasphemous 2 is nerve-wracking. The boss battles serve as significant milestones in the player’s journey, pushing their abilities to the limit and rewarding them with a sense of accomplishment.
Blasphemous 2 presents a challenging experience that may sometimes feel steeper than expected. Certain rooms may test both patience and skill, and the later checkpoints can be sparse considering the difficulty of the final sequences. However, it is these frequent frustrations that make the eventual triumphs all the sweeter. The game draws inspiration from the Castlevania series and other action titles, but it rises above the rest by seamlessly blending a gorgeous art style, immersive exploration, and satisfying combat mechanics.
Blasphemous 2 is a must-play for fans of retro games like The Legend of Zelda II, Metroid, and Castlevania. A dark story, deep exploration, and challenging combat mechanics provide a challenging, yet satisfying gaming experience. The open world, plethora of things to discover, and immersive gameplay will keep players engaged throughout the entirety of the story. The customization options and smooth combat mechanics ensure a high level of player agency. The boss battles, with their diverse challenges, serve as ultimate tests of skill and mastery. Blasphemous 2 delivers a rewarding and triumphant gameplay experience that puts the Blasphemous series on the map and gives it distinction from other titles in the genre. Some players may not feel like Blasphemous 2 is for them since it may look dated due to the retro graphics, but if players give it a try, Blasphemous 2 will not disappoint.
Review performed using a review copy of Blasphemous 2 provided by Team17 Digital
- Replay Value