Blasphemous – Review
Follow Genre: Action-platformer
Developer: The Game Kitchen
Publisher: Team17 Digital Limited
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Blasphemous – Review

Site Score
9.5
Good: Disturbing narrative, Great use of pixel art
Bad: Lots of backtracking
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The Spanish indie studio The Game Kitchen already did pretty well for itself with their first game, The Last Door, a pixelated horror adventure that garnered significant popularity on steam. Back in 2017, they launched a Kickstarter for their second title, Blasphemous, which predictably blew up with almost 10 000 pledgers backing the game. Nearly two years later Blasphemous is done and we are more than happy to report that this game does not disappoint in the slightest.

Story

As the title would suggest, Blasphemous deals with themes of religion and sin. In the dark and twisted land of Cvstodia, a curse has wrecked the land. This curse is simply called “The Miracle”, though it is definitely not a miracle in our understanding of the word. Death and decay linger everywhere, and people have taken to all kinds of worship to beg for divine intervention. The player character, simply called The Penitent One, is on a sacred quest to undo some of this terribleness that will involve holy devotion and sacrifice, starting with three humiliations to be suffered on three different locations. The game starts us off with a short animated cutscene explaining the basics of this, with various other cutscenes encountered during the game. Beyond that, you can learn more about the world and where things went wrong by talking to the different people you meet or inspecting objects you find, most of which have a separate section called lore, for those who want to earn a deeper understanding of Cvstodia and its burden.

Graphics

Similar to their first game, The Last Door, Blasphemous uses a pixelated art style. Do not mistake this for simplicity though, as the environments you travel through are very detailed and the designs of the enemies you encounter, especially some of the bosses, can easily knock other games out of the park. And despite this not exactly realistic art style, you can expect your fair share of gore. Blood will splatter off your enemies liberally as you decapitate and dismember your way to holy retribution.

Sound

There’s some very good music in this game. Once again the boss fights stand out to us, with a soundtrack befitting the figurative (and sometimes literal) colossal monsters that cross your path. While your main character doesn’t talk, for they have taken a vow of silence as part of their repentance, there are plenty of other suffering people to meet, with every single line of dialogue being voiced. The voice work is not bad at all, on the contrary, but should you be a fast reader you can always skip through it with the press of a button.

Gameplay

Blasphemous is an action-platformer with some hack-n-slash elements. As The Penitent One, you can travel through the entirety of Cvstodia, using your sword Mea Culpa to kill the enemies you will encounter along the way. Of course, you have the main quest to complete, but the map is pretty big and you can explore at your leisure. Some folks will even give you minor tasks or side quests to complete and between those and the various collectibles it might even be in your best interest to do some searching first, in order to become stronger. Most areas are even accessible from the beginning of the game, though a lot of them are riddled with stronger enemies and ferocious bosses that might still be out of your league.

Defeating enemies is pretty simple at first, just hit them with your sword until they explode into bloody bits. Later on, you will encounter enemies with their own weapons and shields though, at which point you can learn how to block, parry and dodge. Killing enemies will earn you Fervor, displayed as a small blue bar beneath your health, which you will need for more complicated battle moves as well as Prayers, which basically function like spells. These Prayers are one of the many collectible items you can find in this game, some of them incredibly well hidden. There are also prayer beads, which you can equip as perks to your gear. Killing enemies will also earn you Tears which you can use at a special shrine to unlock new abilities similar to a skill tree.

Saving is done at a different kind of shrine, the Prie Dieu, which functions not only as a checkpoint where you respawn upon death but also as a quick way to recover all your health. Praying here will also fill up your flasks, which you can use to heal yourself. You start the game off with just two flasks, but later you can collect more. Besides this, the game mostly consists of some platforming, with various ladders and platforms making up the map.

Conclusion

Blasphemous really is an unholy amount of fun to get into. With so much freedom to explore and great art it is an enthralling game that quickly becomes addictive. Between the blood splattering everywhere and the general sense of dread, the story manages to build up and anybody who likes Metroidvania type games with a solid narrative should give this game a chance.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Blasphemous - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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