The decision on whether to follow a successful project with a sequel or a new IP is one that plagues studios constantly. Now, since Game Kitchen has proven itself, they opted for the former choice in Blasphemous 2. You once again don the memorable spiral cone helmet and plunge yourself into a dark world both blessed and cursed by a divine entity that may or may not be aware of the damage that it is doing to its devout followers. By hack-and-slashing your way through a 2D Metroidvania souls-like, you may help them realize the folly of their ways — with force if necessary.
What is Blasphemous 2?
Even if you didn’t play the previous game, you can get an idea of what style of story you’re in for with a name like Blasphemous. This trend continues in the aptly named Blasphemous 2. A divine entity simply referred to as the Miracle has expanded their reach, but continues to hold its strongest dominion over a place known as the City of the Blessed Name.
However, it appears that the Miracle wishes to take physical form by giving birth to a child, and that is causing all kinds of chaos around the area. As the newly awakened Penitent One, only you can put a stop to the birth in hopes of saving what remains of the region.
Blasphemous 2 Wild
With themes connected to the historical event that was the Spanish Inquisition, the game is challenged to take a lot of dark topics and make an enjoyable game around it. Blasphemous 2 manages to succeed through parts of its gameplay and presentation.
Starting with the latter, the voice acting that so lingered in our ears from the first one returned. Even though it’s a well-made pixel art game, the voice acting is what really sucks you into the world. I recommend that you listen to it in the original Spanish just so that you can hear the emotion, impact, and presence that each character possesses. Even the most minor characters will draw you into their lives with just the fewest words.
Now, the game has continued its tradition of combining souls-like and Metroidvania mechanics. These are not the easiest styles to deal with together since they have notable things associated with them that can make you think twice. But that’s the thing, this game manages to give each one its due diligence without going too hard either way. There’s a nice balance between difficult encounters with enemies and balance alongside back-tracking which becomes faster and faster as you keep playing. Soon enough you’ll start to develop a sense of direction and movement that will help you flow from one location to the next.
In terms of expansion, the game has added a lot in terms of more combat options. This time around, you have three different weapons to try out. Falling into traditional archetypes, there’s also a focus on elemental damage to add a degree of strategy to offense and defense. On top of that, each weapon offers its own distinct attack styles and powers to wield.
What’s really nice is that you will never just use one weapon. As different enemies and bosses get thrown at you, you’ll quickly learn that you need to familiarize yourself with each weapon as there are many scenarios in which one will shine brighter than the others. This is also an incentive to balance upgrades between them so that you can minimize holes in your strategy.
Blasphemous 2 Soon
The unavoidable issue with sequels is that they will undoubtedly, whether consciously or not, be compared to their predecessors. Although Blasphemous 2 expands quite a bit on the original, it leaves certain areas to suffer.
The most notable issue is the difficulty level. While it could be argued that reducing the difficulty level is a good way to make the game more accessible, we were more than prepared for it since the previous game set it up. It’s disappointing to fight through the gauntlet that was the previous game only to come to a somewhat tricky hike that is the sequel. Certain encounters can be challenging, but the bosses are nowhere near as brutal as they could’ve been. If you fall, it’s likely because you were impatient or you pressed the wrong button.
Another major issue is the sense of clarity. Metroidvania navigation and order of exploration aside, there is a lot of lore and side-quests that aren’t always readily apparent. Some characters and lore are needlessly cryptic, with you gathering important-looking items and having absolutely no idea what you should do with them. For instance, there’s one point where a guy gives you some jewelry to return to a spot with a very vague description. Turns out the location is a random bedroom that has no distinctive features. And, if by chance you did figure that out, you get nothing as a reward, not even an achievement.
The Next Chapter Awaits
Blasphemous 2 is the sequel to Blasphemous, bringing back the gameplay and aesthetics that drew us to it in the first place. The beautiful voice acting is back and supported by detailed pixel art and expanded combat options. Sadly, it has dipped in terms of difficulty, making the action less satisfying while adding far more lore and quests that aren’t usually easy to understand or complete. It may not be the sequel you were expecting, but there’s still plenty of excitement and fun to be had in being blasphemous… again.
Blasphemous 2 was played on PC with a code provided by the game team. It’s also available for download on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.