Blasphemous 2: A Metroidvania Game with Dark Souls Aesthetics and Religious Themes

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Blasphemous, what is it?

In this half of the year 2023, fans of metroidvania (genre of games inspired by Metroid and Castlevania licenses) are still desperately awaiting any announcement concerning Hollow Knight: Silksong. On the other hand, these are the fans punishing games à la Dark Souls that must be eyeing communications from FromSoftware as to a release date for the Elden Ring DLC. This even after being able to lay hands on Lies of P, a South Korean video game that takes up the aesthetics of Bloodborne by choosing Pinocchio as the main character.

Next August 24 could represent an exit door for these two types of players since it is on this day that Blasphemous 2 is released.

It’s the sequel to Blasphemous, a 2019 title developed by The Game Kitchen that marries metroidvania gameplay with the goro-religious aesthetic of FromSoftware games. Four years ago, Blasphemous surprised the press and public : 77.5//100 from metacritic, a rating of 16/20 from as well as a very positive average overall on Steam after more than 22,000 comments posted.

Penance never ends

With Blasphemous 2, there are few surprises. Why change a winning team? The Game Kitchen takes up most of son first title (with some changes, that theon discussed in the next paragraph). THE studio resumes its direction artistic Dark Fantasy reminiscent of Dark Souls: there is blood in every combat and each enemy has their own way of being executed. We find a whispered scenario with convoluted dialogues which always speaks of penance, redemption, sin or even confessions. This is about defeating three former penitents to access the supreme penitent and prevent the birth of a divine child. The developers are once again paying particular attention to the atmosphere of their game: like son predecessor, Blasphemous 2 continually vomits religious in the eyes of the player.

In addition to the sets (chapel, asylums of priors, confession rooms) and the enemies (priests with candlesticks, old wheels…), the soundtrack is a delight for the ears. Organ, piano… it sets the mood and sometimes recalls certain musical passages from Dead Cells.

Finally, the gameplay is still neat: it should include its fervent followers if not to attract new players under its chapel. Through the opening minutes of Blasphemous 2, on observes a construction almost similar to the first: a kind of small tutorial to give the keys to the players in order to make the main. One key to jump, one key to attack with son weapon and another key to slide. A boss comes to close the deal. It is mainly used for evaluation since it only has two moves, of which on understands the mechanics quickly. The player then discovers the hub, including a way to save, regenerate and customize son hero.

For those familiar with Hollow Knight, Blasphemous 2 follows the same formula. There are several places to visit, some inaccessible until the player has collected this or that power. Safeguarding and healing are only allowed by the Prie-Dieu, furniture scattered across the map. As mentioned below, the sensations of combat are present with impact at each blow but above all blood at each wound inflicted. Although the game is hard (on only has a limited number of treatments), the attention given to the animations by the studio during confrontations allows to quickly apprehend the blows of the enemies. A still effective formula taken from the first episode but which has been sharpened.

How is Blasphemous 2 different from the first?

To make up for the lack of stylistic variety in the first episode, The Game Kitchen has decided to offer three weapons to the player, but beware: once the choice is made, the other two disappear and can be recovered later in the game.. A flail, a sword and two foils. Each corresponds respectively to a style of play: slow but devastating, balanced, fast but less sharp. Each weapon has its own ability and allows you to advance in the adventure. The sword makes it possible to make large slap attacks: it destroys certain walls which block the road.

They also each have their own talent tree whose levels (representing additional blows) are unlocked thanks to the marks of the martyr. A resource that is unlocked on the ground or by killing monsters. A novelty in itself since previously, the points talent were exchanged for Tears of Atonement (the equivalent of gold coins). These still exist but are only used to buy equipment or to confess. Confession, as in Blasphemous 1, serves to regain all of its points fervor (magic) maximum. These are limited to death so either confess or recover son fragment of guilt at the place of his death.

To use the comparison with Hollow Knight, Blasphemous 2 does not have a level system either. There progression of the penitent is made exclusively by the improvement of son weapon by marks of martyrdom but also by the acquisition of verses or songs. They represent respectively a fast spell and a slow spell that the player can equip. In the process, the system of rosaries is still relevant (charms giving passives to the player) while a system of effigies has been added. To be collected during his travels, they mainly give advantages to the damage inflicted.

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