Review | Blasphemous 2
"When religion goes gore, when double jump is a must, when 3 weapons form a path towards the heavens just to kill the Gods… Yeah, it’s Blasphemous time alright! It’s better than ever!"
How many years it takes to create a sequel worthy of its predecessor? Approximately 4 years while listening to the feedback of the gaming community. Was that so hard? Blasphemous 2 is still behind the same group of people, but this time it’s better, more fun, and with some QOL improvements which never drags the experience away but enhances it.
Alright, so you can play this one on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. I wanted to be faster with the review, but you know, other games… The game is out for couple of weeks now, and I think it’s well worth the money it cost if you’re into the genre.
Arise from the grave! It's how the life starts right? Well, no, but it is how it starts here! And meet the party that will party hard against you.
I vaguely remember the first game, but I do remember I really missed more variety in multiple aspects – better weapons, smoother progression, more enemies, more abilities… It’s an honour to say it – this game improved in all areas! Visually it’s really almost the same, with some cutscenes here and there, plus the new areas to explore. It’s a retro experience after all. The gist of the game is not to please the graphic-craving audience, but to bring a pinch of religious iconography and themes packed in the souls-like vibe. And it delivers.
Maybe we can start with the story and what the hell is happening. Yes, the hell is happening indeed. One could claim that this is a religious game, but one could be wrong. It’s heavily influenced with the topic and iconography as mentioned, but it’s far from some story written in books. On the contraire, when you see an NPC without the skin or breast-feeding father, you will have no further questions or doubts.
Even with the great art and maybe simple visuals, I think the story is not worth the praise. The journey to your penance is challenging and fun, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think the story itself makes a lot of sense and it never piqued my interest. That never bothered me – the rest of the game is simply great, and who am I is not what bothered me at all.
If you think that this sequel will lack content and the wtf factor, think again - I still can't sleep because of some sceneries, but one thing is for sure... Having three weapons, multiple abilities and cool magic is the way to go.
If you’re a fan of Castlevania, Blasphemous 2 is a must-play. With 3 different weapons, each with its own move set and abilities, plus the abilities like double jump and the rest of them; it will make the gameplay experience fun and progression natural.
Having more choices open different strategies against regular enemies and in the boss fights, and that is exactly what I missed in the previous game.
If you’re here for the collectibles, this also feels updated. Quests are good (and unique, full of mystic characters and their own storylines), and the outcomes are usually 2. What you miss you can still buy from the certain in-game shop, so you’re not punished for making a choice. The arsenal of side content tasks is just enough, with some backtracking that is smoothen by the fast-traveling option.
Yes, there is a fast travel between the checkpoints, but it gets unlocked later when you find enough secrets and exchange your money for that perk.
The only minus I have here is the execution moves that feels like a step back. Most of the enemies have the same executions, with only a few that you can introduce with their weapons against them. The rest of the mentioned package is spot-on, even higher than the expectations.
Interesting NPCs are what push you through the side content. Their stories are unique. Some are even sad. Collecting everything feels welcome, especially when almost every pickup benefits you in a way. A job well done.
This is a typical Castlevania game with much higher difficulty. Regular enemies don’t stand a chance against you as soon as you learn their patterns (or their basic moves), but the boss fights are harder, and you’ll need to learn the full move sets if you want to win.
Learning to change your weapon during the fights is a good strategy, although Veredicto was usually my choice – it’s heavy and it has the longest reach, plus it kicks their asses hard. Magic and additional special weapon attacks help a lot, but it all depends how often you die and what do you have at your disposal.
When you die a chunk of your mana gets cut off. The rest is preserved, which is a welcome gift considering similar games take away much more. Probably because you collect upgrades in a form of items, so no experience is involved.
Overall, all boss fights are good and unique, while the last boss feels the weakest of them all. Probably because around that point you’ll be familiar with all the abilities which can only help to win as you have more space to manoeuvre. The boss with the sharpening tools is my favourite.
If you want a little micromanagement, you can get it in a form of Rosary Beds (up to 5 slots of desired buns), altarpieces (also certain buns that raises your critical or attack etc.), Prayers (magic – 2 types you can equip at the same time and they help a lot!), and of course, the flask upgrades, and few others you will try to find with a smile on your face.
For sure you will backtrack, but this time around you can unlock fast travel, so exploring is not a chore. Also, sliding through the air and double jumping is my way of having fun. Plus, the boss fights are awesome when you double jump your way through.
Without complicating too much, I can easily recommend this game. With the lack of story interest, outdated, simple visuals – it still holds its own, it learned from its mistakes (when the team listens, that means a lot!). It balances the flaws with fluent controls, great design, and such a fun gameplay loop. Plus, the great sound, and the atmosphere. I was never bored in my 25 hours of playing the game, and as a fan of the genre this feels a level and a half better than the previous time around in the lands of Cvstodia.
I had only 1 crash during my play time, but no bugs. Indie titles are looking better and better each day, this one is a prime example how to make great a game without spending 10 billion. It’s all about the gameplay.
"Better in all aspects than the previous game, but still nothing extra revolutionary in the gaming community. Maybe with better story that can involve us more, and some inovations – maybe then we can go to that last grade level rank."
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