Blasphemous 2, the highly anticipated sequel to The Game Kitchen’s 2019 Metroidvania platformer, proves that it takes the number “2” in its name quite seriously. Building upon the success of its predecessor, this installment magnifies every aspect of the game, including the world, equipment, spells, puzzles, and boss encounters. Despite some minor flaws such as repetitive enemy design and a complex narrative, fans of Hollow Knight: Silksong will find solace in this punishing action-adventure game.
Developed by Spanish studio The Game Kitchen, Blasphemous 2 begins right after the events of the first game’s Wounds of Eventide DLC. The protagonist, known as The Penitent One, is resurrected to combat the supernatural force known as The Miracle. Players will navigate through hordes of malevolent beings, battling their way through a grand cathedral in an attempt to silence a mysterious, thunderous beating heart. Along the journey, players will encounter helpful yet horrifying characters.
The game’s narrative is enigmatic and steeped in religious symbolism, as characters speak in archaic language reminiscent of Shakespearean vernacular. This might pose a challenge for players not well-versed in Old English, as the dialogue can be dense and filled with theological references. However, at its core, the game follows a simple premise of defeating the antagonist. The grotesque visuals, satisfying combat mechanics, and platforming elements make for a compelling gaming experience.
Blasphemous 2 improves upon the platforming mechanics of its predecessor. In an interview with Kotaku, The Game Kitchen emphasized the enhanced jumping mechanics, providing players with a more fluid and reliable experience. Additionally, players now have access to three different weapons: Reugo Al Alba, Sarmiento & Centella, and Veredicto, each designed to fulfill a specific role. These new mechanics, combined with unlockable abilities such as air dashes and double jumps, showcase the game’s evolution as a Metroidvania.
Combat in Blasphemous 2 is visceral and satisfying, with enemies dissolving into pools of blood and flesh upon defeat. While combat mechanics are relatively straightforward with limited new moves and an abundance of spells, engaging in battle remains enjoyable. The diverse enemy designs may grow repetitive after a while, particularly as color variations of the same enemies appear throughout the game. However, the game’s impactful audio cues and weighty strikes compensate for this repetition, keeping combat satisfying throughout.
One aspect that may grow tiresome for players is the boss encounters. While some bosses present predictable attack patterns in large environments, their massive health bars can make battles feel unnecessarily protracted. Additionally, the inability to skip cutscenes preceding boss fights interrupts the game’s flow, leading to minor frustrations. Despite these flaws, the bosses remain visually striking and evoke a sense of fear as they emerge from various locations.
Blasphemous 2 shines in its captivating and beautifully rendered environments. From dilapidated caves to intricate cathedrals and infested waterways, each setting exudes gothic vibes that seamlessly align with the game’s macabre aesthetic. Parallax scrolling adds depth to the world, while the atmospheric music enhances the eerie tone, solidifying Blasphemous 2 as one of the most visually revolting Metroidvania games of 2023.
In conclusion, Blasphemous 2 may not revolutionize the Metroidvania or Soulslike genres, but it delivers everything fans could hope for in a sequel. With its expanded world, improved mechanics, and captivating environments, The Game Kitchen has truly created a sickeningly delightful experience. Despite some drawbacks, Blasphemous 2 surpasses expectations, offering a bigger and better version of its predecessor.