Blasphemous Works Both As A Metroidvania And Soulslike While Being Neither

Where platform adventure meets unforgiving gameplay.

Story Highlights

  • Blasphemous lets you explore dense 2-D platform areas, unlocking secrets with new abilities.
  • Brutal Soulslike combat requires precise timing and mastery of combat and movement.
  • The sequel refines this formula while some may miss the in-depth lore of the first game.

Blasphemous isn’t just a series, it’s a whole new genre. Here, the interconnected maps blend with a tough challenge and haunting atmosphere of a Soulslike. The developers behind Blasphemous, The Game Kitchen, have created such a carefully crafted world that is beautifully punishing. 

Both Blasphemous 1 and its sequel refine this unique formula, offering a combination of challenge and exploration for those brave enough to delve into the twisted land of Cvstodia.

Exploration Meets Brutal Consequences 

Blasphemous takes us on the role of the Penitent One, a remorseful poor soul forever bound to the cursed land of Cvstodia. Both games keep the core Metroidvania experience with a vast, interconnected world of secrets. New areas open up as we acquire abilities, forcing us to revisit previous areas with new skills to access hidden and locked pathways.

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The Penitent One, forever bound to Cvstodia | Source: The Game Kitchen

However, this exploration takes an unexpected Soulslike turn. Death is at every corner, stripping you of resources and forcing you to reclaim your Tears of Atonement at checkpoints. Each run deeper into Cvstodia becomes a tense exploration with the constant threat of dying.

A Symphony Of Sword And Sorcery

The combat in Blasphemous is brutal, demanding mastery of both movement and timing. Borrowing from the Soulslike formula, each enemy encounter in Blasphemous requires careful positioning and measured attacks. While Blasphemous 1 relies only on a trusty sword, the sequel offers a variety of new weapons, each with unique move-sets.

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The heavy Verdicto offers the newest and most unique playstyle out of all the weapons and will reward players who are more patient and able to choose the right moments to take a swing in Blasphemous 2, while the Reugo Al Alba seems to be the easiest to use due to it being a balanced one-handed blade.

Mastering these weapons becomes essential, as enemies are no joke. Like their Soulsborne counterparts, they punish recklessness with sudden death, forcing you to learn their attack patterns and their weaknesses.

Where Beauty And Despair Collide

While pixelated art was featured in both Blasphemous 1 and 2, each game remains truly unique in its way. Every collapsing structure, every beast has been crafted with great attention to detail. Yet, beneath this surface beauty lies a Soulslike gloominess. The creepy atmosphere hangs heavy, filled with the shrieking of tortured souls and the unsettling silence of empty landscapes.

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A glimpse into Cvstodia’s twisted world | Source: Team17

The soundtrack of Blasphemous is also one of the game’s highlights. The melodic singing of the choir gets mixed up with the grating sounds to produce a place that is both beautiful and scary at the same time. This is a breathtaking but terrible world where the most amazing beauty of its landscapes can be ruined by fear of pain.

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A Blend Of Two Worlds

The true brilliance of Blasphemous lies in how seamlessly it blends the two genres, Metroidvania and Soulslike. The platform adventure Metroidvania structure provides exploration and progression that was introduced in the first game. 

Backtracking through areas feels like a new journey, each newly acquired ability unlocking new secrets and challenging you to master the previously explored areas. The world of Blasphemous is a place where exploration is not just a reward but is necessary for your survival.

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Blasphemous 2 builds upon the foundation laid by its prequel. The increased mobility options might feel easier for some veterans of the first game’s punishing platforming sections. But the weapon-specific platforming tricks and the focus on boss battles with multiple phases keep the challenge fresh.

Blasphemous’ Narrative Lore And Its Departures

While Blasphemous 1 crafted a compelling story with dark Catholic symbolism and captivating characters with an amazing story, Blasphemous 2 received mixed reviews on its narrative delivery. In my opinion, the sequel’s story isn’t very engaging and the characters are forgettable. 

The cryptic lore dumps that I came across when playing the game felt clumsy and forced, as opposed to the first game that made me feel something, thanks to its character stories. However, this is a matter of personal preference. Blasphemous 2 maintains the series’ dark and gloomy environment without straying from its core game mechanics, and for those who are prepared to dig deeper, the world itself continues to be a complex tapestry.

Blasphemous 2 writing kinda sucks
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Blasphemous isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging, unforgiving experience that demands both patience and perseverance. But for those willing to brave its punishing depths, it offers a unique blend of Metroidvania exploration and Soulslike challenge. Here, death is not a failure, but a lesson learned. So, step into Cvstodia, penitent ones. The Miracle awaits.

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Fahad Shabbir is a 3rd-year computer science student with a lifelong passion for gaming. As an opinion writer at eXputer with a deep love for challenging experiences, Fahad brings a unique perspective to the table. His background in various genres and active participation in gaming forums fuel his insightful analysis of the industry's hottest topics. Expect him to dissect the latest releases, unpack hidden depths, and provide a detailed look at the ever-evolving landscape of PC gaming. Get familiar with Fahad's gaming library by checking out his Steam profile.

Covers Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Computer Science.

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