Blasphemous Review

Blasphemous

Reviewed on Xbox One

By: John

 

Are you a fan of Castlevainia? Are you a fan of Dark Souls? If you are then you are going to love Blasphemous a Metriodvainia style game “Darksoulvania” if you will, that combines the awesome pixel art style and exploration of Castlevainia with the skill and punishment of Dark Souls.

Blasphemous started off as a Kickstarter campaign by Spanish studio The Game Kitchen back in 2017, which successfully raised over 300,000. The game was finally produced and release on all platforms in September of 2019.

Easily one of my favorite games of 2019, the game was simply satisfying, the simple yet intricate gameplay, the immersive story and the lore of the world around you, the dark and twisted religious iconography, the nonlinear levels and brutal difficulty make this game a very impressive work of art that keeps you coming back for more.

You are the Penitent One, a member of the Brotherhood of Silent Sorrow (Awesome name by the way) as you awaken you seem to be laying amongst a sea of bodies that are comprised of your fellow brothers. Soon to find out you are the sole survivor of the calamitous event known as the miracle. As The Penitent One you set forth on a journey to discover the root of the destruction in order to free the land of Orthodoxia from the twisted nightmare it has been thrown into. As you start, your first enemy encounter is with The Warden of Silent Sorrow, a pretty straight forward fight that introduces you to the basic controls of the game. Although, don’t take the first fight lightly, it doesn’t pull any punches and this is the first of many boss battles to come. You will soon realize how brutal and sometimes unfair the game can be.

The game in my opinion is what I would consider to be well balanced, the controls feel finely tuned tight and very responsive. However, difficulty wise, it can be unforgiving, very punishing and with no difficulty selection, the only way to make it is by just trial and error. Be sure to see what works best for you.

I was able to complete the game in about 15 hours however, I still haven’t collected all the prayers, and collectables as well as the alternate ending and different skins. For the completionists it can easily be stretched for a good 20 plus hours.

I believe the mechanics of the game are what make it stand out. For example, the save system is similar to that of Dark Souls but instead of sitting at a bond fire and refilling your flask, instead you pray at a Prie Diue to save and refill your blood flasks that allow you to heal on the spot. Throughout the game you will pick up prayers which act like buffs to help you on your conquest. You will also find rosary beads that provide passive abilities to also aid you. There are also puzzles that require you to think out of the box to solve, and that’s just listing a few of the mechanics that make the experience so unique.

The audio for this game is astonishing the low ominous tracks paired with the visual ascetics. The attention to detail when it comes to enemies and environment is also satisfying.

The visuals for Blasphemous are stunning. From the pixel art of the characters, enemies, and background, but also from the incredibly drawn cinematics. Although, the game stays away from any religious groups it derives a lot of inspiration from the 12th century inquisition. Violent and disturbing.

Blasphemous is a stunning game that everyone should experience for themselves. A challenging game with beautiful yet disturbing imagery with an amazing story all wrapped up in one sinfully decadent package. Blasphemous keeps you coming back for more.

Rating 10/10