Halloween is coming and there’s nothing better than playing a horror game that gives you that chill down your spine. With that in mind, I came to recommend a fantastic independent game that mixes brutal and challenging action with a dark gothic atmosphere: Blasphemous. In the following lines, I tell in detail my experience with this beautiful metroidvania in 2D.
Blasphemous it’s brutal and harrowing in the right measure
- Developer: The Game Kitchen
- Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch e PC (Steam)
Produced by Spanish studio The Game Kitchen, Blasphemous is a platform action game of the highest quality in gameplay, story, visuals and soundtrack. However, what really hooked me was the brutal challenge and gothic atmosphere that make this game unique among so many “metroidvanias” and “souls-like” on the market.
First of all, here is the warning that Blasphemous is a game for those who like difficulty. The good part is that the challenges are honest, with no unfair mechanics that only exist to create stress. In boss fights, in particular, I was able to understand the mechanics better after each attempt in a natural way, without too many problems.
the plot of Blasphemous takes place in a religious realm called Cvstodia, where a terrible curse known only as “The Miracle” turns people’s pain into creatures that need to find salvation. You as a player assume the role of the Penitent — survivor of “Silent Suffering” and the only one able to help the tormented souls.
To create this somber and melancholy atmosphere, the game is based on Gothic art from the Early Middle Ages, often seen in cathedrals, mainly in Europe. Blasphemous it is also inspired by the religious iconography present in Roman Catholicism and in the classical churches of the Andalucía region, in Spain.
To complete the horror look, the title doesn’t skimp on brutal executions and the quality of blood that comes out of enemies. All of this is represented in-game in a retro pixel-based style, ensuring the unique look of Blasphemous.
In gameplay, the game blends real-time action combat with elements of exploration on non-linear maps. In fights, you’ll rely heavily on quick reflexes to dodge blows while making attack combos with your Mea Culpa, a sword created from the Penitent’s own sense of guilt.
During the journey, the Penitent grows stronger as he finds Hallows, Rosary Beads, Prayers and Sword Hearts to unlock new abilities and resources for Mea Culpa. With these features, you can customize the character to adapt his arsenal according to your playing style.
As much as the combat is very rewarding, Blasphemous suffers from some problems when it comes to platform gameplay. A lot of times I ended up dying or doing something I didn’t want because I stepped on something that looked solid but was just empty pixels.
It is normal that Blasphemous be compared to Dark Souls because of the combat and the difficulty, and the Metroid e Castlevania due to exploration of the map. In my opinion, however, apart from one mechanic and another, Blasphemous manages to be original and deliver a unique experience. This game is worth trying out and seeing for yourself.
Blasphemous is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam), with localized subtitles option for Brazilian Portuguese. It is worth mentioning that, in 2023, the game will receive a second chapter with an unprecedented story and new enemies.