Blasphemous 2 Review – No Gods, No Masters


Blasphemous 2 Review

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Blasphemous 2 is a competent Metroidvania that feels much more like a traditional take on the genre when compared to the first outing. However, the game still maintains the gritty gothic charm of the original. The combat, platforming, visuals, and overall gameplay are much improved, making this the definitive Blasphemous experience without question. However, due to some balance issues, a failure to fix glaring issues from the original, and a mixed bag in terms of enemy design, the game falls short of becoming Metroidvania royalty.

Our Rating 7
  • Much improved visuals and sound design
  • Platforming is much smoother
  • Plenty of viable playstyles to master
  • A truly unique setting and atmosphere
  • Weapon balance issues
  • Bosses are a mixed bag
  • Guilt System is poorly implemented
  • Story is ridiculously obtuse

Blasphemy! It’s a term that is usually cried in anger and disbelief at heretics that would dare to talk ill of someone’s deity reigning down from above. However, in indie gaming terms, the term ‘Blasphemous’ is one that many welcome with open arms alongside other fun-to-say words like ‘wheelbarrow’ or ‘hullabaloo,’ and that is purely down to the success of Team 17 and The Game Kitchen’s breakout Metroidvania of the same name.

Fans loved the punishing combat, the vague and grandiose storytelling akin to Souls titles, and the traditional Metroidvania format, and right they were because it was great. Well, Blasphemous 2 is here, and it aims to one-up its predecessor, putting you in the shoes of The Pentient One once again.

After a pretty neat and tidy ending at the end of the last title, one thing remained unclear, and that was the role of this ‘child of the miracle.’ Well, surprise, surprise. This small detail is the snowball that hurtles down the metaphorical mountain to create the narrative for this sequel.

There was plenty to improve from the original outing, and Blasphemous 2 makes up for these sins pretty well. Pun very much intended. However, despite being a brutal and well-crafted Metroidvania, I was still left with an overwhelming feeling that the game still fails to perfect the formula, failing to measure up to the Metroidvania greats it aims to emulate.

Want to know why? Of course, you do. Here is Indie Game Culture’s Blasphemous 2 Review. Conducted on PS5.

Enter the Dark World of Blasphemous 2 | GOG

Blasphemous 2 continues the dark and atmospheric journey of its predecessor, inviting players to delve deeper into a macabre world filled with grotesque enemies and haunting landscapes. With its stunning pixel art and challenging gameplay, prepare to test your skills and uncover the secrets hidden within this twisted realm.

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Praying For Clarity In This Dark Time

We should really begin with the story of Blasphemous 2 because it’s the aspect of the game that will continually have you screwing up your face and letting out a rather perplexed ‘Huh?’

First off, for those who haven’t played the original and are wondering if you can hop into this sequel, I would say that you can, and you probably should. You will miss a few details that would perhaps slightly enrich your understanding of the world, and how the events of this game have come to be. However, even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to understand what’s going on. Well, at least as much as the game allows you to.

Thankfully, the core motivation of the player is clear, because practically nothing else is

I say this because Blasphemous 2 has a pretty cryptic narrative, and aside from the fact that you know you must kill the three main bosses to lower the heart in the sky and kill The Child of the Miracle, you’ll never really get any form of clarity or explanation as to what’s going on from the game.

It mimics the vague, environmental storytelling of Soulsborne titles, introducing you to creepy, unnerving NPCs which throw lots of strange, religious rhetoric at you, essentially filibustering you until you leave with the intention of coming back when you have something they want.

It’s not something that will mar the overall experience for players, as the gameplay is the star of the show here. However, unless you were good mates with a 16th Century Pope, or would consider Catholicism as your topic of choice on Mastermind, then chances are that a lot of this game’s narrative beats and core themes will go sailing overhead. This begs the question, why make the content so damn obtuse. It’s why so many people overlooked the original Blasphemous in the first place.

What I will say in the game’s defense is that, if you do pick up what it’s throwing down, you’ll immediately see how much time and effort has gone into meticulously crafting this Eldritch Spanish Inquisition-era world, and you can’t deny, the game has an incredibly hostile yet intriguing atmosphere. I wish it came with a traveler’s guide or something.

Gothic Grace

We move onto the visuals present in this title, which present a decent upgrade on the original Blasphemous, while still maintaining the gothic, grainy, and washed-out look that fans loved before. What’s noticeable about the sequel, by comparison, is how much more clean the visuals are. The original, in my opinion at least, presented an art style that was rough around the edges, perhaps intentionally to purposefully hide some of the flaws that may have become apparent with a much consistently refined look.

Whether you hone in on the backgrounds, map areas, animations or general themes, the general consensus is that Blasphemous 2 is a glow-up

However, with more time and resources to throw at this project, the pixel graphics are now pretty much pixel-perfect, with slick animations to boot. Not to mention that the game also offers a lot more detail concerning the environments you traverse, with beautiful vistas, and the wonderfully distinct districts beyond the hub city.

Plus, as there were before, there are plenty of rooms where you encounter depictions of devout believers, otherworldly monstrosities with a divine twist, and of course, the bosses, which all have their own aesthetic charm that help them stand out from the general fodder enemies, which to give them credit, also play their part to flesh out this grotesque religiously charged setting.

It’s very hard to find fault with the art direction here, as the outlandish visuals are one of the reasons why this series turned so many heads originally, and this sequel ups production value for a better end product.

Would it have killed them to offer a couple more animated cut scenes?

The only criticism I have, and it’s a small one, is that there weren’t enough animated cutscenes within the game. These small snippets almost felt like gothic depictions inspired by Attack on Titan’s animation style, and really felt like a reward for progressing through a major chapter of the game. However, being the glutinous gamer I am, I just wanted more.

Blessings Anew

Okay, enough about the presentation. Let’s talk about swinging swords, jumping to avoid spikes, and smashing bosses to kingdom come. From a gameplay perspective, Blasphemous 2 is a big step up from the original, with a lot more bells and whistles to keep the player engaged throughout, while also fixing some glaring issues from the original too. Beginning with the standout new features, I have to praise the title for the addition of new build options, allowing players to customize their Pentient One in new and interesting ways, akin to Charms in Hollow Knight, for example.

Chisel me a new figure, good sir!

The game manages this through the use of Figures which grant welcome passive buffs, and resonances, which allow players to combine quads of Figures to create unique synergies. Then, of course, the game maintains the staples from before, such as Rosaries and Prayers, which all culminate in a rather emergent setup where players can lean into their own respective playstyles and are given plenty of freedom to customize to their liking.

This refinement also comes outside of battle, as the platforming within the sequel is much more tight and satisfying. No longer will you face a strong gust and fall to your doom through no fault of your own, or fall into spikes and immediately lose your life. Instead, you’ll lose a chunk of health and get thrust back into the action, and you’ll even get an achievement as a means of the developers acknowledging their blunder from before, which is a nice touch.

However, above all else within the game, I have to praise the implementation of the three weapons on offer within Blasphemous 2, and how one simple choice can affect your entire playthrough. To give context, you can select Verdicto (The Hammer), Ruego Al Alba, (The Sword), and Sarmiento & Centella (Twin Daggers), all of which force you to lean into a certain playstyle. The hammer is slow and labored with big damage, the twin daggers are geared toward DPS and reward accurate parrying, and then the traditional sword is the best of both worlds. On paper, that seems pretty standard, and I suppose it is. Yet through clever world design, these weapons become so much more.

It starts easy, but platforming implementations like this eventually get pretty tough to chain together

Firstly, by making this early-game choice, you essentially select your path to the final boss, as each of the three main bosses that come before is hidden in areas that can only be accessed through the use of each respective weapon. This means that, depending on the weapon you select, your path to the finish line will differ significantly from that of a player who chooses differently, and I love a game that promotes seamless emergent gameplay.

However, the praise doesn’t stop there, as the implementation of these weapons, and the respective skills they offer lead to much improved platforming sections as well. Through the swords slam ability, the electro-teleport ability of the daggers, and the Bell soundwaves made my Verdicto; the developers have been able to create great individual platforming sections that gradually merge these ideas and create some very cohesive and rather challenging platforming sections.

All in all, Blasphemous 2 really steps things up to make this title feel much more in line with what one would picture when one thinks of ‘traditional Metoridvania.’ However, it’s not tens across the board in every category.

Thou Has Forsaken Us

Let’s get into my inevitable list of hang-ups where I complain and make a fuss, as is my want. I’m going, to begin with the bosses within Blasphemous 2, which I would label quite firmly as a mixed bag. The game has a little bit of a balance issue with its enemies, where some are laughably easy to handle, and others are absolute killing machines. Honestly, the number of times I was pinned to a wall by charging skeletons would make the Virgin Mary cry. While I could have turned a blind eye to this in the form of fodder enemies, as they won’t all be winners, the same courtesy cannot be extended to bosses, as they need to be pretty awesome across the board.

If every battle was this good, then Blasphemous 2 would have earned Metroidvania royalty status

I want to specify that some bosses are pretty cool, with a special reference to Lesmes and Infanta, which was a battle that really brought me back to the tumultuous time I had trying to beat Ornstein and Smough in the original Dark Souls. However, there were quite a few letdowns which made me feel a little short-changed. The prime example being the other two bosses needed to lower the platform to the heart.

Radmes is the stronger design of the two for sure, but after one run to learn the attack patterns, there wasn’t much substance outside of using the climb function to get over him, which was a fun gimmick. But Orospina, my goodness, what a weak boss. Swing Verdicto with careless abandon, jump around a bit, and you’ll dispatch her the first time of asking, I guarantee you. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I want from a tough game. I want the pain and anguish as I work tirelessly to learn attack patterns and win the fight. Blasphemous 2 offers fights like this now and again, but there are serious peaks and valleys.

A Double-Edged Sword

My second major gripe ironically lies with the weapon selection that I spent so much time praising just a moment ago, but stick with me here. The weapon synergy when platforming is great. The freedom to choose your playstyle that each offers is appreciated too. However, what is not appreciated, and what is a major flaw at the time of writing (As I expect a patch to rectify this), is that Verdicto is by far the most useful weapon on offer, when in an ideal scenario, each would be equally balanced.

Do yourself a favor. Choose Verdicto

Due to the immense range of Verdicto, the heightened damage, and the useful perks you can gain, this weapon is the one that pretty much all players will gravitate to, and why wouldn’t they? It ups the chance of survival significantly. All the while, not really offering a penalty in terms of slow, labored attacks, because it’s a pretty quick attack as far as warhammers are concerned.

I’ll make reference to a game many will be familiar with to show why this is an issue. Most of us have played Skyrim with the intention of roleplaying as a Mage or a Nord Warrior, but inevitably we all become stealth archers eventually. Why? Well, because the game is much easier and more fun to play this way, and thus the game loses its emergent feel as every player ends up playing the same way.

It’s a shame, as the weapons are, in principle, a great source of emergent gameplay due to inspired world design. Yet due to this very obvious balance issue, I would wager that outside of platforming sections where other weapons are needed, practically every other moment will be spent swinging Verdicto around, for better or worse.

Unwarranted Spiritual Errands

Then lastly, I want to close things off with my take on the Guilt system, which serves as more of an unnecessary irritation than a Dark-Souls-style mechanic to keep things tough and keep you honest. To explain it briefly, every time you die, you leave a Guilt marker, which is essentially like dropping your Souls in a Soulsborne game, and upon reviving, you can go retrieve them, and in turn, you will replenish the portion of the Prayer bar you lost. These don’t disappear upon another death, but they instead accumulate around the map until you have no Prayer bar left at all.

I was quite happy to take on bosses with next to no Prayer Bar. It was no big deal

Here’s the thing. The Dark Souls ‘collect your souls’ model works because you’re probably going to pick them up on your next run anyway, and it’s always in one spot. Whereas in this game, it might be anywhere along your path, and due to this game’s open-plan where exploration is key, you might opt to go somewhere else because the last spot was too tough, meaning that these markers are locked away until you can be bothered to get them.

But wait, I hear you cry; what about the mechanic that allows you to pay 1,000 Tears of Atonement and cleanse your sins? Ah, well, I’m glad you mentioned it, dear reader, as this brings me to my coup de grace. Why the hell would anyone bother going after their Guilt Markers at all? The game showers the player in Tears of Atonement, with precious few things that are actually worth spending them on, so why not just spend them to get your prayers back again? Which begs the question, what’s the point of having a Guilt system at all in that case?

It’s a little strange when the merchant’s design is more elaborate than the assets they sell.

It essentially acts as a menial and unnecessary chore that the player will have to make their peace with over the course of the entire game. Either by hunting down multiple markers, lugging themselves back to Confession every couple of deaths. Or, if you are a stubborn person like me, you may opt to play without access to Prayers for large portions of the game, because, in truth, they are a luxury, but you don’t really need them.

I love suffering and repenting in the name of our lord and savor as much as the next guy. But this was a bit much for me.

Closest Alternatives

Then before I give my final verdict, here are a couple of great Metroidvania and Soulslike titles you guys may enjoy if you loved Blasphemous 2:

  • Salt and Sanctuary
  • Dead Cells
  • Hollow Knight
  • Ender Lillies
  • Dark Souls
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Sundered

The Verdict – Score 7/10

When all is said and done, and I’ve counted the cast of the beads on my rosary, I have come to the conclusion that Blasphemous 2 is a very competent and unique Metoridvania that, in many ways, is a big step up from what was presented in the original Blasphemous. The game adds a lot more gameplay mechanics and considerations for the player as they build their Pentient One before each battle. The game makes a number of quality-of-life changes to ensure that difficulty is fair rather than artificial and frustrating, and the game also makes huge strides to offer a much more visually impressive and mechanically tight game.

All that being said, I feel that the game makes far too many mistakes and oversights to be considered the ideal sequel that perfects the formula, as most game series do before pushing out a lame third game to complete the trilogy.

The game still has artificial difficulty built into the fabric of the game through poor enemy placement and design. The title has clear balancing issues that present as problems relating to clearly overpowered weapons, and boss battles that are laughable when compared to others. Plus, the game provides far too many resources for players as they progress through the game, such as Tears of Atonement and Marks of Martyrdom, but the means of spending these offer pretty unexciting options for players.

Then to top it all off, the Guilt system is still very irritating, not so much punishing players and urging caution as adding additional chores for players to do as they work through the map, which ultimately leads to either regularly visiting the confession booth, or simply learning to live without Prayers, as I largely did throughout.

All in all, it’s a Metroidvania that stands out from the pack, but not always for the right reasons. It’s a novel title, and an experience you will seldom see replicated in any other game. However, due to a vague and often confusing story, a failure to truly eradicate the issues present in the original, and clear balance issues, it can’t be slotted amongst the Indie Metroidvania all-time greats.

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

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  • Much improved visuals and sound design
  • Platforming is much smoother
  • Plenty of viable playstyles to master
  • A truly unique setting and atmosphere


  • Weapon balance issues
  • Bosses are a mixed bag
  • Guilt System is poorly implemented
  • Story is ridiculously obtuse

Play Log

Callum Played Blasphemous 2 for a total of 10 hours, beating the main game and earning the ‘Bad Ending.’ While there are still more Children of Moonlight, Rosaries, and other goodies to collect, Callum feels like he’s seen all he wants to see from this Metroidvania oddity.

FAQ Section

#1 – How Long is Blasphemous 2?

On your first playthrough, I would estimate that most players will complete the main story in about 8-12 hours. However, once you know the map layout and mechanics more intimately, you can easily breeze through the game in under three hours.

#2 – Which Weapon Should I Choose?

Verdicto. The answer is Verdicto. Next question.

#3 – Do You Need To Be Religious To Play?

Absolutely not. In fact, as the game’s title would have you believe, religious folks would probably not be too keen on this game’s subject matter. What I will say though, is if you have a base knowledge of catholicism, you may be able to grasp the core themes a little easier.

Enter the Dark World of Blasphemous 2 | GOG

Blasphemous 2 continues the dark and atmospheric journey of its predecessor, inviting players to delve deeper into a macabre world filled with grotesque enemies and haunting landscapes. With its stunning pixel art and challenging gameplay, prepare to test your skills and uncover the secrets hidden within this twisted realm.

Check Price Buy at Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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