Blasphemous boasts an incredibly gorgeous and intricately detailed pixel art-style which gives the likes of Hyper Light Drifter and Owl Boy a serious run for their money. The setting is horribly violent and depressing, and it never lets up once in the time you’ll have with it. The story itself takes a great deal of inspiration from The Bible and the Holy Inquisition, but doesn’t exist toBlasphemous boasts an incredibly gorgeous and intricately detailed pixel art-style which gives the likes of Hyper Light Drifter and Owl Boy a serious run for their money. The setting is horribly violent and depressing, and it never lets up once in the time you’ll have with it. The story itself takes a great deal of inspiration from The Bible and the Holy Inquisition, but doesn’t exist to advocate or protest The Bible, but simply just take a great deal of inspiration from its themes and narrative. The narrative and lore actually ended up being my favorite part of Blasphemous, I loved how twisted and unrelenting its tale of suffering was, and how it intertwined with its different gameplay mechanics. Upon looking into the games story and world, so much of the games seemingly obscure requirements for beating the game and getting the true ending became far more apparent and made much more sense. The savage world and its enigmatic characters were all interesting and enjoyable, and I was always itching to find out more about while playing.
Initially the game opens up, letting you tackle three bosses/areas in any order you’d like, but once you’ve completed all three bosses there’s one last big area to complete. But unfortunately that’s where Blasphemous’ important choices end. There are heaps of different abilities and pieces of equipment to try out, but I never found any of them to crucial to beating the game, or even really that fun to use and I have a few specific issues with them;
- Rosary Bead and Mea Culpa Heart affects were usually pretty minute, and not all that helpful. Most of them had affects that were just not useful at or, or that were so minute in their affects that I didn’t even notice them. The only Rosary Beads that I ended up using consistently were the ones that gave you more HP, MP and defense, which are arguably the most boring.
- I believe there are only seven Prayers (spells) in the game, and considering you can only have one equipped at once there is simply just not enough variety to make them fun to use. The abilities are fairly fun to use at first, but combined with the fact that you have a very finite MP bar, the abilities have fairly limited practical uses and only being able to have one equipped at once means you’re not only barely using them but you also get stuck with just one at a time – and you can’t even change them unless you’re at a checkpoint. They really should have let you equip multiple at once, or given them more versatile uses because I found that on their own they’re not all that helpful or fun to use, and that I was barely using them.
- Relics unlock different abilities which are required for finding new areas or hidden objects. This is fine in theory, but two improvements could have been made. 1. You can only have 3 of these 5 relics equipped at once, meaning you have to interchange them instead of just being able to use them all at once. There's no reason to not be able to have all of these effects active at once, it just ends up making them less satisfying to find/use and are tedious to swap in and out. 2. These effects are underwhelming, they do things like make additional platforms appear and give resistances to uncommon hazards like poison smog and water
The game struggles a little bit with its equipment and abilities, fortunately the games areas are so fun to explore on their own that it is ultimately still very fun to play anyways. Every area has distinct enemies, environments, beautiful music, obstacles and environments to experience, and each is as fun as the last. The games platforming really shines when it’s combined with combat encounters, trying to navigate treacherous traps and tight platforms all while dealing with enemies makes for some really distinct and intense combat encounters, because the game merges the two seamlessly with great success. The controls are tight and responsive, making platforming and combat feel tight and responsive. The great variety in enemies, bosses paired with the amazing animations make for an engaging combat system which is as fun to watch as it is play.
Blasphemous is certainly worth your time, it’s art direction and story is without a doubt worth the price of admission alone. It controls perfectly, the level design is great, the combat is tight and responsive and all the areas are interesting and fun to explore. It however suffers from some very weak, boring, useless and restraining abilities and items. A lot of potential here, and I look forward to seeing what the developers do next.… Expand