Is Blasphemous a Good Game?



Have you seen it online or heard someone talk about Blasphemous and have been wondering: Is Blasphemous a good game?

This article got you covered, so read on and lets us find out if it is your kind of game.

First and foremost, what is Blasphemous?

By Definition

In some religions, to be blasphemous is to show disrespect, being irreverent, it is to be sacrilegious against God and/or sacred things.

Okay, but what about in the Gaming World?

That is pretty much what the game is all about. You are the protagonist who is on his own facing some twisted religion and their deity, hacking, slashing, and mutilating while collecting items, relics, and other collectibles along the way through a vast 16-bit Metroidvania-styled map.

Multiple bosses, puzzles, and other challenges await you in this dark and brutal retro feel platformer video game.

Available in digital form on the PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux.
Physical copies were made available initially, but were limited and now sold out.

About the Game

The Making of Blasphemous

This is an independent “indie” game that was originally funded through Kickstarter back in 2017, by the creative team of “The Game Kitchen”, from Seville, Spain.

They have reached their initial goal of $50,000 within the first 24 hours, collecting more than $ 333,000 throughout the campaign with almost 10,000 backers, decimating through almost all of their stretch goals. That is quite impressive.

After the campaign ended in June 2017, the game took about two years to take shape, to be released on September 10th, 2019. At the moment of the game’s launch, they were not able to include every stretch goal promised through the KS campaign, but they still manage to deliver the “goods” post-release in the shape of various updates.

I had personally backed this project, during the campaign and it was worth every penny.

If you want to know more about the creators of the game, you can visit their official website by clicking here.

The Story

In the cursed land of Cvstodia (pronounced Custodia), where a massacre of the Silent Sorrow has taken place. You are the Penitent One, the only survivor of the Brotherhood of the Silent Sorrow, who is cursed to die, to then be brought back to life only to die again endlessly and painfully.

As you play, you can see that this world is dark, grim, and heavily religious, but in a martyr kind of way. Everyone is suffering from either physical ailments or famine, surrounded by death and despair.

He embarks on a journey to face this twisted world of torture and penance, and to free it from a terrible fate, freeing himself in the process.

To do so, he must cross the land, face multiple obstacles, various bosses in order to reach his ultimate goal, which is to obtain The Cradle of Affliction, a holy relic guarded by Escribar, who is kind of like a high priest and sovereign of the land, located in the highest tower of Cvstodia.

As a comparison to the catholic church, figuratively speaking of course, and nowhere close to reality, but it would be basically like going after the holy grail, guarded by the pope.

Screenshot Blasphemous Opening Scene

The Gameplay

As mentioned before, in a 16-bit environment, you travel across of vast non-linear map unlocking new areas to explore as you go, creating shortcuts such as unlocking doors or accessing portal rooms to name a few.

You will be taking part in sidequests, collecting items, relics, and other collectibles to help you progress, emphasizing backtracking.

Unlike some games where you need to level up in order to become stronger, in this one, you rely on solely the items, not equipment, you find throughout the map and unlocking abilities to increase your damage output.

You can increase your health bar by visiting the Lady of the Six Sorrows and as the name says it, there are a total of 6 health upgrades.

You also possess the Fervour bar, which is used to be able to invoke Prayers, more on that later. You can increase this Fervour bar by finding Oil of the Pilgrim at different locations.

One thing to keep in mind, when you die, you will respawn at the nearest saving point with your maximum Fervour slightly decreased, limiting the number of prayers you can use and in order to restore it, you will need to go back to the location of your death and strike the Guilt Fragments left behind upon his demise.

Doing so will restore your bar as well as the Tears of Atonement that you had lost the same way.

Alternatively, you can visit Statues of Confessors to restore it as well, but at a price.

As for the items, here are some of the things you will be collecting during your playthrough:

Rosary Beads and Knots

You possess a Rosary, on which you can equip Beads that will modify the Penitent One’s attributes.

These beads are scattered around the Cvstodia map, some being harder to find than others. Some beads grant protection against certain types of attacks, other increase your defense or strength.

You start off with limited Rosary slots, as you go, you will find Rosary Knots which increase the capacity of beads that can be equipped at the same time. There are 8 slots in total.

Screenshot Blasphemous Rosary

Relics

These grant the wearer special abilities to help them navigate in some areas of the map, such as revealing hidden platforms, opening new paths, or even help you walk across mucky terrain, which would generally slow you down and prevent you from going forward.

Screenshot Blasphemous Relics

Mea Culpa Hearts

These hearts can be found across the land, each one granting a special ability such as, for example, the Heart of Saltpeter Blood has the ability to increase attack damage when close to death.

The thing is that you can only choose one at a time and can only be equipped when using the saving altar a.k.a Prie Dieu.

Screenshot Blasphemous Hearts

Prayers

These are other types of abilities, but these ones help you during combat, providing you with special moves to help defeat your enemies.

You can only equip one at a time and using these moves consumes Fervour.

In order to obtain these prayers, you will either have to take part in quests or find them through the normal progression of the game notably Zarabanda of the Safe Haven, which generates a protective shield that damages enemies upon contact.

Screenshot Blasphemous Prayers

Abilities

The Penitent One also has an ability tree in which you can unlock fighting techniques or combat skills.

As you unlock these abilities, your Mea Culpa level increases, which increases the power of your sword.

To unlock, you will need to find Mea Culpa shrines found in different areas and you will need to spend a certain amount of Tears of Atonement that you have been gathering from enemies, the Tears being the in-game currency.

Screenshot Blasphemous Mea Culpa

Collectibles

Throughout your adventure, you will come across various bones that you will collect.

You can then bring them to the ossuary room, back in Albero.

Once you collect them all, you will be granted a reward and achievement.

Screenshot Blasphemous Ossuary

Bile Vessels

These are kind of like potions used to replenish your health bar, you can find more of these vessels along the way, increasing the number of times you can heal.

When emptied, they can be refilled at your nearest Prie Dieu. You can obtain a maximum of 9 of those.

Screenshot Blasphemous Bile Vessel

Freeing the Children of Moonlight

As you are moving from area to area, you may see infants trapped in a golden glass container being held by floating hands. Striking these containers will free the infant. After freeing a certain number, you are given a reward by visiting their leader or “main” infant, that you will meet along the way. There are 38 of them in total.

Screenshot Blasphemous Children of Moonlight

Stir of Dawn DLC

Downloadable content was made available on August 4th, 2020, but there is a catch. It is only accessible if and when you finish the game.

On the plus side, it is totally free. I didn’t really need to manually download, it was just there, probably following an update.

Anyways, you can access it through the main menu when you select your “Pilgrimage” or in other words when you choose your save file.

Usually, you will have the option of either continuing your current game, for the completionist that wants to collect everything and get a full 100% map, etc.

You also have the option to delete the game, but you have the option to “Ascend” your game, and that is what we want to do in order to venture forth to the Stir of Dawn.

Basically, think of it as a new game++, that extra ‘+’ is for the extra content.

What do you get out of this? Well, you get to play more of Blasphemous and hack-n-slash your way through the additional storyline and side quests.

You get more bosses, new areas to discover, it brings new mechanics to the game, new moves, in other words, you get the works.

Want to know more? Then :

Click here to see the Stir of Dawn DLC Trailer

Bloodstained Crossover

On February 18th, free content was made available through an update, to its fanbase.

Being called “Strife and Ruin”, developers “The Game Kitchen” partnered up with “ArtPlay”, makers of the popular Castlevania-inspired “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night”, to bring their protagonist Miriam into the fold.

Being summoned to Cvstodia for an unknown reason, Miriam needs the Penitent One’s help in order to return to her world, which will require our hero to plow through the new punishing and challenging areas, where the Penitent One will need to collect mirror shards(or puzzle pieces), in order to complete it once again to be able to send her back.

Like any update, it brings in a variety of new stuff, such as :

  • The classic in-game bug fixes.
  • New language support for the Korean gamers out there.
  • New items in-game items, notably Rosary Beads.
  • We get the infamous and challenging new ‘Boss Rush’ mode, for those that have already completed their first run of the game.
  • New ‘Render’ mode options, to get that visual old tube tv effect, for those retro gaming fanatics who want the full nostalgic 2D classic game experience.
  • You will also get a ‘Demake’ area, which allows you to play through various linear-styled stages, in an 8-bit graphical environment that gives us a side-scrolling platformer experience.

    We can see it as an equivalent to Bloodstained’s own prelude, an 8-bit platform game called Curse of the Moon, which was developed by the people of Inti Creates. The only thing is, in order to play it, the player will need to find a hidden area that will contain an arcade cabinet, through which the game can be access through there.

Upcoming Sequel?

Since the game’s launch in 2019, the reception was overall good and people are already asking if there will be a sequel to this great game.

Although no sign of a sequel as of yet, new content has been provided by ‘The Game Kitchen’, with the recent release of DLC and Crossover.

One can only assume and hope that there will be more of these updates, in the near future, adding even more to what I already considered being a “complete” game, which tons of features, options, and great replayability value.

So, with that being said, perhaps we will never see a sequel to the game, but more in the shape of multiple DLCs.

Having completed the game, I could provide more of an insight about a potential sequel, based on how the story went, but in order to do so, I would have to reveal information that would be considered as “spoilers”, so I will stop here.

Final Thoughts – Verdict

So, is Blasphemous a Good Game?

Overall, the game fared quite well. The Game Kitchen really “cooked up” a quality game.

Review-wise, if you look throughout the net, the game’s reviews score at an average of 8.5 out of 10, which is a success in my book.

I personally believe that this will become a classic in the indie gaming world and it will surely relieve that retro gaming itch you have been having.

As for sales, as mentioned before, the game collected close to 10,000 backers on the crowdfunding platform, which is very good for an indie game. There are multiple indie games out there that were crowdfunded and did not do as well as this one.

So on that front, they started off pretty well.

As of March 2021, The Game Kitchen tweeted that the game has sold over a million copies.

So, if you are still wondering “Is Blasphemous a good game?”, well a million players across the world kind of says it all.

It is the game that keeps on giving, adding content after content, diversifying the gaming experience, and doing a great job at it too.


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