The time has come to do penance. After raising a great expectation among PC players and consoles, in the Blasphemous analysis, we tell you all the details of this Metroidvania action videogame with an amazing retro-style graphics section.
I adore the construction of the dark and twisted baroque world of Blasphemous, it is an insane place! But something happens if even with this in your favor you lose the illusion to explore its dark dungeons; When far from having fun in search of secrets and hidden relics you take this arduous mission more like a job, at times frustrating, instead of the epic descent into the hells that you hoped to find. I have hallucinated with some of the exciting battles that this Metroidvania action-adventure faces you, and of course, I have been amazed at the strength of its images, the visual power of terrifying enemies that are pure art. But how could they not be if the Spanish studio The Game Kitchen has been inspired by the bestSevillian baroque to give life to a nightmare universe in which you really want to lose yourself? And you do it, with enthusiasm … until it is lost. Or rather, until you have just lost.
The labyrinthine scenarios are holy and a sign of this kind of action-adventure and platforms; they are much more than simple decorations for those who move and fight: they must generate interest and that crazy passion that motivates you to discover all their secrets. I think it is here that Blasphemous loses part of its charm. Its game world is attractive, yes, and includes some very well designed areas, but in general, the exploration is not as fun and exciting as it should to the point that sometimes you will even lose your way without knowing very well where to go. It is part of the charm of every Metroidvania that boasts, of course, but here the sensations are different. It becomes tedious to remake the road because the place you were planning to visit is still inaccessible, again and again, or because no matter how hard you try, you still don’t understand how to use certain objects, who you can give them to, or how you can learn new ones. skills that encourage exploration. That’s why the effort is not always recommended, and it takes its toll.
Purging sins at the stroke of a sword
Blasphemous has a lot of potentials. His combat is hard, challenging, with a slow but at the same time frantic pace; with fights in which you must dodge and strike from the rear, and others in which you have to block and counterattack while fleeing from monsters and deadly traps. It is chaos; a bloody spectacle that does not give truce, that usually does not forgive the errors, so yes, to die is easy; hence it has been compared to the Souls saga from From Software, but look no further. Although you must be agile and precise in your movements, it is not worth crushing buttons! It is not particularly complex combat. There are special skills, it is true, and improvements that allow you to learn some new combos, but it does not go deeper into it and in the end, you almost complete the adventure using the basics.
There is an important variety of enemies, some with very striking designs, which helps the action not lose interest. There is always some new challenge to face, new ways of suffering a terrible death, so let your guard down and relax is for other video games. And I like! As I have also enjoyed fighting some of the imposing final bosses of Blasphemous. They are a real toothache; Kill machines capable of crushing you in a matter of seconds. And they will go if they will; but with each death, you will learn something new and what at first seemed impossible will end up becoming an affordable challenge.
I have been amazed at the strength of his images.
The hardness of these fights helps make the fight even more exciting. A failed blockade, a dodge that does not arrive on time, that final blow that does not reach its destination … and you are dead. This fast. Blasphemous is a challenging game like few that knows how to create epic action scenes capable of even surprising with the powerful design of its monstrous enemies. It has merit. But the adventure of The Game Kitchen is also a somewhat irregular game that doesn’t end to capitalize on its enormous potential. I said it before. Although the combat points ways, in the end, you are left with the feeling that it is not completely polished, that the control does not finish responding with the proper precision, staying on the surface.
You can use different special abilities, such as lightning strikes, or even ranged attacks, but in the end, you just have to hit with the sword; Attack mechanically, block and dodge depending on the enemy you face. So again and again, without variations, which obviously detracts from the fight. Why not rely more on the unique skills of the protagonist? After completing the game I still doubt its usefulness. Yes, of course, in specific moments they can save your life, but you can also complete the adventure without resorting to them. And sometimes it’s the best since you have to wait almost two seconds for the Penitentuse potions or these special movements; two seconds in which you are totally exposed to the attacks of some enemies that will not stop loading no matter how much you are covered in blood and on the ground. And yes, it is frustrating.
It is hard not to get angry when an enemy hits you, you lie down, and as soon as you stand up, repeat the same movement without giving up; Without giving you an answer option. It hits you, you fall, and so on until you die or it gives you to change your strategy. If at least it was worth the effort; If at least taking a potion would guarantee you to continue with the fight, well, you would look for the right time to heal the wounds. But it is not the case. Vials of blood provide very little health to the Penitent, so sometimes healing means losing life instead of winning it. And I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me. There are other titles in which healing is an authentic odyssey, yes, but it is also an additional challenge that entertains and excites. In my case, with Blasphemous, neither one nor the other.
Unfortunately it does not finish exploiting its great virtues.
When it came to exploring I felt something similar. Go ahead that I am passionate about the baroque art of Seville, so visually the game has me in love. It is a real show that also surprises with the imposing combat animations of the Penitent and many of the enemies he faces, as well as having a quality soundtrack that perfectly matches the dark ambiance of the video game. His story, enigmatic but not able, also has enough strength to catch anyone and take him to hell itself to discover what happens in the strange world of Blasphemous. What fails? The levels have a somewhat irregular finish, with areas not very inspired that intermingle with other high quality. Giving you the option to explore this world with freedom, without marking a fixed course, the big problem is that there will be times when you have no idea where to go, or what are certain objects that you have been collecting during the game.
I said it before. Getting lost and looking for the road is one of the hallmarks of any Metroidvania, but it has to be fun, and it doesn’t always happen in Blasphemous. I have gone from here to there like a madman, fighting, jumping, dodging traps, and every time I thought I was right… back, the wrong way. There are no clear indications, nor enough teleports to prevent these long walks from becoming an ordeal. So with the passing of the hours, the emotion is giving way to frustration, and as much as you see elements of the stage with which you can interact, after finding the unique special ability, you will still not know where they are, or how to unlock them. It is a game that relies almost entirely on combat, despite including platform challenges, so when the novelty is lost, the emotion wanes.
There are lots of secrets to discover, some really interesting as a collection of bones that include stories ( translated into Spanish) of great quality, but finding all of them can demotivate the bravest, and it is a shame given the great work behind the construction of the Blasphemous universe. Its religious references, the dark clues that help you understand the design of the enemies … the game has everything to fall in love with fans of Metroidvania adventures, but unfortunately, it does not end up exploiting its great virtues. For many magical objects that you can equip, in the end, the fight varies practically nothing, so the action becomes too mechanical. His sinister descent into hell is worth it, of course, but it’s hard not to think about what could have been and wasn’t.
The epic of many of his fights and his great staging make Blasphemous a most interesting Metroidvania action videogame. His combat is challenging and at times also exciting, but he does not finish taking advantage of his full potential. The same happens with the exploration of a game world so interesting that it hurts that it is not able to generate more interest to discover all its secrets. The potential is there, and it has the quality to spare, but Blasphemous has remained somewhat far from meeting the high expectations it had generated.
- Powerful setting with a high-quality monster and stage design
- His fight, with fights that force block, dodge, and counterattack
- Many of the powerful final bosses you face. Some are spectacular
- Although his world is very interesting exploration is not as fun as it should
- Despite being fun, it does not take full advantage of its combat system, which ends up sinning simply
- The control is not entirely accurate