If I was to write a list of my favorite things in modern gaming, Dark Souls and Castlevania would be near the top. Both share the ‘get gud’ mentality that I love. There is no hand holding. They slap you the ass and say on your way to certain death. So to find a blend of the two in Blasphemous, I think I’ve hit the jackpot.
Blasphemous is a grueling action platformer that is non too forgiving in its combat and exploration. Like the early Castlevania games before it, Blasphemous rewards exploration and nerves of steel. It’s unforgiving combat leaves little room for mistakes or you will find yourself retreading and killing the same enemies along the way to the ever tantalising boss fights. Boss fights play out like their counterpart in Dark Souls, die repeatedly until you work out its attack pattern and then slay the beast and raise your hand in triumph.
It’s this highly addicting gameplay that draws me towards Dark Souls and it’s done so well in Blasphemous that I found myself drawn to the game, life a moth to a flame.
Blasphemous is alive with NPC’s too who will see you off the beaten trek into the unknown to retrieve an item for a worthwhile reward. The NPC’s really make you delve into areas you may never have discovered, or more than likely, walk into new areas to die. Some of these treks can seem painful and dragged out at first, but as you delve deeper into the depths of Blasphemous incredibly varied scenery, you will unlock shortcuts back the way you came. Finding these shortcuts makes the exploration less of a pain and more enjoyable, though some do take a while to find.
As you progress you unlock special moves, unfortunately though I found these lacking. While some have their uses, most enemies are best killed with your normal means of attack. I don’t mind this too much as certain special moves can break games, looking at you Metal Blade form Mega Man 2. Plus the combat in Blasphemous is a joy, so this isnt too much of a downer.
So Blasphemous has the combat and exploration, but what about the art? My god is Blasphemous stylish. It’s set deep in Catholic imagery and history. It’s reimagining of catholic imagery in incredible pixel art is worth the entry cost alone. The Game Kitchen has gone above and beyond with this incredible work.
Blashphemous almost seems like a love letter to Castlevania, Dark Souls and more. Its snappy combat, incredible pixel art and superb boss fights make for a truly special Action Platformer. Blasphemous is a must for fans of the genre.
A huge thanks to Team 17 for the review code. Game reviwed on PS4. Avialble now on PS4, Switch, Steam & Xbox One