Video Games

Blasphemous 2 Feels Much More Like a Proper Metroidvania

After cruising the sacred and whacky 2D corridors of the original Blasphemous in 2019, I wondered how its sequel, Blasphemous 2, would iterate on the first solid attack. After all, despite creating a pretty frenetic setting, the developers don’t seem afraid to shake things up by throwing out the dogma of the past. That’s evident when you see if this sequel retains its combat-focused strengths while overhauling its puzzles and platforming to better align with its genre. Based on the few hours I’ve played so far, that gamble seems to have paid off, and I’m more excited than ever to dive into this nauseating, pixelated, soul-like game again.

The main tools in Blasphemous 2’s heavily upgraded platforming toolbox are three new weapons that you switch between to defeat enemies and complete puzzles. Gone are the days when the trusty Mea Culpa was the only way to beat people. Instead, you get a powerful, slow-swinging war sensor, lightning-quick dual-wielding rapiers and daggers, and a credible middle ground between those two extremes called the Prayer Blade. Each of these weapons has strengths and weaknesses in terms of reach, speed, and special abilities, as well as a tree of skills that can be upgraded along the way, adding effects such as reduced waiting time for charge attacks. increase. Expanded attack combo options.

But the real trick to Blasphemous 2’s expanded arsenal lies in how the platforming and puzzles improve on its predecessor, each with their own traversal abilities to help navigate Cvstodia. For example, with a flail-like war sensor, you can hit giant bells to open normally impassable doors and reveal invisible platforms. Rapiers and daggers let you dash through magic mirrors that fly across levels and pass through certain objects. And with the Praying Blade, you can slam into the ground with enough force to break through certain obstacles. Acquiring these weapons quickly became a priority during the demo as a way to access more areas and solve puzzles that required the clever use of these tools of destruction.

Its focus on collecting interesting tools and using them in clever ways to access previously inaccessible areas made this sequel a much-focused action-platformer. It did a lot to make it feel more like a Metroidvania than the first game I played. It focuses more on the hacking & slashing part than anything else.

“We face an even tougher test that requires us to unleash the full weight of our arsenal.”

That’s not to say Blasphemous 2 doesn’t have the rewarding combat that’s its hallmark. Combat is a lot and already felt smoother than it ever has in the first few hours. In fact, the addition of multiple weapon options allowed for more variation during 2D showdowns weighing the Rapier’s speed and maneuverability against the War Sensor’s inherent power and reach. These options also helped a lot in preventing the monotony of retracing previously explored areas. It presents a significant improvement over its predecessor’s sometimes obsolete melee combat.

This was especially noticeable in boss fights. I can’t share footage of the excruciating challenge I faced at the end of Blasphemous 2, but if that encounter is anything to go by, it looks like we’re facing an even tougher challenge. To overcome these dire scenarios, you’ll need to throw in the full weight of your weapon.

With Blasphemous 2 set to debut next month, I’m more than ever excited to return to Cvstodia and see how this frenetic 2D Souls-like continues to evolve.

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