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Analysis Blasphemous 2 On PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Xbox Series X/S Versions

11 months ago By AI Smith

Blasphemous has become on its own merits one of the most important and outstanding Spanish developments in recent years. A work that, despite the imperfections typical of a first instalment, made us enjoy a highly entertaining and challenging adventure in a fascinating fantasy world inspired by the culture and myths of our country (especially from the Andalusian region), offering us a very unique and special prism of religious beliefs while exploring a gigantic interconnected map, avoiding all kinds of traps and prickly dangers, discovering countless secrets and facing powerful enemies and deadly bosses. And as if that were not enough, all of this is reinforced by a fantastic audiovisual section and an art direction worthy of the greatest of applause.

Now, four years later, The Game Kitchen returns to the fray with a sequel that has very clear ideas: to improve the original in every possible and imaginable way, an objective that, after having completed it from start to finish, we can confirm that it has accomplished with great success.

The birth of a new Miracle

The story of Blasphemous 2 tells us how the Miracle has returned and has made a heart appear in the sky, thus announcing a birth, at which point the Penitent, the protagonist of the first game, awakens from his lethargy and embarks on a new adventure. We are not going to give you more details to avoid spoiling them, but you can expect a narrative that is very much in line with its predecessor, telling us in a somewhat cryptic way a very interesting story with an exciting background that has made us pay a lot of attention to the scenarios. that we have travelled, the conversations we have had with the strange characters that inhabit this world and the descriptions of every one of the objects that we have found.

The story leaves a lot of room for the interpretation of each player, a formula that works very well with what they want to tell us.

In what is purely playable, we find ourselves again before an action-adventure and 2D platform that leads us to explore a large map in which all its areas are interconnected. However, there is a fundamental difference concerning the first instalment, since this time the touches of souls have been left much more aside to make this sequel a pure and simple Metroidvania, something that is very evident from the first minute.

Though, small details remain, such as resting at checkpoints causing enemies to revive and our healing vials to recharge, or deaths carrying a slight penalty, little else remains that we can relate to the school of games that created FromSoftware and from which the original work drank so much. This is something that, first of all, has a huge impact on the controls. If in the previous adventure, the Penitent suffered from a rough, slow and heavy handling that favoured slow and tactical fights in which we had to find the gaps to attack with a certain degree of security, in this sequel he is now a fairly agile character and with new physics that They give us much more mobility both on the ground and in the air, something in which the new skills that we will learn also have a lot to say. In addition, the protagonist responds wonderfully to our orders and with absolute precision, so he could hardly be more satisfied with the controls.

Of course, this huge improvement not only has consequences for fighting but also for exploring, as we will now move through the stages at a faster rate and the development team has been able to adjust the level design to create more variety. of situations where the platform is more present.

As you can deduce, this also means that now the map makes much less use of that succession of corridors that the previous title sometimes sinned, proposing much better-differentiated regions and with unique mechanics full of rooms and rooms designed with great care so that each one of them is perfectly recognizable by itself and we can orient ourselves and remember them with relative ease. Another aspect that shows this commitment to offer a much purer metroidvania is in the way in which backtracking and our progression through the map are designed, leaving aside the keys, doors and switches (which does not mean that they have disappeared) to focus on obtaining skills and tools that little by little increase our mobility to allow us to reach places that were previously inaccessible and take shortcuts with which to shorten our passage through the scenarios that we revisit.

Exploring the scenarios is very addictive. You will not be able to stop until you find all the secrets they hide. All this has been planned in a very intelligent way since we will not stop seeing paths, secrets and objects along the main route that will invite us to leave a mark to remember to return to them later. In addition, the rate at which these new powers are obtained is not very high and it will be normal for us to explore a good distance between one and the other, which helps the map to open up little by little and each time we have more detours and possible routes. to take, although the main path is always very clear and relatively linear, so we will always have reasons to return to regions already visited, something that intensifies as we find certain secondary missions and secrets.

Perhaps the only problem that we can find here is that the skills that we will learn are too topical since none are moderately original or interesting, so don’t expect anything that goes beyond the typical double jump, the wall jump, the aerial impulse or tools with which to activate certain mechanisms. The Game Kitchen had the opportunity here to introduce a unique repertoire of movements that would provide mechanics with their own identity and distinguish the title from the hundreds of competitors in the genre, but in the end, it has been content to play it safe.

Tripling the combat possibilities

Another of the great novelties we have is that now we will have three weapons instead of just one, which triples our possibilities when it comes to fighting. Although at the beginning of the adventure they will let us choose just one, it won’t take too long to get hold of the other two, and we can even switch between them on the fly with the press of a button.

The combats have gained a lot with the inclusion of three different weapons, all of them fantastically differentiated. In this way, we will have a sword (balanced in speed, damage and range), two swords (the fastest and most agile weapon in the game) and a censer (our favourite, the most powerful and slowest, but also the one with the longest reach and attack range has). What is interesting is that we are not only talking about three weapons that are only distinguished by their power and speed but that all of them have their exclusive animations and mechanics, which completely change how we must fight with them. For example, one encourages us to maintain a constant offensive to boost ourselves, another allows us to set it on fire using our magic bar and another prevents us from blocking. We have found all of them to be great fun to use and they will suit us better or worse depending on the enemy we are facing, although we can also decide to specialize in just one and maximize it if we feel comfortable with it. As we say, three completely different combat styles, but all equally satisfying.

One detail that we liked is that this trio of weapons is not only used to make mincemeat of our enemies since we will also have to use them to explore. This is because each one has a unique property that will help us to make our way, whether it is to activate bells with the censer that make hidden platforms appear, teleport between mirrors with the double swords or break some special walls if we manage to attack chopped from a certain height with the sword.

In addition to our three weapons, we will also learn a series of spells that will be very useful to us. Some of them have even served us to get some secrets that we did not reach. It may not seem like a big deal, but the studio has managed to create very funny situations and more or less intelligent puzzles in which we have to platform-changing weapons on the fly to use all the devices and mechanisms associated with them. It is not something that is exploited too much, but when the scenarios propose us to do things like this, it is when the level design shines the most.

And since we are talking about weapons, we are happy to confirm that the variety of enemies in this instalment is much higher. Although it falls for the old trick of repeating rivals with different variants, the bestiary is generous enough that we are always running into new monsters to face, each with their patterns, quirks and characteristics that we must take into account. to fight them. We have the main course in the battles against the numerous bosses that will stand in our way, some intense and very spectacular combats that stand out for their very careful attack patterns, the different phases that they usually display and how varied they are. There are no two duels of this type that are ever alike, which is why they always offer us unique, different challenges and with a lot of their entity that, to be honest, we have loved, especially because of how they take advantage of our hero’s greater mobility to offer us much more frantic fights in which we cannot stay still for a single second while the screen is filled with projectiles and dangers that we must avoid.

It’s still a challenging game, but now it’s more affordable.

Overall, it’s a challenging and well-balanced game that forces us to stay tuned and play well, even though it’s more affordable than its predecessor and we’ve died a hell of a lot less, likely another consequence of the soulslike influences now being shaken off. We have a good example of this in that now falling into some spikes or an abyss will only subtract a slight portion of our health and will teleport us to the place from which we tried to jump instead of dying, and the boss that has cost us the most will It has taken a maximum of 3 attempts. Perhaps this may sound disappointing if you come looking for a challenge that will make you sweat blood, but we believe that The Game Kitchen has found a very sweet spot with these adjustments that make the game flow much better than before without falling into cheap traps or frustrating deaths that make us repeat long stretches due to a bad jump. Thanks to this they have been able to experiment more with the level design and the platform sections, something that is noticeable, above all, in the final stretch.

On the other hand, it is also worth mentioning that the progression of our character has received some new features. In addition to the skill trees for each weapon, the rosary where we can equip power-up items and the many objects that we will have to find exploring to be able to increase things like our life bar or the number of healing vials we have, now an altarpiece in which we can place different wooden statuettes that give us bonuses of all kinds, a system that works similarly to the Hollow Knight brooches.

The interesting thing is that if we place two figures together that have some kind of relationship with each other, we can obtain a special bonus, which will encourage us to experiment to find all the additional effects, something that could lead us, for example, to equip ourselves with something that otherwise we would not have done to obtain a secret power-up. In general, it is a very simple system, but it ends up becoming another reason to explore since we will obtain these statues by exploring, in shops and by completing certain secondary missions.

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There are a handful of side quests that help add variety to the exploration and encourage backtracking. Reaching the end of the adventure is something that has taken us about 15 and a half hours with a 90% completion of the game, so if you go to the point you could reach the credits in 12 or 13 hours, while if you look for the 100% and unlock its true ending, the figure can easily go up to 20 hours, a duration that we found to be simply perfect.

An adventure with a lot of art

Finally, we have to applaud its audiovisual section, since the title is a true gift for the senses. If the first game already had fantastic pixel art and exquisite art direction, where everything has been taken to the next level, starting with the characters themselves, which have been redone from scratch and have new animations that make them look fable on the screen, something that stands out, above all, during the battles against the bosses. And a lot of attention to the design that all the creatures and inhabitants of this world display, as grotesque as they are original. But, without a doubt, we have noticed the great improvement in the settings, much more detailed, evocative, varied and even colourful, but without losing that dark touch that characterizes the saga.

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The most important video sequences now show a slightly anime look.

Throughout the adventure, we will travel to a large number of regions with infinite references to Andalusia and we have not stopped marvelling at how attractive all the backgrounds of the places we have passed have seemed to us, reminding us on many occasions of The best Castlevania of Igarashi, only changing Dracula’s castle for cathedrals, mansions and palaces in the Spanish style. What we have not liked so much is the number of annoying programming errors that we have come across, a problem that although it has not reached the point of being too serious or ruining the fun, we do hope that it will be corrected as soon as possible. earlier with its predictable first patches to give it that extra layer of polish it currently needs.

Of course, we cannot conclude this analysis without highlighting its wonderful soundtrack, once again composed by Carlos Viola and whose quality is simply and simply exceptional. He bets again on that flamenco touch that suited him so well in the first instalment, although we believe the new compositions have more character, are more catchy and lively and set our adventures much better, leaving us with a selection of really memorable songs that we don’t like. we managed to get out of the head.

Some many details and winks have reminded us of the best Igarashi Castlevania, something that can only be good. The effects are not far behind either and the Spanish dubbing is, as in the first instalment, one of the best we have ever heard in a video game, bringing together some of the greatest talents in the country to leave us with a selection of voices and performances. to which you can not put a single hit. And yes, he bets again on including characters with different accents with the utmost naturalness and the greatest respect for each one of them, a good reminder that in Spain, they speak mostly Castilla.

Conclusions

Blasphemous 2 is a sequel that improves on its first instalment in everything: better controls, a more agile character, better level design, more varied situations, deeper combat with more possibilities, better-balanced difficulty, more interesting bosses, a more extensive bestiary, a more accomplished art direction and a much more striking audiovisual section. It is noticeable that in The Game Kitchen, they have paid a lot of attention to the opinions and suggestions of the fans and that the success of the original has allowed them to cover this new project with a larger budget, something that is noticeable from the first minute of the game.

In addition, the turn towards a purer Metroidvania has suited him wonderfully, but we cannot deny that we have missed a little more originality and inventiveness in his development, since he always plays too safe, both because of the situations he poses and because of the design of the skills that we are learning as we progress. Of course, although he does not do anything new that we have not seen before, what he does he does well and successfully fulfils everything he proposes.

In short, a fantastic game that can already boast of being one of the best Spanish productions in the industry and that will delight fans of this type of adventure. If you liked the first one or you just fancy a good Metroidvania with a classic aroma, don’t hesitate to give it a try. We are convinced that you will love it.

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