I was enamoured with The Game Kitchen and Team 17’s Blasphemous when it launched late 2019 on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
In my review, I said that “it’s one of those unexpected surprises; a gift that you didn’t think that you wanted but quickly becomes to be loved.” Playing through it again just over a year later, my opinion hasn’t changed. In fact, thanks to great post-launch support, my feelings for Blasphemous are even greater. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite games of the last generation.
Since its launch, The Game Kitchen and Team 17 have set about improving Blasphemous based on player feedback, while also adding in more content. Play it today, and you’ll have a much smoother ride than those at launch thanks to tweaks to the game’s balance. Even better, the main complaint raised in my review has been addressed – the in-game map has been totally redone to actually make it *gasp* useful. The icing on the cake is the implementation of some additional shortcuts and portals to make getting around its sprawling world easier. If you want to see and do everything the game has to offer – which you will – it’s a godsend.
On the content side, additional quests have been added, with the latest update – released just last week – implementing a crossover with the other best Metroidvania game of the last few years: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Progress far enough into Blasphemous and there’s a chance you’ll bump into Miriam, the protagonist of Bloodstained. Talk to her, and you’ll begin a quest that requires you to find portals hidden throughout the game’s world. These timed platforming challenges start out pretty easy, but soon become true tests of skill. Complete all five, and Miriam will be ever-grateful for your help.
There are many more reasons to return to Blasphemous once you’ve completed it now as well. A new boss-rush mode has been added via the latest update, allowing players to quickly test their mettle against the game’s grotesque bosses. Even better, the previous update added New Game + which includes yet more quests and an optional penitence system, allowing players to tweak how they play. Those who choose one of the three penances available and manage to make their way through the game on the higher difficulty level will even nab themselves one of numerous special skins and helpful rosary beads.
Blasphemous today is simply a markedly better game than it was in 2019, and that’s pretty amazing considering how good the game was back then. It’s a game with sumptuous art, an amazingly atmospheric soundtrack, and tense gameplay that’s challenging, but not too much so. The tweaks and new content additions have been carefully considered and implemented, meaning they blend seamlessly into the game and enhance it without any compromises. And even better, they’re free. Basically, if you haven’t yet played Blasphemous, now’s the time.
Blasphemous is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC