Play it on: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, Windows (Steam Deck OK), macOS, Linux
My current goal: Consume blood and achieve penitence
When I was watching Geoff Keighley Fest last week, I was taken aback by one particular showcase debut: the release date trailer for Blasphemous 2. Its harrowing atmosphere, unsettling pixel art, and fluid combat had my eyes locked for all 90 seconds. All I could think about was how this game was practically made for me, yet I had never given the first Blasphemous a try. So, I dusted off my trusty barbed capirote helm, filled that thing with way too much blood and set off into the Metroidvania world of Cvstodia.
Blasphemous leaves an undeniably awesome first impression. The world is blanketed by religious iconography, from a nun’s blood-curdling screams to cryptic riddles on Catholic repentance. You won’t find many games that trap you in their spine-chilling atmosphere as quickly as Blasphemous. It’s mesmerizing, detail-obsessed art is borderline uncomfortable, yet I yearn to descend further into Cvstodia.
The Metroidvania with a Dark Souls spin has been done countless times, but few match the lore and mystery that Blasphemous brings. The combat invokes feelings of Hollow Knight or Owl Boy, but far more grotesque. The addition of fight-ending executions is now a feature I’d like to see in every single Metroidvania.
Blasphemous is relatively short, so if you’re ready to dedicate your weekend to The Miracle, there’s a good chance you can hit credits by Sunday evening. That being said, I’d recommend taking your time and to really soak in the environment. It’s also pretty dang difficult, so be patient, Penitent One. — Jeb Biggart