Given the popularity of the ‘hardcore’ souls-like video games genre, the Blasphemous series was simply destined to be successful.

Blasphemous and its sequel, Blasphemous 2 was developed by Games Kitchen and released by Team17.

The games are pixel-stylized souls-likes where players take the role of a protagonist known as the Penitent One. During the gameplay, players will explore complex metroidvania-style levels, and fight with various monstrosities inspired by medieval Christianity.

Do you need to play the first game in order to play the sequel?

Blasphemous 2 takes place after the events of the first game, however, you don’t have to play the first installment to understand what’s going on in the sequel.

It features some connection but overall it introduces a completely new, unique storyline.

The origin of the series

The Blasphemous series was created by Games Kitchen, indie game developers known for creating a warmly received episodic adventure game entitled The Last Door. The first Blasphemous game was announced in June 2019 and released later that year in September.

What’s interesting, the development of the game was possible thanks to the crowdfunding campaign organized on Kickstarter. The great success of the first game allowed the developers to create and release the sequel in 2023.

2D Souls-like

Both games, Blasphemous and its sequel are 2D, pixel-art platformer games. One of the main features of the series is its high level of difficulty and disturbing atmosphere, leading to it being dubbed the “2D Dark Souls”.

Additionally, both games are representatives of the so-called Metroidvania genre. In this genre, players will explore complex side-scrolling levels with a variety of secrets and hidden areas.

One of the main characteristics of the genre is backtracking – players will often encounter locked paths and shortcuts that can be opened using a special ability or unique items that they will find as they progress further into the story.

Basic gameplay rules of the Blasphemous series.

First of all, players should be warned that Blasphemous and Blasphemous 2 are difficult. The series is called 2D Dark Souls for a reason. Each enemy players will encounter during the gameplay is deadly and one mistake is all it takes for our character to die.

One of the best tips for new players who are just starting their journey with the Blasphemous series is to be patient.

Every enemy has their unique patterns and to win encounters you need to learn their movements. Our character can jump, dash, and parry and players should master these movements to deal with increasingly more difficult opponents.

Also, prepare yourself for death as you will surely die a lot, especially at the beginning.

Blasphemous 2 – what’s new?

Video credit: Team17,

Blasphemous 2 carries on with the main gameplay mechanics from the first game, however, it also introduces some new features and elements. Players will explore completely new, unique stages, and face new enemies and new deadly bosses.

Players can also use some new unique weapons and special abilities that will even the odds during fights. Additionally, it is now possible to customize and improve the Penitent One base skillset.

Blasphemous Techniques – how to stay alive?

Blasphemous series has a very high skill-celling and movement is crucial during fights. While fighting huge bosses you will have to learn their movement and attack patterns to stay out of their reach. Mastering parry is one of the most essential skills during the gameplay and it will save you from many seemingly hopeless situations.

Your character can use a variety of attacks that work best against certain types of enemies. Learning when to use strong, light, or magic attacks will help you kill much more powerful enemies.

In Blasphemous 2 you will have the possibility to customize your skillset to match your preferred playstyle. Additionally learning how to use newly introduced weapons will be an additional asset.

How long does it take to beat Blasphemous and Blasphemous 2?

To beat the main story Blasphemous and Blasphemous 2 players will have to spend about 15h, depending on the struggle during fights. To fully complete the stories and the side quest it takes up to 20-25 hours.

If you are the kind of player that wants to see all that the games have to offer it will take over 30 hours. Both games feature a high level of replayability, mainly due to their high skill-celling and challenging difficulty.

Blasphemous story

The action of the first game takes us to a depressing realm known as Cvstodia. Players take the role of a silent crusader called the Penitent One, who challenges the evil roaming this nightmarish world. Just like in the games created by From Software, the story of the game is not clear from the beginning.

Instead, players will uncover small bits of the plot while exploring the world, reading notes, talking with NPCs, etc. To understand the whole story, we’ll have to carefully explore each level.

In Blasphemous 2 story takes place after the events from the first game, however, it is not tightly connected.

It introduces a completely new plot, that is presented in the same way as it was in the original game – the key to understanding the narration is exploration and interaction with the environment.

The Lore’s Depth

Both games feature a well-written and deep lore, that players can unfold at their own pace. Monsters we encounter during the gameplay are loosely inspired by medieval Christianity. The Blasphemous world is brutal, depressing, and very disturbing at times.

Throughout the game, players will be accompanied by the constant feeling of danger. Well-composed, atmospheric soundtrack is immersive and allows one to sink deep into the world of nightmares of Cvstodia.

Graphics and visuals

Blasphemous features detailed and well-designed pixel-art graphics inspired by old-school retro platformer games. The art style choice perfectly fits the game’s dark and gloomy atmosphere creating a unique gameplay experience.

At the first glimpse, we can notice some improved quality in the sequel. Textures have more details, and have more pixels which increases the overall graphics quality without changing the deliberate old-school vibe.
Surfaces appear less grainy and have a smoother texture, resulting in a slightly more cartoonish style.

The Final Verdict

Both games of the series present good-quality gameplay, unique art style, and deep storytelling.

If you enjoy the heavy atmosphere, challenging combat, and old-school games you will surely like the whole series. The high difficulty level delivers a huge adrenaline boost and satisfaction.

Additionally, the way of presenting the story encourages exploration.

To sum things up – The Blasphemous series is a great choice for both casual and hardcore gamers who want to explore mysterious and well-written stories while fighting a variety of monsters straight from their darkest nightmares.