The Penance Never Ends…
Blasphemous is a 2d action-adventure game by ‘The Game Kitchen’ that is a very punishing, fast-paced hack and slash game with Metroidvania esque exploration, souls-like mechanics, and a lot of secrets. Published by Team17, the game was released on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on September 10, 2019
Enter Cvstodia – Land of the Miracle
Blasphemous is set in the deeply religious realm of Cvstodia, influenced by Roman Catholicism, its iconography and culture taken from the Andalucia region, influenced by a force called “The Miracle”, which manifests in strange and cruel ways for it sometimes blesses and curses the inhabitants of Cvstodia, turning them into twisted creatures that now roam the land.
As the sole survivor of the Brotherhood of the Silent Sorrow, the player as the silent, nameless, faceless for he wears a Mask and a pointed helmet with barbed wires known as the “Penitent One” journeys through Cvstodia in pilgrimage defeating those that stand in his way, acquiring the three holy wounds and defeating His Holiness Escribar, reborn as the last son of the miracle and claim the Cradle of Affliction.
Arms of the Penitent One
The Mea Culpa – The Guilty Blade
The Penitent one’s main weapon, a long one-handed sword adorned with an effigy of the twisted one on the handle and thorns following the edges of the blade. After meeting “Deogracias” for the first time, another thorn is added to the Mea Culpa’s handle which harms the user feeding on his blood and guilt. The thorn continues to grow till it reaches its highest form of guilt, the “Cvstodia of Sin”. To grow the guilt of the thorn however the player must Journey through Cvstodia and Find all the Confessor statues and take on their trial (Though optional, it does unlock one of the endings of Blasphemous).
Journeying across Cvstodia, you may come across certain “Altars/Shrines” that you can upgrade your Mea Culpa’s abilities from.
Restorative Flasks that heal the Penitent One’s wounds. Players start out with 2 flasks. Journeying across Cvstodia Players will find empty flasks that can be turned into a Bile Flask. The Flasks can also be upgraded by conversing with a specific NPC.
Adding to the Mea Culpas abilities are “Prayers” or Spells if you want. It consumes Fervor(Mana) to use it. attacking an enemy or making yourself “Bleed” restores a bit of fervor however in the bleed case you lose Health for fervor so don’t use it too much. Players will find different types of prayers across Cvstodia that have different abilities and usage so don’t hesitate to switch prayer mid-fights.
The Rosary Beads
These are items that players collect journeying through Cvstodia that give perks to the Penitent One. Enhancing stats like Health, Fervor (Mana), Attack power, Defense power, and Elemental resistances. The rosary has 8 slots of which 2 are available at the start. to unlock more the player must find Rosary Knots. As for how to unlock the slots using the beads… “return to the beginning”.
Artifacts that affect what the Penitent One perceives, the player can equip 3 relics at once and can be switched mid-battle.
The Sword Hearts of the Mea Culpa.
These are Special Cores that grant powerful upgrades at the cost of another. Unswitchable battle except when interacting with a “Prie Dieu” or a resting point. The Final Sword Heart is part of an ending to Blasphemous.
My Thoughts on Blasphemous
Traveling through Cvstodia as the Penitent One, I came across several scenes of pain and torture that befell the people of the land.
An old man leaning with his hands tied to the back and feet tied together by a length of rope. A woman in chains bleeding all over from her open wound. A man trapped within a full-metal body prison made to suffer in the harsh cold of the mountains. A village afflicted with famine and drought and not forgetting that the penitent one is the last of his brotherhood.
The gameplay is fast, precise with platforming and figuring out what rosary beads to equip, what relic would be suitable for what situation, and what sword heart would be beneficial to the player. Exploring the entirety of Cvstodia from the cold mountains to the deathly seas was a fun experience throughout.
I got to meet a certain Bloodstained character from the DLC and got to summon them as a prayer which was pretty cool.
Collecting the bones was a bit tedious but I got to fight a cool boss at the end so win-win. The fights were intense with each being a skill, dodge, and parry check.
Getting to the true ending in the “Wounds of Eventide DLC” was one hell of an experience for I went up to NG+3 just to get the special skins and rosaries that unlock with it and then do the true ending route. There is also a boss rush mode which was really tough at the end but man was it worth it.
Blasphemous is available as a full version and a demo version on Steam so you can check it out. There is also a digital comic as DLC which describes the events that happened before the events of Blasphemous.
I definitely recommend checking this game out. It's a really good action-adventure.