Blasphemous 2 Review – Time to believe again

Reviewed August 17, 2023 on Nintendo Switch


PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S


August 25, 2023


Team 17


The Game Kitchen

4 years after the release of the dark 2D Metroidvania, Blasphemous, developer The Game Kitchen has returned with a sequel. This follow-up takes the amazing art and formidable gameplay from the original and expands it in every way, providing more varied combat, more over-the-top boss fights and a whole new gorgeously strange world inspired by Spanish Catholic folklore to explore. Blasphemous set a high bar, and it is safe to say that The Game Kitchen has not just met it with Blasphemous 2, but exceeded it.

Following on from the cliffhanger presented in the first game’s ending, The Grievous Miracle has returned, plunging the land into chaos and warping the citizenry’s religious devotion into grotesque mutations. A new Miracle Child is foretold to be born, which must be prevented at all costs. You play as the Penitent One, the silent warrior who is resurrected to prevent the birth of the Miracle Child, and must slay the Miracle’s Sentinels to gain access to the massive heart floating above the city where it shall occur.

It’s a simple enough premise, which is fleshed out by excellent writing and flavour text to really hammer home the horror of what the Miracle has inflicted and what might happen if it is allowed to continue. The population are engrossed in a culture of religious self-flagellation and penitence for their sins, both real and imagined, which the Miracle has amplified to horrifying degrees. The highly-detailed pixel artwork and fluid animations give the body horror all the emphasis it needs, which might not make Blasphemous 2 the game for you if you are squeamish about that sort of thing. Nonetheless, it was easy to become invested in the Penitent One’s quest, with a fascinating world to explore.

Blasphemous 2 expands on the solid foundation of the first game from the start, offering you a choice between a rapier/dagger set, a sword, or a flail following your resurrection, as opposed to the single weapon type available in its predecessor. Eventually, you gain access to all three weapon types, which can be swapped between on the fly and upgraded separately. Being able to completely change from the quick jabs of the rapiers to the slow and devastating flail when the boss is vulnerable completely changes the flow of the combat for the better, and makes the action in Blasphemous 2 a far more varied and enjoyable experience overall.

These weapons also bleed into the game’s greater Metroidvania focus, where each weapon also has utility in platforming and puzzle-solving. The flail can ring giant bells, which reveal hidden platforms and open blocked doors. The rapier can activate magic mirrors that propel the Penitent One through the air. Even the humble sword can destroy certain kinds of impassable barriers with its ground-pound attack if you’re high enough in the air. It made the acquisition of a new weapon even more exciting, knowing the new areas in past locations that I can now access.

There are also other RPG mechanics which allow the player to customise the Penitent One further. In addition to the Rosary Bead system from the first game, which allows the player to equip passive buffs and resistances, the player can also equip a limited number of Favours on the Altarpiece of the Miracle, which basically means unlockable wooden statues which provide even more passive boons, like increasing the power of certain weapons, increasing your stun or critical chances from weapon attacks, or improving the power of healing items.

Other quality-of-life improvements in Blasphemous 2 are more minor, but nonetheless welcome. Prayers, or magic spells, have now been separated into two tiers: weak-but-cheap Quick Verses and powerful-but-expensive Chants. This change adds more variety in the spell types, and allows for more consideration during prolonged fights about whether to spam a bunch of Quick Verses, or save up for an impactful Chant and hope it lands.

One much-appreciated update is that falling into spikes and bottomless pits no longer instantly kills you (with few exceptions). It keeps the pacing up and prevents some of the trickier platforming sections from becoming unbearably frustrating. The health upgrade system is now much more straightforward and mercifully no longer requires temporarily sacrificing your limited Bile Flasks. In addition, the Prayer which teleports you back to the hub city area is unlocked much earlier in this game than the first one, which makes early exploration of the map a less daunting prospect when you’re starting out.

When you aren’t hunting bosses, you’re exploring around to hunt for secrets and completing side quests. These areas can be somewhat obscure to find, but the reward of health and Fervour upgrades, new Prayers to aid in combat, or other quest items which can be exchanged with other characters, is often worth it.

One element which caused some bother was the lack of any kind of unified quest screen in the pause menu or clear indication of what I was even supposed to do with some of the quest items I acquired, or whom I should give them to. Some NPCs and important locations in Blasphemous 2 are labelled on the map screen automatically, making it easy to relocate them. Some others aren’t, however, relying on the player to place a manual marker themselves. Quest items also don’t always disappear once they have been used, which makes it unclear when I should be backtracking to some of the important NPCs to see if there is new content or not.

By the end of the game, I still had two rows of accumulated quest items stockpiled, and only certain about what half of them are for. Each item’s flavour text provides somewhat unclear hints regarding its purpose, which doesn’t always help. While needing a guide on hand to locate all the content is part and parcel of the Soulslike genre at this point, that degree of vagueness often wastes the player’s time. Fortunately, the locations of critical objectives and bosses are always indicated on the map. As such, I was never too lost when it came to progressing through the core experience.

“As one might expect from a Soulslike, the bosses in Blasphemous 2 are a standout.”

As one might expect from a Soulslike, the bosses in Blasphemous 2 are a standout. There is a decent mix of fast, human-sized bosses and massive screen-filling terrors, who often have different elemental resistances and attack types. This mix of foes ensures that you can’t rely on a single strategy or loadout of passive items to carry you through. That said, and this might be because I went out of my way to complete as many side quests as I could, the difficulty curve tends to level out as the game progresses to the extent that the second half of the game felt notably easier than the first half, with many of the late game bosses going down in one or two attempts. Hopefully we can expect more challenging post-launch content in the future, like the first game received.




  • Well-designed and mostly challenging bosses
  • Plenty of quality-of-life improvements over its predecessor
  • Additional weapon types and upgrade systems inject much-needed variety into combat and exploration
  • Suitably dark and compelling writing and art design


  • Boss fights felt noticeably less challenging as the game progressed
  • Lack of side quest screen makes it easy to lose track of them

Blasphemous 2 is a truly stand-out Metroidvania that is an easy recommendation for fans of the original and newcomers alike. From its detailed and fluid animations to its wide assortment of gameplay improvements, Blasphemous 2 is everything a sequel to the already-strong Blasphemous should be. Although it isn’t as consistently challenging as its formidable art direction and clear Soulslike influence would suggest, the core experience of Blasphemous 2 is still something fans of 2D platformers and Metroidvania exploration are sure to greatly appreciate.