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Reviews PlayStation Plus Extra PS4

Blasphemous PS NOW Review

Blasphemous is a side-scrolling platforming combat game in the mold of Metroidvania and the souls-like genres and is available on PS NOW. Blasphemous is set in Cvstodia, a religious and superstitious land where a supernatural force referred to as the Miracle governs the land. You play as The Penitent one a member of the brotherhood of Silent Sorrow. The game sees the penitent one go on a pilgrimage throughout the land of Cvstodia in search of penance, redemption, and tears of atonement.

Blasphemous is a side-scrolling affair where you can attack, block, or parry attacks and use your agility to traverse the environments with sliding, jumping and wall jumps with your sword. You can execute enemies if you time your attacks correctly and you’ve also got prayers which are basically magic spells that grant you augmented ability boosts or special powers. You have health potions to replenish your energy and you can also equip relics that grant you the ability to perceive the world and see the unseen.

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With every kill you acquire tears of atonement and as these accumulate you can use these as currency to level up abilities, purchase items from traders or redeem your sins via religious alters. Blasphemous has several bosses to take on in order to progress and most of them aren’t that taxing, to be honest but they do make a nice change from the general enemies you’ll be slaughtering with relative ease. The game isn’t all combat as you will have to dust off your platforming skills and later on in the game you will have some very tricky sections to navigate.

The game world is well imagined and has some similarities to souls-like games. As you progress you will unlock alters where you can respawn or replenish your health items. At first, you’ll be doing a lot of backtracking but over time you will uncover fast travel mirrors, traders, and various NPCs whom you can gain items from them in return for completing quests. The one thing about Blasphemous that really stood out for me was the pseudo-religious overtones of the game and the narrative.

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The game is dripping with religious references, baroque architecture, and incidents of sin and redemption. There are Mea Culpa shrines where you can use tears of atonement to upgrade your sword’s effectiveness. You’ve got a set of rosary beads you can add new knots that grant the wearer special skills. If you die continually your prayer meter will degenerate and you’ll need to atone by cleansing your guilt at religious effigies at the cost of a few tears. You’ll be returning lost body parts to the catacombs and you can even donate your hard-earned tears to the church.

Graphically the game has a retro pixelated style with a very baroque dark and disturbing veneer. The art team has done a really good job creating a weird and surreal type of world inhabited by all sorts of oddities so, in that regard, it’s a success. The game isn’t going to blow your socks off visually but it does the job. In terms of sound, the effects are fairly middle of the road but the voice acting is surprisingly good for a low-budget indie title. The standout of the audio is definitely the music as each piece really suits the thematic style and it really improves the overall experience greatly.

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The art style is fantastic as is the pseudo-religious theme, it’s simple to understand with good controls and a well-explained system. The narrative is impressive for an indie title and it’s dark, moody, atmospheric and it really just adds to the experience. On the other hand, the game does get a bit repetitive after a while, some of the platforming sections are a little bit excessive and the boss fights are quite basic and uninspiring.

Blasphemous is an enjoyable game with a unique and disturbing thematic style, the religious overtones and themes of sin, guilt, penitence, and redemption give the game a unique feel when compared to the other similar releases. The game is very similar to other Metroidvania games and personally, I enjoyed it to a degree and there does come a point where it has its limitations in terms of complexity or game depth. If you enjoy side-scrolling games with good combat and some quirky elements then this is definitely worth having a look at.

Blasphemous has been permanently added to the PS NOW service.

Great

Blasphemous is an enjoyable game with a unique and disturbing thematic style, the religious overtones and themes of sin, guilt, penitence, and redemption give the game a unique feel when compared to the other similar releases. The game is very similar to other Metroidvania games and personally, I enjoyed it to a degree and there does come a point where it has its limitations in terms of complexity or game depth. If you enjoy side-scrolling games with good combat and some quirky elements then this is definitely worth having a look at.

8.5
Gameplay:
9
Graphics:
8
Soundtrack:
8.5

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