Exploding into cult fame in 2019, Blasphemous combined the popular Souls-like formula in the skin of a Metroidvania game. As the Penitent One, an abomination-slaying knight, players romped through the bleak world of Cvstodia.
From its disturbing character art to the hack ’n slash combat, Blasphemous left an impression on gamers out of the gate. Its growing cult status convinced The Game Kitchen to make DLC and, eventually, start creating a sequel.
Blasphemous II will continue what the first game started, but the Penitent One has more powers and weapons for players to customize their experience.
The story will kick off from the last game’s DLC, but do you really have to play the prequel before Blasphemous II to enjoy it? We’d argue both are good jumping points into the franchise.
Do you have to play ‘Blasphemous’ before ‘Blasphemous II’?
While Blasphemous II is a direct sequel, you could jump into it without past knowledge. The Penitent One is in an entirely new world, and from our time with it before release, the upcoming installment hardly brings up past events.
Besides a few monster types, nods to old characters through items, and its narrative premise, Blasphemous II is a fresh start for newcomers and veterans.
If you played Blasphemous beforehand, you would definitely get more enjoyment out of those aspects, but we wouldn’t say it’s necessary unless storytelling and lore matter to you.
The bread and butter of Blasphemous II is customization and exploration.
Gameplay is much juicier since you have weapon skill trees, various spells, powers, and more at your fingertips. Weapons also tie into solving puzzles across zones. Plus, there are several hidden quests and secrets to unearth.
There’s a visible step up with Blasphemous II, which might make going back to the gameplay in Blasphemous a bit awkward. Still, you couldn’t go wrong by playing Blasphemous II first if you wanted.
Like the Dark Souls games, both installments can complement each other, but each one feels distinctive enough to where you can play one without the other and be OK with missing the big picture.
Blasphemous II will release on Aug. 24, 2023, for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.