The April 19 Nintendo Indie World Showcase was light on brand-new reveals but big on much-needed updates, with games like Mineko's Night Market and Oxenfree 2 getting long-awaited release dates. The show also gave us the first trailer for Blasphemous 2, the sequel to The Game Kitchen's gruesome Metroidvania hit, and it's everything I was hoping for and then some.
Despite its new and confusingly named "announcement trailer," Blasphemous 2 has been in the pipeline since late 2021, but we're only just now getting a proper look at it. It picks up directly after the events of the original game's free Wounds of Eventide DLC with our hero, The Penitent One, thrown into a new land filled with strange horrors in need of judgment.
Blasphemous is still one of the highest-rated Metroidvanias on Steam, and for good reason. It's known for unflinching combat, grimdark world-building, clever level design and, above all, gruesome pixel art. The sequel promises to refine these elements while somehow polishing its already stellar art style, which is a tall task. That said, the wonderfully ugly monsters in the trailer are doing a good job convincing me that Blasphemous 2 can pull it off.
Among the sea of new and expanded ideas mentioned in its Steam page, one detail that stands out to me is "the ability to customize and improve your base skillset, alongside several new unique weapons to unleash devastating attacks on enemies." New weapons are always fun, but additional options for your base move set sound like a more fundamental change that I want to see in action.
I'm also very intrigued by the idea of "a fuller non-linear world" where what to tackle next "remains at your discretion." The original Blasphemous was (quite fairly) given the Metroidvania and Souls-like labels largely by fans, but its roots as a more straightforward action-platformer were always clear despite notable backtracking, and it sounds like the sequel may open up exploration even further. As ever, I'm here for whatever The Game Kitchen is cooking, especially if it's More Blasphemous.
We've been spoiled for Metroidvanias lately, like this near-perfect mix of Celeste and Hollow Knight.