Demon’s Souls – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Bluepoint Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS5
Tested on: PS5

Demon’s Souls – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Visuals, Renewed gameplay, Proper remake
Bad: Finicky controls can lead to unnecessary deaths
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s hard to imagine that Demon’s Souls is already 11 years old when looking at its initial release. The game defined a completely new genre which is aptly named the ‘Souls’ genre. This ‘new’ genre put tough-as-nails games back on the map. While Demon’s Souls never left the safe boundaries of Sony’s PlayStation 3, the other Souls game were basically for everyone to enjoy, except for Sony’s other exclusive, Bloodborne. That being said, while Demon’s Souls is a classic in many gamers’ books, it’s also quite dated and the spiritual successors added a lot more comfort-features to make the game more responsive, smooth and less artificially hard. It came as a surprise when Demon’s Souls would be remade from the ground up, mimicking the original experience, albeit with our modern standards implemented. We were curious to see how the PlayStation 5’s only real exclusive would define the standard of a new generation.

Story

The game takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria, which is suddenly encased in a thick fog. This fog is like no other though, as it consumes everyone who enters, with demons running rampant in it. As a cry for help, the kingdom sends messengers to get the word out, but hardly anyone makes it out alive. Heroes show up trying to fight the hordes of demons, but many perish and are then consumed by said demons, making them even stronger. You, of course, are deemed the last hope to save the world and get rid of the all-consuming fog.

You’ll get a nice introduction cinematic, as well as a few voiced lines now and then, but the story remains somewhat basic, as it’s all about the game’s gameplay and high difficulty. The setting is properly set though, which does motivate you to keep pressing on, even after many deaths.

Graphics

Demon’s Souls looks absolutely stunning. Even though some destructible items are still a bit bland, the rest of the game simply looks amazing. It’s clear that this game is not a simple remaster but a proper remake, as everything has been properly remodeled, enemy models, while still performing the same attacks, look nothing like their former selves. The environments are breathtaking and feel really alive thanks to proper textures, a lot of added details and just astonishing views in the distance. We fell in love with this game from the start, and while progress may be slow for some, it’s sometimes just a great experience discovering new areas after you’ve beaten a particularly difficult foe. The character customization options are also expanded upon, but with your gear on, this will not do that much in the end.

Sound

The sound design is also quite properly handed for this remake. You’ll have cinematic backdrops for nearly everything, while also properly hearing the footsteps of your enemies, the clattering of steel and an occasional bit of voice acting sprinkled in-between. A lot of the audio for this remake comes out of the speakers of your DualSense controller, basically putting you on the front row of the action. Of course, it’s just the sound effects, which go well together with the feedback the game is giving you via its rumble functionality.

Gameplay

Demon’s Souls is an Action-RPG that draws its strength out of being tough-as-nails. The game will set you loose in different environments, grinding your way to boss battles, slowly escaping from the horrible fate that awaits those who give in to the thick fog. You’ll be trying your best to study enemy patterns, thinking of your next approach and trying to level up and become stronger, allowing you to finally progress.

As with the other Souls games, Demon’s Souls shtick lies in its high difficulty, forcing you to play carefully rather than rush in without thinking things through. Of course, it’s all about patterns and patience, and when you master these two aspects, progress is bound to follow. This also means that the game is not for the average hack and slash fan, as it may look like you’re hacking away at enemies but when you actually do so, you’ll find yourself having to replay big chunks of the game over and over again. You can level up with the souls you collect, but die before you make it back to the central hub, the Nexus, and they may be lost forever if you cannot retrieve them before dying again. Leveling happens by trading in souls to allocate new stat points, leaving you completely free to choose how you want to build your character. Overall, the game does feel a bit harder than some of the other Souls games, it never truly feels unfair, except when you waddle about in an area you should not be yet.

Just like other games in the Souls series, the controls are decent, but sometimes things can get a bit finicky. You’ll notice that the speed of your evasive rolls is ridiculously slow, making this a less viable option compared to other games where this is often considered the ideal dodge. Other less fortunate moments can be found when using the ‘lock’ function to direct your attention towards your enemies, which often doesn’t really respond as you’d like to. On more than a few occasions we found ourselves trying to lock onto our opponent, only for us to run away, regroup, and try again. Other times switching between targets didn’t respond properly, and so on. While these seem like tiny bugs, not having full control in this game may cause a few unnecessary deaths, which can be very annoying when having to redo an entire section of an area.

Conclusion

If you are a bit headstrong and don’t mind a constant tension hanging over your head in a game, Demon’s Souls is basically as good as it gets. While a few tiny adjustments could have been made in certain aspects, this is a nearly perfect Souls experience for fans of the genre, or those looking for a challenge. In terms of exclusive launch titles, this is a must-have if you own a PlayStation 5, or are still looking to get one.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Demon's Souls - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | The Evolution of Gaming
    December 12, 2020, 17:41

    […] from just a few blips on a screen, to impressive-looking titles such as the recently released Demon’s Souls on PS5. The next-gen consoles are just upon us, and they have garnered a lot of attention, to the point […]

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