Review: Demon's Souls
Demon's Souls on Playstation 5 is a full remake of 2009's From Software's Demon's Souls. The first game in the now hugely beloved souls franchise returns, better than ever before.
The remake of the much-loved Demon's Souls came into the hands of Bluepoint Games . Not an unknown name when it comes to Sony Remakes. Undoubtedly this is the largest and perhaps most important project to date. A classic and beloved Playstation 3 classic, just in time for the release of the Playstation 5. A match made in heaven? A match made in Nexus. Let's dive in!
Equally gruesome, but even more gruesome
Demon's Souls is not for everyone. It's a very tough and sometimes unfair game, but that's all part of the overall picture. The high threshold and the many one-shots may put off many players and that is somewhat understandable. Not everything is for everyone, but Demon's Souls can mean something for everyone. It would be a shame to dismiss this beautiful creation based on its high difficulty. Yes, the game is very spicy and yes it is very frustrating at times, but in the end, it is all worth it. There is no 'Easy' mode to please every Playstation 5 player with this real eye-catcher. But there are plenty of ways to make the game a lot easier. Later in this review, we'll come back to some ways to introduce new players to Demon's Souls.
At its core, Demon's Souls is the same game it was 11 years ago. The game has been completely redeveloped, but plays pretty much the same. There are many quality improvements to make the gameplay even better. Combat and the way the game plays out is almost unchanged. In fact, there's a good chance that exploits and glitches from 11 years ago will also work in the Playstation 5 Remake. For example, you can still safely spot the Armored Spider and Old King Doran down the stairs, just like 11 years ago. Cheating a little? Think of it as a creative alternative, and 'misusing' these tricks is exactly what Demon's Souls deserves.
Less is More in Demon's Souls
A famous saying that you really need examples to understand, 'Less is More'. Is especially appropriate for Demon's Souls. This game breathes this statement and you feel that breath rustling between the dead branches of trees and through the thick walls in the castle of Boletaria. Mystery, riddle and darkness is the narrative drive through the game. Not much is explained, but gradually you discover more of the world around you and why it is the way it is now. You have to find the answers yourself. It's not cryptic, but hidden and certainly interesting enough to make you take the side road in search of something that can tell you more about the world around you, although the side road often comes with an unknown danger.
That's how mysterious Demon's Souls is in sketching the setting around you. You want to know more, you want to explore and for that you take the enormous, immense risks for granted. And guess what? In many cases you just get punched in the face, whether or not there is something to be found, you will probably have to come back for it at some point.
The game is richly filled with lore, knowledge, story and even characters with their own stories. For anyone with a curious eye. It is not just a rollercoaster with difficult and patient combat. It is much more than that, but it is not presented to you. That goes for everything in this game, by the way.
How Demon's Souls is meant to be
There's no getting around it, but Demon's Souls on Playstation 5 feels like the game From Software wanted to make. We skip a generation and the Playstation 5 makes it possible. It is, in my view, the most beautiful game on the Playstation 5 at the moment and I am probably not the only one with this opinion. Hence, Demon's Souls on Playstation 5 probably introduces a whole bunch of new players to the Souls genre.
It also plays really well on Playstation 5 and your entire playthrough is almost seamless. There are actually no loading screens. While swapping worlds you see a bit of fog in your image for 3 seconds and there you are again, time to try again and die again. There is virtually no downtime and that is why the world feels more as one than before. It is not an open world you play in, but you play in 5 thematically different worlds. These worlds are again divided into sub-levels which are generally referred to as Super Mario Bros. is. 1-1 is Gates of Boletaria, 1-2 is Lord's Path and so on. However, it doesn't feel like a level anymore, because you can, if you want, walk from front to back without interruption.So you play in fairly large open areas where the Nexus acts as a hub with portals to those different areas.
For all Demon's Souls beginners
Brand new to the Souls genre? Then it can be quite scary to start this unforgettable journey. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make your first acceptance with the Tower Knight a lot easier than you might expect. It all starts with choosing a class. Choosing a class is an important choice for the first few hours in the story, but in the end you can mold your entire character to your own taste and playstyle. It's also a real RPG with very different ways to play the game. In any case, it is recommended for newcomers to opt for the Royaltyclass. This class starts with a magic wand, a ring that generates mana and a headgear that gives mana bonus. You also start with a powerful spell that can already one-shot many enemies in the first world, from a distance!
A strong weapon early on
Since you also start with a worthless rapier, the idea is that you start looking for a new weapon as soon as possible (after defeating the first boss). This is undoubtedly the most difficult task because you have to go to world 4-1 to get the Crescent Falchion . This sword is absurdly strong and will pull you through the first few hours of the game with some ease.
Watch your Souls
Souls that you swallow by killing enemies and demons serve both as XP to level up and as a means of payment at the various merchants. When you die you lose all your souls. You can pick this up where you fell, if you don't cast the lottery ticket before you get to your souls again. You can only level up after beating the first boss. Return to the Nexus as soon as you can, follow the brief instruction and start building your character. When you die as a human, you return as a soul with 50% of your lives. In the first tower of world 1-1 is a ring that gives you 75% lives in soul form instead of 50%. Arguably the most important ring for much of your playthrough as you are going to be spending a ton of time in this soul form.
Want to try boss fight again soon?
The second boss in the game can already make a big jump in difficulty. Not only the fight itself, but also the road to it. You have to cross a bridge where a dragon always sets the road in front of you on fire. If you get burned you are as good as dead, but there are also enemies lurking on this bridge. On the last stretch before the boss, a pair of crossbowmen and blue-eyed knights are waiting for you. A tight situation, but cut through the crossbowmen quickly and then roll your way into the fog to take on the Tower Knight fight.
The way from the return point to the boss is a chore in itself and is not as easy as the way to the first battle from the return point. There's no faster way to get to this boss, unfortunately, but you can cheat. Will you die in battle? Then close the game completely before returning to the Archstone. As soon as you restart the game, you will be back in front of the fog bank at the boss fight and you can immediately try again. Rinse & Repeat until success.
Demon's Souls is a beautiful and gruesome game on Playstation 5. Still the same game at its core as 11 years ago. But with small quality improvements to make the experience even better. A seamlessly horrifying experience that you really must try. Even if you're normally not that interested in the Souls genre.
Playing this classic in a modern jacket in itself is quite a reward. Let alone when you have finally defeated that one boss and can continue with your exploration.
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