|Release Date: Oct 6, 2009|
|Developer: From Software|
|Review by: r2d2111|
Demon's Souls is an action role playing video game developed by From Software and Sony Computer Entertainment, released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 in 2009. Players take control of a character in a 3rd person view, which they customize to take on hordes of enemies, traps, and epic bosses lurking around every corner. The player is encouraged to explore with caution and learn from their mistakes as they venture into a medieval themed kingdom of Boletaria, cursed by a fog filled with demons.
Each area has unique aesthetic, and the more you progressed into each world the richer that unique aesthetic became. The boss fights not only looked great with cinematic introductions and epic attack animations, but also has some of the most memorable music I’ve ever heard in a video game. The intro movie was so well done that it was one of the main reasons I bought the game, and never get tired of watching. Even simple loading screens showcasing some of the characters you’ll encounter through out the game looked great.
Journey to the kingdom of Boletaria starts here.
When connected to the PlayStation Network, the player’s game is affected in a few different ways. World Tendency is set to default, pure black, or pure white shifting difficulty levels and availability of areas and items. Messages can be left in other player’s world to inform them of dangers, hidden passages, strategies for defeating an enemy, or to challenge another player to a duel. When a player dies, a bloodstain is left which upon touching will display a reenactment of the player’s death. Ghosts of other players moving around the same area briefly appear then vanish. Players can post summon signs to aid you, or invade your game to kill you. As an invader you can kill the enemies in the area untouched, to aid the player instead of killing them. Players can drop items and weapons to each other to help them at any point in the game. Demons Souls also features a really cool aspect to the player vs. player (PVP), where a player can be summoned into another player’s world to duel them, and even can become a boss themselves which is a really cool Idea I hope to see more of in future souls games.
The combat systems is really good, spells and weapons that inflict ailments work fast and do a considerable amount of damage, strength weapons can send players and enemies flying, rings and shields that use regeneration restores health quickly and are extremely helpful. Spells scaling can do an insane amount of damage taking out most bosses a single cast. Equipment bonuses stack really well increasing overall damage or defense. I loved turning my archer into a glass cannon making my bow do over 140% damage and destroying enemies with extremely high defenses.
Gameplay is affected by Character Tendency and World Tendency, displayed either white or black. When you kill an NPC that isn’t being hostile towards you, your character tendency will shift to black, by defeating a black phantom that has invaded your game and is trying to kill you it will shift to white. World Tendency affects the area you are in enemies can become more difficult and drop rare items more frequently, new areas are made available that hold rare items, equipment, and NPCs appear offering you rewards, or unique items after defeating them.
Fatty boss, I want that shiny crown on your head.
There are 10 starting classes to choose from and 4 character slots available, gender specific armor sets, and choices that have different outcomes, encouraging the player to re-explore the game in different ways. You can play as a melee fighter with heavy armor and massive weapons that launch enemies into the air, a nimble caster with an array of sorceries, miracles and pyromancies, or a variation of the two. That’s what I liked most about the game, coming up with a unique build to play with that focused on using specific armor, weapons, and spells instead only using single character that use everything, it allowed me to put more thought into the character I was creating and enjoy the end result more.
There are some thing’s I didn’t like about the gameplay, such as; regardless the type of armor sets you wear, they all can be staggered by any weapons attack, you can be naked or wearing the heaviest armor in the game and you can be stun locked to death. Tendencies can alter a player’s play through drastically, and can be very frustrating at times because the server can reset the tendency if the network is disconnected preventing you from acquiring the items to complete your character for that play through. Allot of the character animations are a bit sloppy, characters look like they have to go to the bathroom while running and critical attacks animations often don’t come into contact with the enemy. Some item drops for weapon upgrades are next to impossible to get, regardless of what you do to increase drop rate. It is extremely unforgiving; if you accidentally hit an NPC they will come at you relentlessly to kill you over and over again. The Demons Souls trailer showed a player surrounded by 20+ enemies and an enormous boss (Dragon God), summoning multiple phantoms, but that didn’t reflect the actual Demon Souls experience.
Dragon God fight in real game play. It's basicly a solo fight.
Upon entering the kingdom of Boletaria, you are forced to fight off hordes of undead only to be killed by an enormous demon, and resurrected by a mysterious figure in the a strange place called the Nexus. There are five Archstones in the nexus which transport you to other worlds; each world is filled with a unique aesthetic, set of enemies, equipment, and NPCs that aid you in your quest. The player is tasked to venture into each world to slay the demons and end the cursed fog. Each time a demon is killed the player receives souls and items that can be used as currency to level up skills, weapons, and acquire new spells. You learn allot about the world from the descriptions of the content you acquire and characters you encounter, which help you to piece together the history of the world, as well as Boletaria plight.
I enjoyed re-exploring the content and coming up with different builds, but found it to be more of a single player campaign than a coop experience because of how rarely I encountered other players. The presentation is great overall, with good graphics and sound effects, the music is fantastic, and one of the more memorable soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a video game.
Overall Score: 9.0 /10
July 2nd 2014
The games you might like if you enjoy Demon's Souls :
- Dark Souls
- Spelunker HD