If you have a Playstation 3 or an Xbox 360 chances are you at least heard of this title called Demon’s Souls. It was what many considered a sleeper hit that came by surprise shook many people off their feet.
So why would I decide to talk about/review this game now ? Well, just recently, in October of 2011 the spiritual sequel of Demon’s Souls was released, Dark Souls and I just bought the game but haven’t started it yet, so I though I might share a bit of my experience with the game and maybe make you interested in one of the games.
So, Demon’s Souls was released only for the Playstation 3 in the end of 2009 in the USA but I while having watched a bunch of footage from the game, for some weird reason decided to not get it at first until almost an year later I finally gave in after watching a video review of one of my favorite reviewers online. He is a big fan of RPGs, be it western or Japanese, so after listening to a more personal idea of the game I was sold.
Even having known beforehand that this was game meant to challenge you, you are never ready for this game.
You start in the Kingdom of Boletaria and for some reason you must save it. Forgive me for the lack of details of the plot, but the game itself barely touches any of it and it serves mostly as a set up for the game itself.
The first place you start is kind of a learning are so you can get the hang of things, some basic like the controls, and other not so basic, like the fact that the game doesn’t pause, ever, not even while pushing the PS button, so you must be on your toes all the time! All of a sudden, when you think you’re doing fine you meet your first boss of the game, he’s fat and huge, if memory serves me right, I’d say at least two times of height or even maybe three times. He hits you, and you die but one should not worry as it is expected, I guess it’s the way From Software, the developers thought of a way to make you know that you’re going to die a lot in this game.
After you are transported to the only safe area of the game (for the most part, as there’s a NPC that may try and kill you later on), the Nexus. In there, more of the story is told with a great music and you start to get acquainted with the game. Basically there five archstones divided into several areas and you have to clear those areas to save the Kingdom of Boletaria, easier said then done, as at the end of each of them, there is one boss and they are as hard as nails!
So that’s basically the set up for the game all the rest comes from experience as you play the game. So what makes this title so special as many claim it to be ?
Maybe it’s the punishing difficulty that brings a great sense of accomplishment after you pass an area or defeat a boss. Maybe it’s the mysterious story and those double faced NPCs with ulterior motives. Or even the difficulty of figuring out stuff, finding items, shortcuts, new weapons, all of the sort and making you feel good about it. While those certainly are things in the game’s favor, and even though I know some people favor some stuff more the others what made it special for me was the setting and scenarios, combined with the ambient sound during most of the stage and that amazing music that plays when you reach a boss!
You see, not only I am a huge fan of RPGs but also a big fan of Survival Horrors. That feeling that something is out there to get you for me is priceless! Unlike many I’m not a fan of the game’s frustration, as when you die, you go back to the beginning of the area without your souls, your for all currency in the game, but I think that if it weren’t this way I wouldn’t have felt this eerie atmosphere all the time, and I do mean all the time!
Not everything is roses, I for one hated navigating through some areas. There is a level in particular named Tower of Latria, which I hated so much I think I’ll never forget the name of it just so I can talk about it to anyone who has played the game. In basic, the level is what it seems like a prison but much more complicated and threatening. Some of what are the worst enemies of the game are there, it’s confusing, claustrophobic and yet I can’t get it out of my head! Demon’s Souls is the kind of game that does that to you, when you’re not playing it, you are thinking about it.
When people ask me about Demon’s Souls in short I tend to compare it to those people in relationships where one person mistreats the other; they make the other person feel like crap, guilty, hurt but they still like them for some reason. This is Demon’s Souls for me in short, I hate it, but I love it!
So this is a game I could probably talk about hours on end and I didn’t even touch on the optional online aspect of the game in which I chose not to go into because as much as I like co-op play, I hate PvP so much more.
In the end this is surely not for everyone, I’m not even sure it is for me but if you are somewhat interested in Dark Fantasy, Survival Horrors, RPGs, high risk / high reward gameplay this is a game for you. Even if you are only into one of those, I’m sure the others aspects will grow on you.
If you have already played this game and just thought it would be nice to go through someone else’s experience of the game I’d like to share my favorites (and not so) parts of the game.
Favorite area: Shrine of Storms
Most hated area: Tower of Latria
Favorite Boss: Maiden Astraea & Garl Vinland
Favorite Music: Maiden Astraea
Favorite NPC: Yurt, the Silent Chief
Most impressive foe: Tower Knight
Most hated foe: Mind Flayer