“On a decade where old school games are nearly obliterated from the industry, Demon’s Souls make its appearance to bring the genre back to life”
It might be a little bit nostalgic when I remember old school games where you only had few lives to get through the entire game. And when you got killed in the last level with your last life, meant that you had to start all over again. That’s when you hit the pillow and screamed on the bed, and sometimes turned of the goddamn console. Those games I thought to be over in this new console generation. Now if you die, games give you the advantage to “retry” the previous scene and in that way you can accomplish the game no matter how noob or lack of skill you are.
Demon’s Souls is a beautiful game, in all aspects. The story is set on a medieval-europe inspired world, and the player takes control of a custom hero who has journeyed to the fictional kingdom of Boletaria that has since been ravaged by an accursed fog that brought forth demons that feast on the souls of mortals. The land is crawling with all kinds of beasts, demons, zombies, and dark creatures that will attempt (and most likely, tons of times) to kill you.
The beauty behind the game is the intricate gameplay that presents where you have the possibility to explore in any order the 16 set of different scenarios that will take you to explore boletaria. The mechanics of character development are vast, where you can upgrade vitality, intelligence, endurance, strength, dexterity, magic, faith and luck. Each attribute you upgrade will have notable fruits in the story since characters are arranged by classes and each class has different strengths and weaknesses. The way you develop you character is completely up to you.
There a immense arsenal of weapons and upgrades that give you also the freedom to chose whether to fight with a sword, an axe, katanas, daggers, among others. And each weapon can be upgraded also with the proper items which are also rich in variety. Also the armor and equipment you can have is varied and special armors can be obtained by slaying special optional enemies.
While you explore the world of Boleria and slay enemies you will gain souls, which are required to increase your character attributes. However, if you die before expending such souls, or collecting them, you’ll loose them all. And that is one of the key elements in the game, the difficulty. You never know what kind of foe is awaiting in the next corner, and the sense of thrill is present at all times since even the weakest enemy can kill you. So, the game is very hard, and for a common gamer it’ll turn into a frustrating experience. But hardcore gamers will appreciate the rewarding sense of growth and development in the character. The feeling of getting out alive and killing the boss of one level in sweetness.
Sometimes, the levels are so difficult that you may require help from other players. Another beauty of the game is the innovative online multiplayer mechanics where you can summon other players to your own world to help you across a difficult (more) section of the game. The concept is handled by the characters having both soul and physical body. While in physical body your health and other parameters will be better than in soul form, getting killed in physical body will make the enemies more powerful each time. In order to summon other players to your game, you must be in physical form and the other players should be in soul form. With that mechanism you will find yourself always fighting a boss in physical form helped by a couple of soul-budies because beating a boss alone is nearly impossible. That way the tension grows because you dont want to loose your body form and collected souls in the last section of the level, or worse, make the boss more powerful the next time you face it. The rewards after a boss fight are well thought because the main player will have the possibility to keep his collected souls in the level and the option to continue to the next level; whereas the soul players that helped the main character will recover their physical bodies.
It is true that the story totally sucks, the music is nonexistent since all the time there are background sounds which in a certain way helps the game to ambient it. The gameplay makes the software stand on its own, the intricate character growth mechanics, and the online multiplayer is unique. I have not seen a gameplay so solid in at least 10 years as the one that Demon’s Souls delivers. The only unforgivable flaw that I see in the game is the lack of voice chat when online gaming. It makes just to awkward and uncomfortable to press the PS button to bring up a chat session that in someway interrupts the experience.
A true jewel in the gaming industry. A must have for the hardcore RPG gamers. Demon’s souls should be a new standard for the gaming industry and an instant classic.
Final Score: 9.5 out of 10