Demon’s Souls -PS3-
I both loved Demon’s Souls and I loved to hate Demon’s Souls. It is one of the most frustratingly difficult games I’ve played in some time. If you’re not up to the challenge, and aren’t willing to die countless times to seemingly cheap and unfair enemies in overwhelming number, then this is not the game for you. But if you are willing to sink some serious time into a very deep and rewarding experience, then I suggest you test you might with Demon’s Souls to find out if you’re a real man.
While on my play through I spent more time researching crap online about the game, then I actually spent playing the game. And I put like 60 hours playtime in. The time I spent researching online was how to beat bosses, architecture of levels, weaponry locations and upgrades, hidden characters, and leveling guides. Generally I would suggest strongly against using gamefaqs or any other game guide, but in this case I deem is a necessity. There are actually several whole wikis dedicated to this game: like demonssouls.wikidot.com. Sites like this one provide so much vital information and tutorials on how to make your way through the game. This game doesn’t mess around, it’s either you’re prepared and ready to face it, or it will destroy you.
Demon’s Souls is an action RPG played from a third person perspective. It takes place in a world called Boletaria set in a time similar to mid evil times, and as such your weaponry and equipment will be pretty consistent with the weapons of that time age. Melee weapons are swords and axes, and range weapons are usually bows. You will also be capable of using various magics. Depending of the starter class you pick, you may even be able to use magic from the start.
The classes in the game are Soldier, Knight, Hunter, Priest, Magician, Wanderer, Barbarian, Thief, Temple Knight, and Royalty. It does seem like an overwhelming number of classes, but really as I got further and further into the game, I came to realize that the initial class you pick really isn’t that important. Because you can eventually pick up the skills of each one of these classes if you want, by choosing a class it just give you a good head start.
You could potentially get the every abilities for each one of the classes if you really want. But if you do you’re kind of screwing yourself over because you’re dipping your fingers in too many pies. None of your spells will be very powerful, you won’t have enough mana, and your character will be super weak physically. So it pays off to stick to one style of play and run with it. For me, I picked a priest and started out with a healing spell, but I eventually leveled up my archery and melee strength and abandoned the priest role.
The combat varies greatly on your style. If you want to be a spell caster, then you’d better be quite nimble to avoid enemies and cast at a distance. Characters who equip leather and cloth armor are much quicker than say a character that is equipped with mail or plate. A melee warrior with a heavy slow axe is better off wearing plate armor, but will suffer from being slower.
There are about 25 bosses, and dozens of regular enemies. There are no easy mode enemies, every last one can murder you if you let your guard down, and each level can have a couple hundred enemies. There is a huge variety of enemies, and each one matches the level perfectly. What I really liked about Demon’s Souls is that the combat never feels monotonous or grindy, it always feels fresh and fun. Most of the time I was on the edge of my seat cause I didn’t want to get 1 shotted by some crazy dragon out of nowhere. Every boss is battle is super intense and very unique. These boss battles are very memorable, and at times you’ll be tempted to break your controller in half. If I hadn’t paid $60 for my dualshock 3, then I would have snapped that thing in half on several occasions. Here is a good example, if you die on a boss, then you have to start at the beginning of the level and all of the enemies you killed will be back. Oh yeah you better believe it.
The currency in the game is called souls. After defeating any enemy you will be awarded souls, but if you die you will lose all of your souls. After dying once, you have a chance to go back and claim all the souls you lost, but if you die a second time without claiming the souls you lost the first time, then they are lost.
Something you probably haven’t heard about Demon’s Souls is that it is one of the best looking games out on the PS3 system. This game is absolutely gorgeous, and it uses its graphic prowess to both dazzle you eyes and make your stomach turn. At times you’ll be looking off into a distant landscape and see the detailed rolling hills, and other times you’ll be trapped in a maggot filled hole covered in flies and you’ll contract a plague. This game is not for the faint of heart.
I have to reiterate that to play Demon’s Souls you have to have patience. I quit the game on two occasions before I really got serious and started doing research online. Someone ill equipped, going into battle in Demon’s Souls will surely result in failure over and over again. It doesn’t mess around. It’s like going into finals week and trying to just wing it, you’re most likely going to fail, you should have been prepared mentally.
Demon’s Souls also was meant to be beaten several times, after your first completion of the game, you can begin again with all of your equipment and spells, but the enemies and bosses are much much harder. Also you have to unlock all of the spell teachers and blacksmiths again. This limits your ability to progress your character until you’ve gotten further in that specific playthrough.
There are some online features for Demon’s Souls too. You can summon a friend or two to help you with a level, or you can go invade someone else’s world and try to kill them and claim their souls
Really, what Demon’s Souls reminds me of is old NES games like Ghost & Goblins, and Ninja Gaiden. Those games were the best looking, way fun, tight controls, but they were also virtually impossible to beat. Go back and play you some Ghost & Goblins on the NES, that game was ridiculous. There were so many things that could go wrong, and in order to get anywhere in the gmae, you needed to memorize the pattern, pathing, and placement of every single enemy of every level. You practically had to map the whole level out in your head before even engaging it, and the only way you could map it out was by playing each level a million times. And those games had DEATH TIMERS!!(limited timer for each level) Demon’s Souls doesn’t have death timers, but oh man are you gonna die a ton anyway. I would say that if you got to the forth level in Ghost & Goblins, then you are the kind of gamer that should engage Demon’s Souls, everyone else should stay away.
As for me, I absolutely loved Demon’s Souls, and I found the challenge refreshing. After beating game after game after game with little to no challenge, and finding all these easy games not to be memorable and then they just blend together in my mind, Demon’s Souls stands out and I’ll likely never forget it.
Review by Pete March 16