Demon’s Souls Review
Demon’s Souls is probably the most frustrating, yet rewardingly epic, experience on the Playstation 3. There are many moments where players will want to chuck their controllers at the TV, but this game will still have them coming back for more. Demon’s Souls is one of those games that doesn’t come around very often and is a must have for fans of action and RPG games.
Demon’s Souls is a gorgeous game. The graphics are amazingly detailed and vibrant, bringing the world of Demon's Souls to life. The graphics also set different moods that reflect the different environments of the game. For example, the various lighting effects convey a dark and gloomy feel. This type of graphical artistry is unmatched compared to most modern video games. Player’s will be pulled into the world of Demon’s Souls and fill in the shoes of the characters they create.
In order to fill in the shoes of the many charcters in the world of Demon's Souls, players must take the time to create a character. This process includes customizing the character's physical attributes, such as the face, height, and weight. Once completed, players must select the character's class. Classes include knight, mage, and soldier. There is nothing really new here; the classes are pretty much standard in most RPGs. Once the player has their character, the visual and epic sounding adventure begins.
Sound plays a huge role in adding to the ambiance in the world of Demon's Souls. The game's sound design is one of the tantalizing aspects of this game, speaking to the senses of the player and engaging them in a third person quest and combat experience. The game is riddled with different sounds that keep gamers on their toes, such as the flapping of a demon's wings, the swing of a troll’s axe, or just the dead and eerie silence that drives players into a heightened sense of anticipation. Sound design is well complemented with a melancholic soundtrack that heightens the mood of the game.
The game's appeal isn’t limited to its graphics and sound. There are many unique features that set Demon’s Souls apart from most RPGs. As players die more frequently, a unique feature called "world tendency" slowly shifts from white to black, making enemies stronger and more numerous.
All games should look this good.
While this feature may seem unfair, the shift in world tendency will increase the rarity of items, thus rewarding the gamer while making the level more difficult. World tendency also affects how NPCs interact with players; certain characters require a fully white or black world tendency to appear. Each playthrough of Demon's Soul's offers a new experience for gamers.
While Demon’s Souls is a complex game, the controls are pretty basic and reminiscent of most action games. Attacks include basic sword slashes and thrusts, and a vast number of magic spells such as fireballs and lighting strikes. Interestingly, the game has a unique attribute system. Character’s can equip any weapon the player wants, but the character's attributes, such as strength, intelligence, and defense determines the effectiveness of the weapon. For example, a character's strength determines how hard that character can swing a weapon; if the sword is too heavy, the character will swing more slowly. These kinds of details are seen throughout the world of Demon’s Souls and require a great deal of understanding to make sure one’s characters are successful.
Epic Boss Battle
One of the more interesting features is soul mode, which players enter when their characters die. In soul mode, players must kill a boss to get their soul back. The player's character also loses half his health points (HP), making it more difficult to survive enemy attacks. Souls that have been collected from enemies are also lost upon death. Souls are used as currency within the game, upgrading weapons, and leveling up. If one were to die in the game, the player leaves a bloodstain. If the player were to return to the bloodstain, he or she can retain back all of the souls that have been lost. If the player were to die before reaching their respective bloodstain, however, then those souls will be lost, forcing players to start over from scratch. This can be very stressful especially if gamers had acquired many souls and had lost it because of a senseless mistake. This kind of unforgiving detail makes Demon’s Souls one of the most difficult games around.
Not limited to a single player experience like most RPGs, Demon’s Souls has its own unique online element. While the game isn’t a full fledge online experience, the game offers an interesting way it incorporates netplay into the game. For example, while connected to the Demon’s Souls server, players can see phantoms running around the player's home base, the Nexus, as well as the different levels. Players can leave random messages on the floor to warn other players of upcoming dangers. The phantoms are creepy in some ways because it feels like ghosts are watching the gamer and then disappearing randomly, but it adds to the overall mood of the game.
While online, there are also ways to contact the phantoms roaming around. If the gamer obtains a Blue Eye Stone, gamers can offer services in a cooperative fashion exploring dungeons and fighting bosses together. Not limited to a cooperative experience, Demon's Souls allows players to invade another person's game if they obtain a Black Eye Stone. By stalking others, players can even attempt to kill them in their own game. While the online features do not provide a traditional online experience, they do add to an already extensive single player campaign.
I have to fight that? No way!
Demon’s Souls is quite possibility the best RPG on the Playstation 3 and one of the best RPGs of 2009. Demon’s Souls is challenging, addictive, and just fun overall. Although this game is very punishing to gamers, players will end up coming back for more. There are many possible ways to play Demon's Souls and there are many surprises to be found throughout the game. The online component offers an interesting and unique experience not seen in any other game. Demon’s Souls brings a hardcore gamer everything he or she would want in a game and it is clear to anyone who owns a PS3; however, casual players will want to avoid this game like a plague.
4.5 Souls out of 5