Do you want to play something that will never give you a rest; never let you relax even when you most need it? Did you play Dark Souls but thought it was a bit easy in the end? Then you should try Demon’s Souls, the “spiritual” predecessor to Dark Souls. Quite many features are the same between the games, with some notable differences. It is a dark game, set in a dark world, but there are anyway spots of color that stand out.
Old but doesn’t feel old
Demon’s Souls came out two years ago (almost three years ago in some parts of the world), but I never got the chance to play it before. That is 100% due to I didn’t own a PS3 until a few weeks ago! If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I really liked the “sequel” Dark Souls, a lot! Demon’s Souls does not feel old at all, even I if played the sequel for more than 100 hours.
As in some games, the story is not the main thing in Demon’s Souls. Sure, there is a dark, fantasy story surrounding the happenings in the game, but you can play most of it without caring too much about the story. Actually, there are too few clues and story sometimes. I don’t need an elaborate story with deep character portraits in this game, but just putting the character in the game world and let the character try around is a bit too much. It doesn’t add so much to the difficulty (that is in the action/fighting and puzzle parts), it mostly add confusion and annoyance.
The game world is built up around a connection/way point area called the Nexus, where you return to when you die and when you want to go to other areas of the world. In the Nexus there are six “teleporting” points which somehow puts you in different areas of the world.
I’m not too fond of this approach, since it does not give me a feeling of playing an interconnected world. Instead it makes me feel I play one part of the world that is totally separated from the other parts. In Dark Souls all parts of the world were interconnected with shortcuts, bridges and gates that were opened during the progression of the game. But, since Dark Souls IS the “sequel” to this game, I guess they learned their lesson and improved it in Dark Souls.
You don’t want to play this game if you cannot stand unforgiving difficulty! At times it can be quite easy, but just let a few too many bad guys surround you and you are done for! Even the weakest enemies can cause a serious threat if they caught you of guard or one too many of them against you. This is the beauty of this game; you can NEVER let your guard down or relax. It is a wonderful feeling (believe it or not), to explore new areas and never know when someone will pop out of the dark and give you a serious pounding!
To be able to handle these threats you have to master the controls. The enemies are usually very quick and never make any mistake; so you also have to play at a very high level all the time. It has happened to me many times, that I was just looting around a bit, wanted to stock up on some healing herbs, but then SMASH! you are dead!
Compared to Dark Souls it is more uneven when talking about difficulty. For example at one area a dragon came and spewed fire across a walkway; if you were not awaiting this you will be scorched to pieces. But then on the other side, I met a boss, I think called Armored Spider or something like that, and I beat it in my second try. I think that never happened in Dark Souls, at least not in the early parts of the game. Don’t be turned down by this though, most of the game is very hard!
Demon’s Souls is a nice looking game, with cool effects and a smooth looking game world. They have created a dark, heavy feeling in the game. It makes you feel you are really alone and it is a long, tough and rough way to go! The sound is also good, accompanying the moves and blows you deal. Although when some of the NPC speak, the voice acting is not the best. This again comes back to the story part of the game; they haven’t spent too much on it. But again, this is nothing you care too much about in a game like this.
A bit uneven on the difficulty part, compared to Dark Souls. I also miss the big, interconnected world that most games have. Here you instead have a Nexus connecting the different world parts, giving the areas a more separated feeling. Although, I have to say I haven’t played more than around 11 hours, so later on in the game there might come some connection points between the areas.
It is a cool game that will give you some great challenges. I haven’t seen any real puzzles yet though, this far most challenges have been fighting-wise. To conclude, if you want a tough challenge with a Dark Souls-esque feeling (the control and layout is very similar between the games) you should surely check out Demon’s Souls!
- Platform(s): Playstation 3
- Developer: From Software
- Version: Release
- Release date: 25 June 2010
- Extremely rewarding difficulty
- Cool, dark fantasy world