I have been trying my best with Demon’s Souls, but it has turned quite dull, almost boring at times. It is of course very exciting to explore new areas and meet different demons and challenges, but after the 20th time you know what will happen and that does not add to the suspense…
The world of Demon’s Souls is a bit on the colorless side. Don’t get me wrong here, I love dark games, but this game more lacks color and variation than it is dark. Many areas are quite similar, inside castles, dungeons, prisons; but even the outside areas have a bleak atmosphere that make them look similar to each other. A few games can have repetitive areas and still be great, but a game that relies on visuals like Demon’s Souls need more variation in the environments and layouts of the levels.
Bad level design
One thing I almost laughed out loud at when I saw was a message I got when trying to enter a new area. I beat a boss called Tower Knight and I thought, “cool, now I can proceed to the next part of this level”, but when I tried to enter the fog (which cover entrances to new areas) it said something like “You have to beat an arch deamon before you can proceed”.
The bad thing in this is not that I could not proceed, but the way the “stop” has been implemented. It would have been so much more logic to put up a huge, locked door with a gigantic lock. Then I would have understood that I have to search for that key. There could even been a message “You need the arch deamon’s key to proceed”. Invisible walls are the worst design thing/feature in games, especially First/Third person games where you are (more or less) free to roam. Just put up a bl***y door, wall, river or something, as long as it is a real, physical barrier!
What made this message in Demon’s Souls so bad was that normally you can enter these fogs after beating a boss, and they just put up a message with some reason that you cannot enter it now. It could have been done so much better, at least in my eyes…
I don’t need to much of a story to play a game, but Demon’s Souls loose world gives no feeling of connectivity or relatedness between the events in the world. Why is there a “teleportation” hub instead of roads between the different worlds; that would have made much more sense.
In Dark Souls more or less the whole world is connected through pathways, gates or other systems or travel. This gives you a feeling that you are playing in the same world, even if it is huge and some areas are more remote than others.
The difficulty is the saver
Not all is bad in Demon’s Souls though, otherwise I wouldn’t play it at all. Most of these “complaints” are based on comparisons with Dark Souls (see more below) and a really great thing that this game still have, is the difficulty; a difficulty that let you succeed if you play everything right, but if you take one step wrong, then you are, literally, dead. This is a big reason I come back to this game; “I have to beat this part / puzzle / enemy / abomination!”
Dark Souls, preferable
I played Dark Souls before I played Demon’s Souls, that can of course play a role. Perhaps I expect that Demon’s Souls should live up to the greatness of Dark Souls, but unfortunately that have not happened yet. I have played around 20 hours of Demon’s Souls but have not reached any cool area or vile creature that can compare to the greatness of the game world and the inhabitants of Dark Souls.
I will surely play through the whole game anyway, and hopefully it will “take off” soon, to impress me in the same way as Dark Souls did. Currently crossing my fingers for a third installment in this game series; please make it happen soon!!