Demon’s Souls – The PS3 Attitude Review
Demon’s Souls was released in Japan towards the beginning of the year and was met with great success, hailed as one of the best PS3 RPGs to date. Set in the fictional kingdom of Boletaria, you play as one of the ten classes of heroes as you set off to rid the kingdom of this mysterious black fog that has surrounded its outskirts.
Hidden within its depths are demons who feast on the souls of all who enter. Only the brave shall set out on this deadly quest to slay the demon lord, the Old One, and return peace to the kingdom. Be prepared as it is a tough journey ahead…
Starting with the intro sequence, you come to realize the epic proportions of this game. The eerie and booming music that plays during it reiterates the fact that you are a tiny ant in a massive world filled with demons, dragons, and all sorts of monsters.
Players can choose between ten classes of characters, each with their own unique stats and equipment. There is the Knight, Priest, Thief, Magician, Temple Knight, Soldier, Wanderer, Barbarian, Royal, and Hunter. Choose wisely as this will be your character throughout the entire game. Aside from picking your own class, you can customize the looks of your character however you like, from their gender, to their facial expressions. The options are almost endless and you can spend almost an hour simply making your character and not even fight a single demon yet.
The Nexus is the central hub of Boletaria. This is where you’ll conduct all your business transactions and warp from battlefield to battlefield. Here you can purchase and upgrade weapons, take a load off by depositing items with the locals, and even boost your stats; all within walking distance. It comes at a price though, the price of your souls!
Souls are what make the world go round. Every enemy you defeat nets your precious souls; the larger the demon, the greater the gain. These souls can then be used as currency and traded for items, weapons, and upgrades. The tricky part is gathering enough souls to be able to afford some of the pricier items later in the game.
Unlike most games, should you end up on the sharp side of a sword, you will lose all the souls collected, leaving your pockets empty and your hopes of that golden dragon sword crushed. Thankfully you have the chance of regaining these lost souls buy returning to the spot of your death and touching your own bloodstain. This adds a whole new layer of decision making. Do you proceed to the next area, knowing of the dangers ahead or do you return to the Nexus and spend your souls before you lose them? Decisions, decisions.
Speaking of death, it doesn’t truly exist in the game. There are two main forms in which your body can be in; Soul form and Revived form. When you ‘die’ your soul leaves you, resulting in less heath when you return. There are also certain stone that you can only use while in Soul form. In order to return to your Revived form, a large amount of souls must be gathered at once, meaning you’ll have to take down only of the level bosses in order to do so. There are also a few items that can return you to live, usable at any moment.
Gameplay is constantly in real time. There are no pause screens so if you want to take a bathroom break, better find a safe spot where you’ll be out of harm’s way. Equipping weapons and using items all takes place on the battlefield so have everything prepared before you rush in to a fight. The D-pad comes in handy for quick access to up to four weapons and five items. Be careful though, if you cycle past an item, you’ll have to go though the rest before you get back to the one you want, costing you valuable seconds in battle.
There is a massive variety of monsters and demons that you will face as you trek across Boletaria. From the big to the small, each have different fighting techniques needed to send them to their watery grave. The scale of Demon’s Souls is absolutely amazing. Exploring the vast countryside or dark caverns is can have you playing for hours, only to find out that you’ve unlocked only a portion of the kingdom.
That being said, the game can be rather difficult, especially towards the beginning when your weapons and stats aren’t the best. Be prepared to die…a lot. Another thing is that you can tackle the different levels in any order that you choose. You’ll quickly find out that you’re either not strong enough or haven’t reached the right point in the game on the levels that are too much for you. This forces you to do a lot of trial and error before you actually make any headway in the game.
If you tire of the usual monsters, there are a few multiplayer modes available to choose from at any moment. Players may invade each other’s world in the form of Phantoms and either assist or hunt them. Using a Blue Eye stone, players can team up to take down some of the stronger demons. If you use a Black Eye stone, however, you can enter another player’s world to hunt them down and steal their souls by killing them. While it’s great to have multiplayer, it’s not that viable to the game. Finding another person to join can be a pain as you have to look for different colored signs on the ground or place one of your own. It then becomes a waiting game in which you might or might not find someone.
It’s highly suggested that you read the manual for this game. If not, you might be left not learning spells till halfway through the game or not know where to go to level up your characters stats. At first, the grand scale of things might seem daunting but eventually, you’ll get the hang of how things work.
Demon’s Souls is an RPG lover’s paradise. The expansive world and the treasures it holds will keep anyone occupied for many hours to come. The game is what you make of it. You decide where you want to go and what you want to do.