Title: Demon’s Souls.
RELEASE DATE: 2020.
Console (played on): Playstation 5.
Mode(s): Single-Player and Online Multiplayer.
GENRE(S): ACTION, Adventure, fantasy.
Developer: Bluepoint Games.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Director(s): Gavin Moore.
Producer(s): Teruyuki Toriyama.
Designer(s): Howard Tang, Sho Akimoto, Yoshimi Eguchi, Masashi Kudo, Kenji Tokumaru
Programmer(s): Toshitake Tsuchikura.
Artist(s): Puh, Adam Rehmann & Mark Skelton.
Composer(s): Shunsuke Kida.
Voice Actor(s): Evetta Muradasilova, Ella Funnell-Dale, Peter Marinker, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
Sometimes I wonder if I might not have some kind of deep-rooted masochistic personality. No, not the kind that involves any physical harm. The kind that occurs strictly on a psychological level. More often than not, I find myself adoring challenges that life throws my way but to also go to great lengths to self-inflict psychological pain by establishing self-created challenges that no one in their right mind would put themselves through. Back in 2009, developer FromSoftware created under the supervision of Japan Studio what turned out to be the beginning of the Souls games, the first one being Dark Souls. These games, reminiscent of classic video games back in the day, challenged players to insanely difficult world-roaming adventures that heavily relied on their skills, their patience, and their perseverance to complete the game. As part of the PlayStation 5 launch title catalog, developer Bluepoint Games remastered the critically-acclaimed game into what turns out to be once again another masterpiece.
What is Demon’s Souls about? Set in the kingdom of Boletaria, the world was once attacked by an entity known as the Old One who misused magic called the Soul Arts only to plunge everything in a magical Deep Fog with soul-eating demons. It is only when the Old One was put to sleep that the remained parts of Boletaria were spared and survivors known as Monumentals lived to warn future generations of the evil that resides in a profound slumber. In present times, the ruler Boletaria King Allant restored the Soul Arts and awakened the Old One and his evil army, leaving all hopes for the world to survive in an adventurer who unfortunately suffers a tragic death that sends him to the Nexus. This is where you meet the Maiden in Black who tasks the player to visit all five regions of Boletaria to kill terrifying and powerful demons and free those realms of demons and increase their own power to face King Allant.
With a solid history of delivering successful remakes of beloved classic games, developer Bluepoint Games achieves another stunning project with Demon’s Souls. Remaining incredibly true to the original game, their subtle gameplay changes (notably through the inclusion of useful items that help complexify the healing mechanics) are a welcome addition to this purely technical remaster that fully profits from the PlayStation 5’s graphical powers and features, especially with its 4k resolution, 60 frames per second display, and the DualSense controller’s haptic functionalities. With the integrated photo mode, gamers are also offered the chance to stop, gaze, and photograph various regions of this fundamentally cruel world filled with breathtaking landscapes, horrifying creatures, and deadly surprises.
Similar to the original game, the gameplay remains intact in the sense that players still navigate through all five worlds through the Nexus and try to beat bosses at each level (around 3 each) before meeting the final boss. The game also maintains its exhilaratingly challenging yet beautifully frustrating combat mechanics that invite players to be timely in their attacks, dodges, and item management. However, no one should go into this game thinking that the learning curve is easy. Au contraire. This game is the living embodiment of a challenge, and caution and patience are needed at every step of the way if they are to survive the journey.
It is a lesson quickly learned that death is an integral learning function to a player’s progression. In fact, through each level, death will send players back to the starting point with every creature, except defeated bosses, respawned while also leaving your character in their soul form with reduced health and stamina. It’s all about learning from your mistakes and doing better each time. To slightly reduce the challenge, an online multiplayer option allows players to summon or enter other players’ worlds to help beat the bosses of each level. Unfortunately, attempting the multiplayer option also opens up your world to other players who can invade to try and kill you or the host and send you back to your world in your soul form.
While this latest remake is a gem for veteran players who have gone through the torment of playing the original game on the PlayStation 3, it remains significantly more accessible to newer gamers intrigued by this classic and ready to embrace death in the Souls games as its refined graphics and mechanics makes it distinguishably addictive and appealing. Shunsuke Kida’s score for this game, remade in his style, is also exquisite and immersive from start to finish. There isn’t a moment throughout this game where you won’t have the hair on your backs raise in awe and thrill before the game pulls you back to its virtual reality only to suffer a frustrating death. As previously mentioned, this game demands perseverance and patience from players but also significant strategizing, whether it’s to solve the in-world puzzles, to defeat monsters, or outsmart bosses, if they are to overcome the countless bosses ready to obliterate you. One thing’s for sure. Once you beat a boss, you won’t ever find anything in life more satisfying. Trust me.
Demon’s Souls (2020) is a breathtaking remake capturing the immersive, exquisite, and deadly world that introduced fans to the Souls games.