Demon’s Souls is a remake of the PlayStation 3 classic from 2009. Originally developed by FromSoftware, Bluepoint Games has rebuilt the game from the ground up and enhanced it to make use of the PlayStation 5’s power. When it comes to Demon’s Souls, you either love it or hate it—there is no inbetween.
The game was designed to be difficult and to be honest, there are times that you will want to rip your hair out in frustration. Strangely enough, it’s this same difficulty that draws gamers into the game. It’s the challenge and sense of accomplishment you feel that makes Demon’s Souls so addicting.
Let’s take a look at why Bluepoint Games’ remake of Demon’s Souls is one of the best PS5 launch games.
Demon’s Souls Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5
Developer(s): SIE Worldwide Studios, Bluepoint Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action, Role-playing game
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Become the slayer of demons
If you are unfamiliar with the story of Demon’s Souls, it can be difficult to understand at first. There is a lot going on, so it’s easy to get confused. Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria, once consumed by fog and soul-eating demons created from an ancient demon known as the Old One. After many attempts, the Old One was eventually lulled into an eternal slumber.
Many years have now passed and King Allant, the 12th King of Boletaria, has reawakened the Old One by channeling the ancient Soul Arts. Boltaria is once again covered in fog and the land filled with nightmarish creatures hungry for human souls. Those whose souls were stripped from them, lost their minds—left only with the desire to attack the sane that remained.
Within a matter of minutes of first starting the game, you are killed and wake up in the Nexus. Bound to the Nexus until the Old One is lulled back to sleep, you must travel to five regions of Boletaria to kill the demons controlling the regions and absorb their souls.
Master the arts of sorcery and war
Initially, Demon’s Souls‘ gameplay is quite overwhelming. If you have never played a game in the series before, be prepared to die and die some more. After creating your character and customizing it, you are thrown into the game with little to no explanation outside of basic combat moves. After plenty of trial and error, you eventually learn that timing of your weapon strikes, blocks and stamina management are core gameplay elements in the game.
Different weapon types allow for a variety of combat options and also affect your character’s speed. Defeating enemies allows you to acquire their Souls, which act as a currency of sorts allowing you to purchase new items as well as raise your character’s stats. If there is one thing to be told about Demon’s Souls, it is that success only comes through trial and error.
Even when you know what exactly to do, expect to replay levels multiple times before making it to the end. And, each time you die, you are sent back to the beginning of the level with all non-boss enemies re-spawned, a lower max health level, loss of unused souls and changed to soul form.
Demon’s Souls make use of asynchronous multiplayer when your PS5 is online. This means that while you are playing, you’ll sometimes see “ghost” versions of players in the same area that may reveal hidden passages or switches. Bloodstains can be found throughout the game and allow you to see a player’s final moments. You’ll get a glimpse of how that person died and help you avoid the same fate. Additionally, players can leave messages on the floor with trap locations, tips for enemies or bosses. Be weary though, sometimes these tips can be misleading and lead to death.
Stunning visual quality
Bluepoint Games did an amazing job with Demon’s Souls on PS5, the game screams next-gen. From the moment you first fire up Demon’s Souls, the improved visuals and performance are instantly noticeable. The entire world of Demon’s Souls comes alive and each world has been reimagined to a staggering degree.
By default the game runs at 60 frames-per-second, which makes for wonderfully fluid combat. You also have the option to play at 4K 30 frames-per-second, which looks and feels fantastic in its own right. Without a doubt, Demon’s Souls is “a feast for the senses” as the DualSense controller allows you to feel every clang of your sword, lowering of platforms, and the feel of cogs and chains.
It brings the world around you to life like no previous console could. Additionally, the game makes excellent use of 3D audio. Playing using my Pulse 3D wireless headphones, I could hear enemies all around me. It made it easier to pinpoint where my enemies were coming from and allow me to prepare.
However, not everything was hunky-dory. There were some issues I encountered with the camera in the game, specifically in narrow corridors. On several occasions, I had issues trying to get the camera centered correctly to see my enemies. As a result, this led to several deaths and starting the level all over again.
Summon allies to aid you in your fight
Demon’s Souls features online cooperative play but it doesn’t work the same way most online multiplayer games do. Multiplayer is initiated by using a Blue Eye Stone, which allows you to join another player, or by activating a summon sign that allows for another player to join you. Naturally, there are conditions behind the Blue Eye Stone and summon sign. To use a Blue Eye Stone, you must be in Soul Form and using a summon sign requires you to be in Human Form.
If you want to play with friends, Demon’s Souls has a password matchmaking option that makes it easier to play with a friend. With the password requirement enabled, you’ll only see summon signs for friends who entered the same password. Confused yet? I certainly was. Any progress you make while summoned to another player’s game does not translate to your game. This means, if you beat a boss in a friends game, they’ll still be waiting once you return to your realm.
Demon’s Souls retains the feel of the original and is brought up to date with modern visuals and sounds
Bluepoint Games has done a phenomenal job bringing Demon’s Souls to the PlayStation 5. They have successfully retained the feel of the original game on PS3 and brought it up to date with modern visuals and sounds. The same addicting gameplay and notorious difficulty is here in all its glory.
Without a doubt, Demon’s Souls looks and feels absolutely amazing. If you’re a Souls fan and never had a chance to play back on PS3, there is no better way to play Demon’s Souls than on PS5. For those that played the first time around, the visual improvements alone make Demon’s Souls on PS5 come alive like never before and is enough reason to jump back in.
Demon’s Souls is such a massive game that I feel like I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface. As a result, this is a review in progress of the game. There is so much to see, do and discover within the game. If I was to do it all, it would probably be February before my review was done. Finally, if this is your first game in the Souls series, I highly recommend using a strategy guide. As you can see, progressing through the game isn’t as straightforward as it seems and a strategy guide goes a long way in helping.
+ Beautiful next-gen graphics
+ Faithful to the orignal with modern updates
+ Great use of DualSense controller and 3D audio
+ Incredible amount of content included
+ Challenging, yet rewarding gameplay
– Insane difficulty spikes
– Gameplay mechanics are not properly explained
– Camera issues in tight corridors
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF DEMON’S SOULS
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5