Game Review: “Demon’s Souls”

ids, today, I want to tell you the story about how your father met a video-game. Not just any video-game either. A special video-game, one with the utmost of class, not like all the other video-game sluts. I want to tell you the story of how I met Demon’s Souls. For those that aren’t aware, Demon’s Souls is an action role-playing video-game developed by From Software with assistance offered by SCE Japan Studio. The video-game was released exclusively for the PlayStation 3, unlike the eventual successors to the franchise. Demon’s Souls has the same controls that Dark Souls would have later on, a much more popular video-game and spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, and a lot of the same elements.

I remember when I first bought this game. I wasn’t really expecting anything too much. It looked fun, but really, I bought it because it was cheap. I remembered playing Dark Souls earlier in the year and it not leaving much of an impression on me. (I eventually played it again after beating Demon’s Souls.) I expected for Demon’s Souls to be a fun experience that I wouldn’t remember after a week. The result was admittedly a little different.

The game has a minimalistic story, in that, it tries to enunciate every one of its storytelling elements in a quiet way that enables it to be heard as louder. In other-words, it’s a less is more approach. It’s one of the my favorite parts about this game. Set in a dark-fantasy world, the player takes control of a nameless hero that is working to dissipate the unsettling fog engulfing the kingdom of Boletetaria.

The fog attracts demons, and so, it has to go, … we were all a little, ahem, misty eyed about it.

Demon’s Souls doesn’t have a needless amount of quests, there are some little things, but nothing particularly bothersome. The experience is mostly a straight-up dungeon dweller where you work off your wits, or grind for experience when your wits aren’t enough. There are five worlds to choose from, and they each have individual creatures scurrying about them, along with around four boss-battles each. In-retrospect, the game’s landscape isn’t very large, but because of the difficulty, the experience can reach well-over twenty hours. The difficulty is something that I especially liked about the game, because contrary to popular belief, it isn’t ridiculously hard. Rather, I think I would simply regard it as challenging. There are certainly moments that are a little scruffy, but ultimately, most obstacles can be overcome with patience, skill, or by simply building up your character. If you can keep yourself from rage-quitting, it’s really worth it with the game-play. The controls are very different from other role-playing games. This is an example of a video-game that implements challenge without it being at the game-play’s expense.

I felt like I was playing a more sophisticated hack-in-slash because of how quick-paced the fighting could become, but then, at a second’s notice, everything could slowdown and you could be put on the defensive. There’s a lot of weaponry, armor, and magic that you will come across to enhance your experience if you are into that kind-of thing. Personally, I used a level-upped scimitar and the thief’s clothes that I started with for the entirety of the game.

The graphics in this game are also masterfully implemented in a way that seemed incredibly dark and grunge, but yet, at the same time, it conveys a mystical innocence about it. It doesn’t seem darkly-toned in the same way that Dante’s Inferno seems dark, but seems dark in a Tim Burton kind-of way. While the world isn’t necessarily huge, it is considerably big, and what we do have is beautifully-colored.

As far as criticisms go, I only have one or two, I didn’t like how my sword broke into pieces after merely a couple of strikes. I would have to go to the blacksmith and fix it constantly. It isn’t because of my sword because I tried switching around. Also, more importantly, after you beat the game, the story resets itself and you get the chance to replay the game with all of your experience, weaponry, and so on.

However, for me, it meant that in-order for me to get to the dragon that needs to be killed for one of my remaining trophies, is hidden until I get to the end of the game again. I didn’t think about it before because I thought after beating the last-boss that I would be able to go back and finish that off. That was admittedly a tad nerve-racking.

In conclusion, it’s an extremely fun and engaging story filled with interesting scenery and necessary challenge. It’s  disappointing to think that it was an exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and that so many didn’t have the opportunity to experience it. And kids, that’s really the gist of it.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0