After months of neglect, my copy of Demon’s Souls was left on my shelf gathering dust, but after watching the impressive Dark Souls 2 demo shown at E3 last week, I decided to give it another go. I last left the game battling a heavily armoured Black Phantom, one that kept destroying my armour and equipment. I was instantly reminded of my past failures so decided to mix up my strategy. So I just side stepped and stabbed him in the back a few times, it was that easy. After 15 attempts, one little change to my play style and I beat something that I thought I never will. That right there is Demon’s Souls in a nut shell.
Every encounter can kill you, every death can set you back over an hour of gameplay, but this time is not all lost. Every battle is a test, a study. Weak points are observed, rhythm and attack pattern noted. You are never at ease; you are always on the edge of your seat, your jaw clenched and shield raised, because around every corner, something is going to kill you.
Demon Soul’s is a hardcore RPG, it will test your patience, temper and will. It will crush your spirit time and time again, but it will always leave you hungry for more. The agonising defeats leave the rare victories all the sweeter. It is impossible to just sit still after defeating a boss; you will literally jump around the room and shout profanities at your TV. Well, that’s what I do anyway.
The way you play is entirely up to you. Use heavy armour and large weapons, attacking head on, moving slow but dealing heavy damage. Or use smaller weapons and light armour and move around your foe and attack it’s blind side. These styles are not set in stone, as your play style will switch up as you experiment and try to find the way you want to play.
Another high point of praise is the world around you. The story in Demon’s Souls isn’t forced on you, it isn’t even told to you. You are left to put the pieces together from the things you see and the people you encounter. The characters each have their own reason for being where they are, their own tale and you can decide to help or completely ignore them. Again, it is entirely up to you.
If When you are killed, you are resurrected in soul form. While in this form your health is limited. To resurrect you can defeat the nearest demon, use a Stone (if you can find one) or delve into the unique multiplayer. You can join up with other players and help them progress through the story and defeat demons to collect souls. Or you can invade another player’s world and attack them, resurrecting yourself if you are successful. While resurrected however you can be invaded, so again, you must always be ready.
If you missed the series when it first came out like I did, I highly encourage you to pick it up. It is without a doubt a must have for any RPG fan. Demon Soul’s is currently free with this months PlayStation Plus, and with Battlefield 3 and Payday: The Heist coming next month, now is the time to subscribe.
Right, I’m off to start Dark Souls.