Demon’s Souls… Before the Dark Souls series grew the popularity it has today, there was Demon’s Souls on the PS3. I didn’t personally know a single person that enjoyed Demon’s Souls, but for me, it was a perfect fit. I didn’t mind dying repeatedly to learn my lessons and figure out how the game works. I sunk many hours into the original and the remake had managed to suck me back in.
Demon’s Souls is just as it sounds. You are the slayer of Demons and other unruly creatures that need to be eradicated in order to bring peace and safety to the land of Boletaria once again. This is no simple task and this is no simple game. It is riddled with challenges and secrets that will call for a second, third or fourth playthrough, but this game is not for the faint of heart.
Developer Bluepoint, has recreated the cult classic and they did do an excellent job keeping it true to its roots, but I am going to get this out of the way now. My personal opinion in regards to it being a PS5 exclusive, is that it really doesn’t live up to what I would expect from a next gen release. It is definitely a step up in regards to playability and graphically when compared to it’s PS3 predecessor, but feels like it would have been a better fit for the PS4 system and played with backward compatibility on the PS5.
The game features a choice between fidelity and performance mode. I didn’t honestly see any difference in the graphics when playing on fidelity mode, but I did see a difference in gameplay when using performance mode. I highly recommend performance mode when playing. If there is any value to fidelity mode, it doesn’t compare to perks of performance when it comes to faster/consistent frame rates.
The cinematics are excellent and very polished in detail. Watching a cutscene is generally short and is really where the next gen feeling comes in. When playing the game, it is nice to look at, but at the same time, it does again, look like a game that was released a few years ago. I know, I know, graphics don’t make up an entire game, but we can’t mention a PS5 exclusive without mentioning the graphics and being a PS5 exclusive makes the graphics a tad bit more important than usual this time.
In regards to audio, I have to say that not all of the sound effects lineup in the game. Audio is a huge part of immersion and I really expected to hear something special from this game. I felt like some of the sound effects had a delay. The sound of my footsteps would continue for a second after I stopped walking. The sound of an enemy groaning or breathing heavily would make it appear as if they were right beside you, when in fact they were quite a ways away. When getting closer to said enemies, the sound effect range stayed the same. I expected that the closer I got to the enemies, the louder the sound would be. The immersion of the audio was clearly overlooked and that’s too bad, because it could really make this game a much better experience, but the music is good, so there’s that.
Multiplayer is both a blessing and curse in Demon’s Souls. If you’re having trouble with a level or a boss, you can call in the help of a friendly phantom that is controlled by a real human player or AI. They can help you navigate the level or simply wipe out a boss for you while you hang back and sling a few arrows to be safe. On the other hand, you also risk being invaded by a black phantom. Likely controlled by a human player, black phantoms one want thing and that is to see you die by their hands. That is their mission and they will invade you at any given time. They can often be quite a handful and many of them thrive on killing other players, so be prepared for that.
The story telling in Demon’s Souls is fun and interesting, but you really have to pay attention to the cinematics and what the characters say to you while you play. As the story that is being told is also being told through you. You are living the story and it is a really great way to experience it. Simply put, it’s as if you were to awake in a strange land and you have no idea what the hell is going on, so what do you do? Well, I would think you would look for beings to speak with and fill you in. Search for clues and figure out where you are, how you go there and what it is needed to do next. Is it destiny? Maybe.
All in all, the Demon’s Souls remake is a good title that fills a nostalgic void I needed to fill. No, this game is not for everybody, but it is something that everyone should try to see if it is a fit. As a remake that is exclusive on the PS5, I have to give Demon’s Souls an 8 out 10. The game is much smoother than the original PS3 title, but the score 8 comes solely from the work the original developers at FromSoftware put into this game and the extra 2 points were docked for the work put in by Bluepoint. I know this sounds like I give no credit to Bluepoint, because they are a talented group of developers, but they didn’t create the game, they remade it. It is highly functional and I loved it. If I were to give it a biased score, it would be a 10 out of 10 and if you didn’t like my opinion, I would tell you to “Get Good.”
All in all, I highly recommend anyone to try Demon’s Souls that hasn’t and for the veterans to go back and play it again, but don’t go in playing this based on the fact it is a PS5 exclusive. That is where you will be let down. I love the game regardless, but I am trying to give a fair point of view. Thanks for reading and I will see you, online!