If you're anything like me you hate when games play unfair. There's almost nothing I find more frustrating than when I die because the game made an unfair move. Demon's Souls is not an unfair game. Yes, it is really difficult, and unforgiving. But don't let you think for a minute that the game ever tries a cheap move. Everything about this game feels so right, there's nothing quite like it. Demon's Souls is incredibly innovative, rewarding, immersive, and fun. The most difficult thing I found about Demon's Souls was putting the game down. This is one of the best games of this generation, and one that must be played to be believed.
There really isn't much of a main story in Demon's Souls. The game opens up with your character being summoned by the mysterious Maiden in Black to help get rid of the demons that have taken over Boletaria. While the main story doesn't have a lot of depth on its own, there is a lot of interesting side stories hidden around Boletaria. But discovering these stories will be no easy task, because you will have to explore the dark worlds of Boletaria.
Hidden stories aren't the only thing in the dark worlds of Boletaria. There are five worlds overall, and each world has plenty of secrets to discover. Each world has quite a few deadly enemies waiting for their chance to take your life. There is a good variety of enemies, so it's always a deadly delight to walk around the corner to see what you'll discover. The variety ranges from skeletons, undead, gargoyles, dragons and much more to always keep you on your toes.
If you've never played Demon's Souls, you're probably wondering what makes exploring these worlds and fighting these beasts so difficult? Demon's Souls takes lessons from RPGs of the past. There's no regenerating health, no regenerating magic, and almost all enemies can always take a good chunk of health with each hit. The game’s tutorial only takes the time to explain the controls. Beyond the tutorial, you're left to discover much on your own.
All this may sound difficult, and it is. You will die, and you'll die a lot. When you die you keep your weapons and armor, and other items, but you restart at the beginning of the level. The thing that will make you go out of your way to live is souls. Souls are the most valuable thing in Demon's Souls. Souls are your currency, and you'll need to buy items and level up. You can only get souls from defeating demons. When you die, you leave a blood stain that carries your souls. If you get to souls without dying, you can recover them and you'll get those souls back, plus whatever souls you picked up on the way. But if you die on your way to your blood stain, it's gone for good.
Now all this sounds like a recipe for frustration, well it isn't. While the game is difficult, it always plays fair. The controls work perfectly, so everything you try to do is exactly what happens on screen. The combat feels so tight, so when you do take down a tough demon, you feel like you've earned it. As a result Demon's Souls is one of the most rewarding games to have been released in years.
Demon's Souls is not only one of the most rewarding games in years, but it's also one of the most atmospheric. While the graphics aren't a technical stunner, everything has a very crisp and gloomy look to it. Things don't only look sinister, they also sound sinister. The sound fits the game perfectly; music rarely plays allowing you to take in all the sounds of the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. You'd be surprised at how creepy it feels when you hear footsteps on the other side of a door you've never entered.
Demon's Souls does more than looks and sounds to suck you in. In Demon's Souls you have two forms, soul and body. When you die you go into soul form, and in soul form you have only half of your full health. In body form you have your full health, but that's not the only benefit to being in body form.
In body form you have the ability to summon up to two players who are in soul form as blue phantoms. But there's no backing out into a menu and inviting another player who's in soul form, the players that are in soul form have to drop a soul mark, which any player in body form who's around your level can see it, and summon you. So playing co-op in Demon's Souls doesn't take you out of the game at all. Never taking you out of the game allows you to always be immersed in the world, and playing with other people in Demon's Souls is a lot of fun, and one of the best parts of the game.
Helping other players isn't the only way to play with others in Demon's Souls. Once you hit a certain point you can invade other player's games, or be invaded. Once you invade another player's game, nether you or the other player can quit the game. One of the players has to die before ether of you can leave that world. This means when you're invading another player's game your whole goal is to kill them. Demons will not attack the invader, which means the invader has the advantage. Being invaded in Demon's Souls is one of the most terrifying and exciting experiences in a game there is.
The way you interact with players doesn't end there. There are also a few small but effective ways besides going into another player's world. You can leave notes for other players to read, to ether warn them or give them a tip to help them get around what's next. If the note is helpful, you can rate the note. If it isn't you just leave it alone and as long as no one rates that note, it will disappear quickly. You also see phantoms of other players as they play in their game. Seeing them may warn you have an ambush or trap ahead. On top of all that, you can see the bloodstains of other players, viewing the bloodstain will let you see the last ten seconds of that player's life, which can be extremely helpful.
There's never a point in Demon's Souls where you're given a direct choice, but there are plenty of opportunities to affect the lives of the people left in Boletaria. Making these choices will affect your character tendency. There is white and black tendency. You get white tendency from helping others, and you get black tendency for harming them. White tendency can make things easier for you, and black tendency can make things more difficult. Making these choices also affects the world tendency, but those only affect the world you're in. There are benefits to both black and white tendency, but I'd be doing you a disservice spoiling for you what they are.
For every demon in a world, there is always one powerful demon in each you'll need to kill to move on. These serve as the boss fights in Demon's Souls, and they’re easily one of the highlights of Demon's Souls. The bosses in Demon's Souls are challenging, intense and often terrifying. Taking down these demons are extremely satisfying, and very memorable. Defeating these demons gives you a ton of souls, a demon soul, and it opens up the next level in a world for you to explore. So while these bosses can be very challenging, it's extremely rewarding.
Demon's Souls isn't perfect, there are slight problems with the camera and the lock-on. Sometimes you need to point the camera right at the enemy to lock on, and the camera is a bit loose, causing the only moments you can blame the game for your death. The difficulty may be a bit steep for some players, so if you don't have a lot of patience, you may not survive long enough to truly enjoy the game. But I still recommend everyone to still give this game a try.
Even with flaws, this is an amazing game. Everything in Demon's Souls is so good, so fun and so rewarding that the flaws hardly even matter. This is easily one of the most unique games on today's market. It's also one of the best. So if have yet to plunge into the dark lands of Boletaria, take this opportunity to play one of the best games of this generation. Demon's Souls is a game that must be played to be believed.