Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls Review for PS3

On: PS3

A new PS3 RPG featuring demons.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Demon's Souls screenshot
Demon's Souls screenshot

At the beginning of the game you pick a starting class – soldier, hunter, thief etc. – though these are more like guidelines than rigid templates: stats can be funnelled into any area you wish, and no class is denied access to any of the game’s equipment. Most of us will just pick the knight anyway, as he looks awesome and is on the front cover of the box.

Combat is weighty and dangerous, and it’s important to only swing your weapon when you know you’re going to land a hit. It sounds easy on paper, but only after spending a few hours with Demon’s Souls do you realise how forgiving others games are when it comes to liberal bouts of manic button-tapping. It feels comparable to the fighting in Monster Hunter, though far more precise (there’s a lock-on feature, which is nice) and significantly less exaggerated.

There’s also a bevy of spells and miracles to learn if you’re magically inclined, such as being able to conjure up clouds of plague and acid, a shield of water and bolts of fire. Both magic and weapons are grounded, restrained and lacking in theatricality, which leaves you to instead focus on the sense of enormous satisfaction you’ll get from sorting out a pesky Red Knight that’s been giving you trouble a week.

Walking the path of Demon’s Souls is a lonely road, and while the game includes a suite of unique online features it’s very much geared towards solitary play. You are given no control over who you bump into on the journey, meaning you’re stuck accepting the fleeting help of strangers instead of the warm, reliable companionship of close friends. Wispy shadows of other players follow you around as you play, and you can leave a selection of messages on the ground for others to see. or. It’s worth reading the notes left by others doing, too: if another player recommends your message then your health is immediately restored.

Demon's Souls is a pitch-perfect example of how great risk can make the rewards taste all the sweeter. Getting killed in a single hit from a multi-storey, frog-like monster with a giant meat cleaver and a thirty-foot tongue is always going to be frustrating, but persevere and a couple of weeks later you’ll be wondering how he ever bothered you. Demon’s Souls pits you against your own incompetence and inexperience, a challenge which often feels insurmountable, but that delivers some incredibly powerful thrills for players brave enough to commit.

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User Comments

Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II@ Doyle41

You can't blame falling off cliffs on the controls.

All of my other posts in this are wrong, I changed my mind when I played it more and found out that it was actually really easy.
Posted 10:20 on 02 September 2010
Doyle41's Avatar

Doyle41

I was foolish enouph to buy this game and discovered the reason I can't call myself a gamer. Give me a story and an easy level. I definately wouldn't rate this game a 9. I would give it no more than a 7.5. Looks decent. Okay controls (except falling off cliffs during fights). Absolutely no story worth mentioning. I'll take Dragon Age all day over this title.
Posted 00:05 on 02 September 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

Dont you mean it's as difficult as the games we were playing 10 years ago and everyone has gone soft in the head? ;)
Posted 09:27 on 14 July 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

I'm gonna' be honest, this is the only reason I half want to play it.
Posted 19:04 on 13 July 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II@ tsep23

Nooo it's not.

It's the 'look at me, I'm playing a HARD game' of this generation.
Posted 19:03 on 13 July 2010
tsep23's Avatar

tsep23

There is a big difference between impossible and hard. Yes this game is hard. That said, it is far from impossible. This is a must play for every gamer. It's the Zelda of this generation.
Posted 18:06 on 13 July 2010
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ Endless

I think not rushing in with the rambo mentality is much easier said than done! At least it is for me, anyway.

Some people seem to be naturally find it easier than others, but it's one of the few games I've played that even the people who aren't immediately good like the game enough to keep trying. I was absolutely terrible at the start, but I never felt like giving up.

Also, thanks for the comments!
Posted 13:47 on 13 July 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

My experience of it is that it's neither of those, so that's probably why :P

I really enjoyed my brief stint with it at Lee's, though certainly quite unforgiving you can wade in a fair bit without worrying about being pixel perfect with your strikes, at least early on. The most difficult thing it concentrating and keeping your ego and rambo head in check!! lol.
Posted 12:24 on 13 July 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II

I still can't force myself to play this game and I don't know why, because I love obscure JRPG's that are impossible to play.
Posted 22:40 on 12 July 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247

Great first review Martin! However I'll have to add this to the already lengthy list of great PS3 exclusives that I really want to play!
Posted 18:53 on 12 July 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

This sounds like something I never want to play.
Posted 16:04 on 12 July 2010
Peake-a-boo's Avatar

Peake-a-boo

Definitelt getting this next pay day, might also get a couple of new controllers in case I smash mine of the wall!
Posted 14:38 on 12 July 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

As much as I like loot and being challenged, this game would result in, at the very least, a broken 40" Bravia :(
Posted 12:15 on 12 July 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

still considering buying this but im a sore loser and would get very frustrated with it and give up and get back to it a week later might rent b4 a buy.
great 1st review martin
Posted 12:09 on 12 July 2010
Roland_D11's Avatar

Roland_D11

Good review Martin, as Wido pointed out, the first paragraph hits the feel of the game perfectly.

A little addition though: You can resurrect yourself not only by killing a boss or helping other players but also by using a 'Stone of Ephemeral Eyes', an item that drops quite frequently. There is also a merchant in 5-1 and 5-2 who sells them. I personally didn't bother and played most of the game in soul form.

What I love about the game is the challenge and the small details. For example: You don't make a noise (footsteps etc.) when you are in soul form, but you do when you are alive.
Posted 08:54 on 12 July 2010

Game Stats

Demon's Souls
9
Out of 10
Demon's Souls
  • One of the most unique RPGs in years
  • Victory is sublime
  • Often frustrating
  • Intentionally inaccessible
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/06/2010
Platform: PS3
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: RPG
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 366
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