Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls Review for PS3

On: PS3

A new PS3 RPG featuring demons.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
Back to game info
Demon's Souls screenshot
Demon's Souls screenshot

Upon dying for what felt like the sixth millionth time, to a lowly boss in the middle-sections of Demon’s Souls, I genuinely felt like running the disc through a shredder, crawling under a table and sobbing in the foetal position. This is a cult title by curious Japanese developer From Software, a studio most recognised for the Armoured Core series, though I will always remember them for 2004’s Metal Wolf Chaos - a game which featured the president of the USA climbing aboard his giant mech and quelling a coup d'état. Demon’s Souls, however, is a vicious, bleak and painfully difficult action RPG, and it just so happens to be one of the PS3’s finest exclusives to boot.

You kit a lone warrior out with all kinds of spangly loot and have them hack their way through (or, more likely, get slaughtered by) shuffling zombies, run-of-the-mill soldiers, creepy leaping skeletons, glowing octopus-esque mind flayers, oily black blobs of evil goop armed with shields and, while you’re at it, a spooky nun. This is all done while plodding through some of the darkest and dingiest video game environments created since the original Diablo, with the game encouraging you to turn the brightness down to a level only an owl could possibly feel comfortable moving about in.

It’s a methodical game, and even though there’s a run button you’ll rarely sprint into the unknown because something horrible will probably jump out and lop your head off. Disillusionment can (and probably will) seep in fairly early on, as the game chucks you into a brief tutorial sequence only to brutally murder you as soon as you’re starting to feel like you understand with what’s going on. The moral of the story is that you will never, ever feel comfortable playing Demon’s Souls.

Death is frequent and terrifying but never the end, as you simply respawn at the start of the stage, albeit in a spirit form where health is reduced to half of your maximum. In practice it’s more like three-quarters, though, as you're given a health boost if you equip a magical ring found in the corner of the very first level that you should absolutely, definitely and positively pick up before you do anything else.

The only way to get back into your physical body is to slay one of the 22 boss monsters – and they don’t respawn, either, so you can’t even go back and clear out an early level to reclaim possession of your flesh and organs. You can, however, reclaim your physical form by allowing yourself to be summoned into another player’s game to help them tackle a boss.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

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
View Full Site