Around 12 years ago, our beloved FromSoftware developed one of the hardest games of its time, which would be the start of a franchise that would brutally torture players for years to come. No, I am not talking about games like Echo the Dolphin or Ninja Gaiden, this is Demon Souls. This game is an action RPG that was released on the PlayStation 3 that would be published by Sony Entertainment that released in Japan in February and came to America by Atlus in October. Fast forward to November of 2020 and players have been met with a visually stunning remake of the game that Bluepoint Games developed. This remake is not only extremely successful with perfect or near-perfect scores across the board with most reviewers, and I am more than inclined to agree with the amazing work this developer put into bringing back an iconic game.
The game takes place in the Kingdom of Boletaria which has been surrounded by a deadly impenetrable fog. King Allant awakened the Old One when he brought back the Soul Arts, which in turn released a sinister swarm of demons that will eventually consume the land unless the Old One is put back into its slumber. Players control a warrior that enters this fog whose soul becomes trapped within the Nexus and have to find a way to break free of this land. In defeated these demons that have invaded the land, the warrior hopes the Old One will eventually go back to sleep.
This remaster was impressively well done, and can almost be considered a remake with the number of changes made to the game. The game’s graphical upgrade paired with new motion blur and ray tracing honestly feels like a brand new game. The details compared to the original game are astounding, and even the character design options have upgraded immensely. Every design from NPCs to the enemies has become beautifully refined, and the environments are nothing short of breathtaking. Players also got to enjoy a rerecorded soundtrack and dialogue for cleaner audio. This experience is maximized by the dual sense controller with utilization in capturing all the sounds from the environment such as casting the spells in the mines, or even hitting your controller against the wall accidentally. Demon Souls is a testament to showing how immersive technology allows your games to become.
In addition to the intense graphical upgrade, the game brought gameplay improvements as well. Players get to experience better camera function when in combat by being in closer view of their character. In addition, we also get omnidirectional rolling to better evade incoming attacks giving us a better fighting chance with bosses. In addition to the crazy amount of healing items that allowed players to cheese some bosses healing grass and other restorative items have been given weight to help balance your carry load. Plays can also now move items to storage from the menu to avoid constant over encumbrance and fat rolling your way back to the Nexus. The game brings new animations when moving and during combat, load times are nonexistent, and the UI was greatly improved from the original game. When I say this was a remake, I mean that this game looked and felt completely different from before.
Demon Souls still keeps the brutality that it is known for from its original release. Players will not get bonfires like Dark Souls but instead are met with checkpoints. Players still have to use their gained souls for leveling and currency as per any souls game from this developer. When in soul form after dying, HP is halved making it harder to take any damage without dying as per usual. The only way to leave this form is vanquishing the demon that has taken reign over the area. In doing so you also can return to the Nexus and have a new start point for the next area. So for new players that want to start souls games, the remake is not where you will want to start to ease into the souls franchise. I recommend looking to start with Dark Souls 2 or 3.
My only complaint is that I would have liked to see some more balancing to the game as far as classes go. You can still easily cheese your way through the game by playing a magic build, especially with Royal which gives you an edge on both melee and magic. Magic casting basically can run you through the first few bosses without taking much damage at all or needed to learn movement. Especially with the Armored Spider and the Tower Knight seeing as one does not move and the other can not climb stairs. Other than that this game was near perfect and exactly what players needed to revisit the game. Bluepoint did a fantastic job of bringing us a newly refined classic while still keeping to its original roots.
DVS Score: 9/10