One of the most anticipated titles of the year is Atlus’ Demon’s Souls. The game has become somewhat infamous already, mostly known for it’s incredible level of difficulty. I decided to give a bit of a preview after spending a few hours with the final build.
The first thing I noticed is that this game has several similarities to popular western RPGs like Elder Scrolls. That’s surprising considering this game comes from a Japanese developer whos previous titles were much more like traditional Japanese RPGs. You start off by customizing your character, you shape his looks by changing things like facial hair, hair color, etc. Then you pick a class, some of the classes you have to choose from are Royal Knight, Barbarian, Wanderer, Priest, Magician, and Soldier. As always, each of these classes has certain advantages and disadvantage, so it’s best to look at their base stats and determine what type of combat you want to engage in. You can also choose to have a subclass, similar to MMOs like Final Fantasy XI or World of Warcraft. Having a sub-job can come quite in handy, especially when playing a class that doesn’t have healing abilities. Your weapons and armor can break, so you’ll have to make sure you keep your soul points stacked up in order to fix damages gear.
Demon’s Souls takes place in the land of Boletaria. The land is covered in a deep fog and demons have started an uprise, taking the souls of any human they came in contact with. Humans are fighting back, though many have fought and died in the struggle. Those who have perished are sent to Nexus, and can only return to Earth after they have defeated the demons there.
One of the features that makes Demon’s Souls stand out is the co-op gameplay, ability to leave hints for other players, and the ability to view the trail of other characters that who have died, which gives you more of an edge. Demon’s Souls is a big game and it is indeed hard. The writings on the floor will help you along the way and you will die a lot. Leveling up is always a must in this game because you won’t stand a chance to the boss fights in this game. I spent approximately 3 hours clearing one area because I kept on dying due to the enemies in the first area are just hard to beat.
Demon’s Souls is indeed a hard game, but it’s not impossible as some have said. Just because the game is a hack and slash doesn’t mean you can just press one button to kill the enemies. Soul points are the key. You’ll use them to level up, buy items, upgrade weapons, etc. One of the most frustrating things about this game is death causing the loss of all soul points. If you have 10,000 soul point and die, all of it will reset to zero, and the only way to get them back is go to where you died and retrieve them.
The online co-op is unlocked after the first boss fight. The Black Maiden gives you a Blue eye stone, which allows you to enter the game’s online mode. When you die, you enter phantom mode. While in Phantom mode, you’re stats and health are reduced, and you won’t be able to get them back until you find your body.
Another issue people are having in Demon’s Souls is the PvP. It’s true, a player can kill you, but that only happens when you are in the living mode while the other player is in phantom mode. PvP enables phantoms to steal your physical body so that they can change from phantom to the living form.
So far, Demon’s Souls requires a lot of time, patience and understanding. It does gives the impression of the game being too hard but as soon as you customize your characters, pick your class, and get comfortable in your jobs, you’ll fall in love with this title.
Check back for our full review in the coming weeks