Demon Souls Review?: Not For the Timid
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
If you are into hardcore games that make players throw their controllers across the room then Demon Souls is the game for you. Demon Souls is an Action RPG exclusively for the Playstation 3, which is famous for its unforgiving difficulty and broad content. The game is definitely the hardcore game you've been waiting for, especially since most of the games that came out for the nextgen platforms are seen as a bit "easy". Do know that dying in this game is a rather normal occurrence. First of all, I want to make something clear: YOU WILL DIE IN THIS GAME, so don't go around hating yourself after dying more than 20 times on the first stage. For those who think this game is just another Devil May Cry combo-fest, let me state that Demon Souls won't give you satisfying aerial combos and fast-paced action sequences; instead, players will be playing as characters with earthbound skills and a mortality rate of real people in a demonic invasion.
Overall, there are ten classes in the game, each with their own spell/weapon specialties and attributes, but pretty much the same mortality rate. The classes are as follows: Knight, Priest, Thief, Magician, Temple Knight, Soldier, Wanderer, Barbarian, Royalty, and Hunter. I personally would prefer starting with the Temple Knight as he has better range and a higher lifebar compared to other classes, but whatever makes your boat rock.
Perhaps the most difficult (yet fun) part of the game is the Tendency system, which changes the ingame worlds depending on how well you're doing. Even though you'll be dying constantly, it would be wise to try your best to survive as the world gets harder as you die further; however, this is also a good way to unlock ingame secrets that are only accessible through a specific tendency state. Some bosses can only be accessed on a certain tendency as well, and are MUCH harder than their normal selves; however, they do give good rewards, so you could say that there's still a good balance overall.
Touch Move BIATCH!
Are you the type of gamer who saves a lot to avoid losing items and such? Well, I just want to say that your efforts will most definitely be in vain in this game. Once a player dies, he loses all his gold, as well as a huge part of their lifebar. The only way to gain back what you've lost is to start over (from the beginning of the level) and reach your corpse just as you would in various MMO RPGs. Note that your hardearned cash will disappear completely if you die while searching for your corpse. Money makes the world go round, and the world of Demon Souls is no different. You'll be using gold for almost everything thing in the game, from the Maiden's Soul Leveling service to the blacksmith's weaponry. The game doesn't feature a bank to store your ingame cash as well, so go ahead and farm and pray that you won't die anytime soon.
Cowards Live Another Day
One thing you just got to love about Demon Souls is how they presented the difference between demons and humans. Unlike other games that let you bombard demons with a buttload of bullets and a barrage of slashes, fighting more than 2 enemies at a time is quite risky. This means that you will have to segregate your opponents in order to avoid losing more life. Using cheap tactics like hiding behind a wall where your opponent cant reach you and bombarding it with arrows is actually encouraged here in Demon Souls, as it's HELL HARD to take on a demon head on.
"WHO'S THERE?!" "ONLY THE MEMORY OF THE DEAD X_X"
The most unique feature in the game is how dead players can leave virtual replays of how they died via pools of blood. Once another player touches the pool of blood, they will instantly see the ghost of the fallen player. This is helpful when it comes to detecting surprise attacks from enemies, or just the regular traps and pitfalls. You can also choose between a series of preset messages and leave them for other players to gain from. The messages are actually rather confusing and serves as a riddle for most players, especially since the preset messages are as simple as "Here", "Beware", and "Watch Out".
Aid Or Kill
The multiplayer function in Demon Souls is much different that other games. Instead of simply jumping in to help other players in their time of need, players can choose to invade another character's game as black phantoms, which means literally hunting down and killing that player, ruining his cautious advances. Black phantoms also level down when they are killed by their prey, making it extremely satisfying when you see your pursuer die amidst the dark world of Boletaria.
All in all, I would say that Demon Souls is not a game for everyone. This is not Devil May Cry, or another happy fantasy game. It's a unique world that consists of sorrowful sceneries and agonizing themes that will really test your patience and endurance. Playing with tendencies are also quite enjoyable in this game as the risk of making enemies stronger means more rewards to reap. This game is definitely not your average action RPG, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's not willing to die continuously while repeating the same level for more than 20 times; however, if you're a hardcore gamer looking for a challenge, then by all means, let the game put your skills to the test... because IT REALLY WILL.
-Character classes rock?-Finishing a level feels more satisfying than most games
-Tons of secrets
-Immersive gameplay and beautiful eerie sceneries
-Extremely HARDCORE (?)
-Extremely HARDCORE (?)
-Not for everyone