Demon's Souls Review
By Chucky Mitchell

Hours upon hours of demon slaying.  Its more methodical than you'd think.
Demon’s Souls is a tricky game to review.  Certain elements make me want to punish it and praise it at the same time.  Demon’s Souls is an action RPG set in the fantasy world of Boletaria.  The game’s story definitely takes a backseat and is not very prominent. An ancient demon has come back to life and it’s up to the player to take him down.  The only way to defeat him is to first destroy all the smaller demon’s scattered throughout the world.    

Seriously that’s literally what the game is about.  Fight through dungeons and defeat each Demon at the end of the level.  As bland as that sounds, this game is actually incredibly deep.  The game starts you off creating a character.  The creation is decently in depth, but for some reason you can’t keep your character from looking silly.  Then you choose a starting class.  In this game different classes really do impact your gameplay experience heavily.  Magic and bow users will definitely have an easier experience than people that choose close combat.

Once you’re done creating your character you’re then placed into a tutorial level.  You’ll immediately notice the dark atmosphere that engulfs the entire game.  This isn’t your typical Lord of The Rings influenced fantasy setting.  The world of Boletaria is a dark, deadly, and unforgiving world.  It does a fantastic job of giving the player the feeling of a struggling world.  The dark music tops off the atmosphere wonderfully.  The graphics are for the most part outstanding.  There’s nothing to really complain about other than the occasional crappy textures on walls if you look close enough.  In the tutorial level you’ll learn the basics of combat.  Quick and strong attacks are mapped to the right triggers, while block and quick parry are mapped to the left triggers.  If you choose to put the shield in your right hand and sword in the left, it’s reversed.  The combat feels very nice and rewarding.

 Magic works a little different in this game compared to other recent RPG’s.  You must have a catalyst (wand, staff) in your right hand in order to use magic.  You need an object called Talisman of God in your left hand in order to use Miracles.  The magic might feel sluggish at first but that’s because of your low level spells.  More maneuverability comes with higher spells.  When learning new spells you can only carry a select amount at a time.  So you have to choose which ones to remember before going in to the level.  You can change these at any time in The Nexus, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Bow’s work as you’d expect, with aim mode and all.  Not only do you need to carry enough arrows, you also need to carry bolts.  One of the first things you should notice about the enemies is how wonderfully animated they are.  They move smoothly and each of them has their own unique behavior.  Some enemies will creep you out a little.

At the end of the tutorial level most novice players will be forced to die and be taken to The Nexus.  Also you will lose your body and be forced to play in Soul Form.  The only difference in body and soul form is that in soul form you only have half of your health meter.  You can get your body back by defeating demons or using magical stones.  Also world tendency is affected by the two forms which I will touch on later.  The Nexus is like the hub world where you choose which levels to go into.  It’s really the only safe place in the game.  The NPC’s here range between blacksmiths, item holders, and magic teachers.  You must come here to level your character up.

The leveling system and currency in the game both run off of souls.  When you kill enemies they drop souls.  You can also find fallen soldier souls.  If you die all of your souls will be lost unless you can find your bloodstain without dying again.  If you make it to where you died you can recollect all of your souls.  If you die before getting there, then they are permanently lost.  Don’t worry though; any item you collected will not be lost.  You use the souls as experience points, money towards new items, and item repair.  When you kill end level demon’s you grab their souls and have a range of options with them.  You can consume them to add to your soul count, or give them to certain NPC’s for different types of weapons or magic.

From the Nexus there are 5 worlds to play through as you wish, each world containing 3 or 4 sub levels.  These worlds are larger than you’d expect, and have a lot of variety.  The beginning of a level tends to look nothing like the end of the level.  Each level changes according to World Tendency.  How many times you die or how well you do affects this.  At pure black or white world tendency different enemies appear, different doors are unlocked, or different items might show up.  It makes for great replayability. 

The game also features a very unique online experience.  Other players in the game can leave notes and hints around.  One might warn you of an enemy around the corner, others might tell of treasure ahead.  Some people find it funny to lead you to your death so watch out for those bad messages.  You can rate the message on its usefulness, which helps filter out the bad ones.  You can also click on peoples bloodstains and watch how they died.  This is very useful in some parts of the game.  You can summon up to 3 other players to help you out and you can invade other players’ realms, becoming an enemy.  This makes you feel evil but it is very fun.

The last thing I want to touch on is the difficulty.  This is not an easy game. It’s also not impossible.  It feels like the average difficulty games use to have ten years ago.  People getting too accustomed to the extremely decreased difficulty of today’s generation will have a hard time picking up the pace.  But once you do get the hang of it, this game is excellent.  It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game this rewarding.  If Fable 2 is the first RPG you’ve played, this game is hard to recommend. If you are a seasoned fan of RPG’s and want a good challenge, this game comes with high recommendations. 9.25/10

Graphics: 9
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9
Story: 6

Multiplayer: 9
Presentation: 8.75
Replay Value: 9.5
OVERALL: 9.25/10

As in the cover, you're usually in soul form.