Demon’s Souls is a Japanese RPG title set in a thrilling dark environment (inspired heavily from European settings instead of Japanese culture for once), and follows a classic RPG formula to deliver a fast-paced game with a strong emphasis on combat, looting and exploration. And even though it may fall short in some aspects of its plot, it still deserves every bit of attention you can devote to it.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, and uses a traditional formula of killing enemies and looting their corpses, attaining better equipment as the game progresses. Your character can be customized fully at the beginning of the game, which includes anything from class to gender. The class selection is very diverse, and each of the available classes should fit the playing styles of different gamers very nicely – you’re very likely to find something in this game that matches your idea of how an RPG game should be played.
An interesting concept lies in the character’s “tendency” indicator, which is basically this game’s interpretation of a karma system. Your deeds affect your character’s tendency directly, which in turn reflects on your gameplay – having a positive tendency will make enemies easier though you’ll also get less loot from them; on the other hand, a negative tendency will increase the challenge in each fight, and provide you with an appropriately high reward as well.
Another interesting part of the game is the integration of online play into its single player – as you progress through the levels, you can see “ghosts” of other players passing through, which most commonly happens when the game is trying to point you to a hidden location or passage. Players can also leave messages for each other, and if you die, this will be reflected in the games of others, as they’ll see a blood spot at your place of death (with the option of looking at a “recording” of your last few moments).
Graphics and System Requirements
Despite a short development cycle, the game is very well-packed with creative assets and environments, and it’s quite obvious that a lot of work has went into making it as diverse as possible in the two years it took for developers to push it to the market. All of the characters inhabiting its world look lively and realistic, and the engine is a technological masterpiece when it comes to lighting effects and some aspects of its physics simulation.
If you feel the game isn’t challenging enough for you, feel free to give the last difficulty mode a go – make sure you’ve got plenty of hair for pulling out though, as you’re going to die – more than once. Gamers were generally very impressed by the challenge presented to you in the form of the game’s last difficulty setting, and if you decide to try it, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Demon’s Souls may be a bit lacking in its storyline, but it more than makes up for that with its well-designed gameplay, diverse environments and addictive mechanics.