Few games in history are responsible for generating a new genre branding with their style. Demon’s Souls is one of those titles, giving us the Soulslike category. It’s now time to go back to where it all began, with Demon’s Souls on PS5. Come check out our Demon’s Souls review!
Demon’s Souls was originally developed by FromSoftware and released in 2009-2010 in Japan, NA, and Pal territories by Sony, Atlus, and Bandai Namco, respectively. It’s gameplay mechanics, high difficulty curve, and challenging bosses spawned a new category we now know as Soulslike. For the launch of the PlayStation 5, we get an exclusive full-blown remake from Bluepoint Games and Sony of the critically acclaimed classic.
For those who are new to the game, it takes place in a kingdom called Boletaria, a land that has been devastated by the colorless fog caused by the Old One, a powerful demon that was put to slumber many years ago. Unfortunately, King Allant has awoken the Old One, putting Boletaria in danger of being completely engulfed by the fog and its demons. You’ll venture onward try to and stop the demons… but you’ll soon die, only to come back in the Nexus. Bound to the Nexus, you’ll be able to travel to the different regions of Boletaria to try and slay all of the demons to gather their souls to become stronger, to hopefully vanquish the King and the Old One.
Demon’s Souls is played from a third-person perspective, with the typical action RPG elements you’d expect to find. You can unleash regular attacks with the R1 button or use the R2 button for a slower yet more powerful attack. Both of these actions will consume some of your stamina. The Circle button is used for running when holding down the left joystick while moving forward. You can also backstep or roll to the sides. You can defend yourself by guarding with the L1 button or try to parry with the L2 button, which can be immediately followed by a riposte with the R1 button. The left and right arrow buttons on the D-Pad allow you to change what weapon or shield your left and right hands hold, while the down arrow is used to change your selected item, which can be used with the Square button.
When you enter one of the Archstones to travel to an area of Boletaria, your quest will be rather simple: get to the boss and kill it. Yet, that simple task is always a great challenge since one false move against an enemy, or an unseen one, can quickly put you to rest, and you’ll have to restart the level. All the souls you had gathered before your death will stay there, and you’ll only be able to get them back if you can travel to the spot on which you died to pick them up. When you die, you’ll start back in soul form, which halves your HP, and you’ll only get your human form back when you defeat a boss.
Loyal to their previous efforts, Bluepoint Games have done an incredible job for the game’s visuals on the PlayStation 5, all while staying true to what the original game presented on PlayStation 3. The game is just stunning to look at, making a strong debut title for the new console. There is also a lot that has been added for the DualSense controller that provides a lot of sound effects as you play, as well as the haptic feedback that lets you know what is going on. I would’ve loved to feel more from the adaptive triggers, but that’s the one area where things didn’t get the same treatment.
I’ve played a few Soulslike games before, but this was my first time with a game from the actual Souls series, so I was glad to begin my journey into the franchise with the one that started it all. If you haven’t played any game in that genre before, you must know that it’s very challenging and that you’ll be dying a lot. This kind of game generates mixed feelings of frustration when you die and a real sense of accomplishment when you manage to defeat a boss or a new enemy type you encountered, so it’s not going to be for everyone.
Being a fan of action RPGs in general, I was glad to find all the usual things those games usually present, such as new equipment to find, a blacksmith to upgrade your weapons, as well as a witch to boost your attributes. All those upgrades come at the cost of the souls you gather, so there’s always a lot of stress when playing since you don’t want to lose them when you’re playing, which adds a nice feeling of tension in an already stressful experience.
Although this might be due to something that will probably be corrected later with a patch, I did encounter a bug where the game would not load and remained on the splash screen after I tried to start to play. The only way I found to be able to launch the game was to reboot the console, after which the game started without any issue.
As for the trophies, with this being a Souls game, it will obviously be a challenging set to unloock. There are a lot of trophies that pop from killing the bosses in the game, but there are also some that will require you to perform specific actions, and you will need more than one playthrough to reach the Platinum trophy. Luckily though, with the game being faithful to its original version, there are already tons of guides out there you can check to aid you on your quest.
Demon’s Souls is a completely exclusive PS5 title, and it delivers on everything you’d expect from a next-gen experience. Bluepoint Games has done it again, delivering yet another remake that stays faithful to the original game while taking advantage of the updated technology to give us a great-looking experience on PlayStation 5. This is a must-play for any Soulslike fan and an excellent launch title.
This Demon’s Souls review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.