Demons Souls was still an insider tip in 2009. The PS3 exclusive was only released in Japan at the time, and it wasn’t until months later that the “Stop Importing It” edition came to the USA.
The entire English-speaking gamer world. A new genre was born, one that not only catapults developers From Software to new heights, but also one that has produced innumerable inspired and uninspired offshoots. Now with the remake of Demon’s Souls, the forefather comes back.
In essence, everything stays the same. The story continues to be confusing, it is about a mysterious mist that devours the kingdom of Boletaria and spits out all kinds of demons. They have to be destroyed, and the dumb hero is probably the only one who is stupid enough to do this to himself.
In the game you travel over the so-called wedge stones to different worlds, in which the said demons have to be wiped out. Light punch, heavy punch, blocking, parrying, evasive role – anyone who has played Dark Souls one to three knows the formula all too well. And he also knows that Demon’s Souls is tough. Very hard.
Behind the remake is Bluepoint Games, which among other things have redone the fantastic Shadow of the Colossus. And again the studio did a good job here. Demon’s Souls looks amazing. The cinematic mode, which delivers a stable 30 frames per second, stands out thanks to its slightly better resolution (4K), the performance mode “only” has a resolution of 1440p, but 60 frames per second.
Bluepoint has also reinterpreted the levels and the architecture and found a good mix of old design and new approach. Example: The Nexus is built like it was built back then. Only in the remake did Bluepoint decide to give the whole thing a slightly warmer, comforting look. It fits very well with the only real sanctuary in the game and shows how much effort the developer studio has put into this pearl. If you don’t like the lighting mood, you can choose from a range of filters and, for example, pull out the old PS3 color set.
Also new and great: the sound design. There is hardly any music within the level, but the dripping from the walls, the steps of the opponents and the creaking of the wood send a shiver down your spine. In addition, the fighting sounds are more realistic. If you manage to parry and counter an opponent – one or the other sword sinks into the armor – you can’t help but say a loud “Iiiiiih”, it sounds so real through the speakers and the controller. It is also noticeable that each weapon has been given new, very chic animations.
Bluepoint Games has wonderfully reinterpreted the old architecture.
The aforementioned dual sense contributes to the atmosphere. It makes a difference in feedback whether your sword hits a shield or a demon body.
Apart from that, it can only be said again that Demon’s Souls, even back then, is a fantastically designed game that, due to its high level of difficulty, triggers a spiral of “I’ll try it one more time.”
That didn’t get worse in the remake, on the contrary. The very short loading times (usually you never have to wait more than two seconds) almost completely eliminate this frustration after death. There are also a few comfort changes. For example, you can now send items from your inventory to the infinite box in the Nexus at the push of a button, without having to be on site. Because yes, the character can only carry a certain weight of objects with him.
It’s the old hat, and you could say that you shouldn’t criticize a racing game for racing either. But: the level of difficulty. Demons Souls is merciless. And you notice that especially in comparison to the Demons Souls titles that came out afterwards. The first level of the remake is a kind of judge who determines whether you as a player are tough enough for the game – or not.
You cannot level up until you kill the first boss, there are no rest points on the way there, only the opportunity to unlock shortcuts here and there. In addition, there is the thing about the character and world tendencies, which is very difficult to see through. You have to get involved. But those who do this reward themselves with great moments of happiness.
Bluepoint also insisted on adapting the music. That caused a bad mood for some fans, but overall the new soundtrack is still great. It’s even dynamic – for example, if you create the first phase with certain bosses, the music changes and becomes, who would have thought, even more dramatic.