‘Demon Souls’ shows the great potential of the PS5

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Courtesy of From Soft

The remake of the 2009 video game “Demon Souls” is a much more polished product.

Evan Heinz, Staff Writer

Three years ago, I got into Souls Like Games created by a gaming company known as From Soft.

Souls Like Games are what fans call games with From Soft’s type of design philosophy. Gamers can save their game at campfires or magical objects, fight brutally difficult bosses, and use the souls of the enemies to level up. The characters even have a laugh animation after pretty much every conversation.

Most people, however, just call a difficult game “souls like.” They usually misdefine a game as a Souls Like to give a hard game more attraction.

“Demon Souls” was originally released in 2009, and again now in 2020 to show off the power of the PS5. From Soft, with the help of Blueprint, have remade the classic game. 

The original “Demon Souls” was definitely a product of its time. It had clanky combat, no facial animations, and ok-ish graphics at best. The new remake of “Demon Souls,” however, polishes everything wonderfully.

Many quality-of-life changes have been made, including a cleaner and easier to access menu UI, which refers to the methods (keyboard control, mouse control) and interfaces (inventory screen, map screen) through which a user uses to interact with a game.

Like its descendents, “Demon Souls” is a dark fantasy game set in a ruined kingdom that is filled with all types of horrific and intimidating foes with intriguing fragments of a story line sprinkled throughout the world. 

Early in the game, players are introduced to the Nexus, the game’s world hub. The Nexus is where players can find merchants, special NPCs in the game that allow players to purchase items in exchange for Souls. Their wares include consumables, equipment, upgraded stones, ammo, and more. There is generally one merchant found in each level of the game. Regular NPCs are also found in the Nexus as non-player characters that gamers can meet during their travels. 

Many different things can happen in the Nexus depending on what players decide to do. The player levels up here and is able to travel to different levels using Archstones. Demons possess all the enemies in the game because of the awakening of an HP Lovecraft-inspired creature that brings a terrible mist to Boletaria. When a player kills an enemy, they gain some souls which act as ingame currency. 

Every enemy has their own behavior animations, instead of the stiff creatures back in 2009. They now look almost movielike. The original NPCs never moved, but rather just stood blankly. But these new NPCs are brought to life with full facial animations. 

There are many different weapons players can use on their journey. They can use axes, straight swords, curved swords, large swords, claws, magic and many other weapon types. It does get annoying using heavy weapons in “Demon Souls” because a lot of the time players will fight enemies in tight areas, which means they will be hitting the wall far more than the enemies. It is important players constantly upgrade their weapon whenever they can to avoid getting crushed by difficulty curves.

When playing a souls game players have to face many bosses. The hardest bosses are the best type of bosses because after players learn how to properly dodge attacks, strike when necessary and you finally kill that boss, it fills them with achievement and drive to keep playing.

In “Demon Souls”, most of the bosses are engaging but sadly the Dragon God, one of the coolest designed bosses, is more of a puzzle than a fight. 

The best boss in the game is False King Allant, who is noticeably similar to the nameless king fight in “Dark Souls 3”. False King Allant has an attack capable of deleveling the player, so it is important players come prepared when facing Allant or they could lose hours of progress. False King Allant has a true counterpart that acts as the final boss. True King Allant is a weak abomination that can barely damage the player. Basically it’s King Allant kicking and screaming like a child not wanting to accept defeat.

The “Demon Souls” remake greatly improved the graphics of the original game. While all the areas were bleak and many details were hidden in darkness in the original, the world now is given more color and light, making the game look stunning.

Because of its amazing graphics and vast improvement in gameplay, I would have to rate “Demon Souls” an 8 out of 10. This is a great exclusive for the PS5 and really shows off what the system is capable of. “Demon Souls” has been respectfully redone and I suggest any fan of the souls series or even someone who isn’t familiar with the series try this game out.