Game Review: Demon's Souls (PS3)

DemonsIf there is a void in the library for the PS3, it would have to be in the RPG genre. Demon’s Souls looks to fill this void with a serious RPG that should not be taken lightly. Click to the other side for a look at Demon’s Souls for the Playstation 3….

Demon’s Souls would probably be considered an action RPG but playing it like one will lead to certain death, well more than usual because you will die repeatedly in this game. I won’t spend anymore time after this paragraph beating the same drum as everyone else but this game is not a walk in the park. If you tend to get frustrated with kicking the bucket in a game, this probably isn’t the game for you.

The story in a nutshell is that the great beast below the nexus (the Old One)has been awakened . A great fog now covers a great portion of the land and Demons have been released, they crave souls and grow stronger with each one they consume. Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria… Heroes came to the cursed land but none were ever heard of again. Enter you, perhaps the last hope for the land.

Combat can be fairly simple and it helps that the controls are very easy to grasp. It’s not too hard to tell this game was built for a console from the start. Unlike most games, it is not the controls that get you killed. It will be rushing into battle and thinking things through or minding your surroundings that will. Combat is more about timing, blocking and parrying attacks. Basically, you have a light and heavy attack using R1 and R2 and depending on if you have a shield equipped you use L1 to block and L2 to attempt a parry. You can also duel wield weapons. If you are more of a bow or crossbow person, there is also that option as well. The game is played in the 3rd person with the exception of using a first person mode when using a bow if you choose to.

Graphically the game is dark and gloomy as you would expect and it looks great. Armor is accurately represented when equipped and your movement is restricted depending on the armor (equip plate armor and try to do a roll evade is quite humorous). Character customization has plenty of options for you to tweak your character to your hearts content.

The multiplayer element to the game is interesting part of the game. While you are playing (if online) you will see ghosts running about that are actually other players playing the same level that you are. These ghosts for the most part have no real influence on your game with the exception of leaving notes for other players. These notes can range from predetermined simplified messages that may warn of an ambush around the corner or what a particular enemy may be susceptible to. If you die, you leave a blood stain on the ground which will show up in the other players worlds and they can check out a replay of your death. This has been really helpful to me when faced with a decision on what tactic to use against an enemy.  You can use a stone to allow someone to summon you into their game and you can play as a spectre and help them. You can also invade another players world and attempt to kill them. I haven’t spent a lot of time yet in the multiplayer aspect of the game but look forward to spending time doing so.

The sound in the game is excellent and the soundtrack is one that I didn’t turn off or down. If you can get a hold of the Deluxe edition, you will get a copy of the soundtrack as well as an art book. I really enjoyed this title and would recommend that you BUY IT if your an RPG fan and enjoy a game that is both challenging and rewarding.

Demon’s Souls Deluxe Edition w/ Artbook & Soundtrack CD

Demon’s Souls

Brian Ellis is a co-founder and senior editor of Bag of Mad Bastards and co-host of Drunken Monkey Tech podcast found here. He can be reached at if you have questions/comments.


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