When Demon’s Souls first came out, back in the misty past of 2009, it was a simpler time. Fallout 3 captured the hearts and minds of a new generation, Skyrim was still years away, and the plague of Fortnite was but a gleam in the maddened eyes of a few poor Epic Games staffers. No one expected VR, there were like 3 Assassin’s Creed games, and there was no concept of a Soulslike,
Then along came FromSoftware, and they changed the landscape of gaming in ways we’re still dealing with today.
And honestly? I’m pretty glad they did.
I must kill the demons
Demon’s Souls’ plot is, for the most part, pretty conventional. The King made a big whoopsie and much of his kingdom is falling to a fog full of demons. You, as a champion of Boletaria, don’t want everyone you’ve ever met to get into their respective forever boxes, so you try to kill the demons.
You die. Obviously. But you don’t stay dead.
So yeah, go kill the king, stop the Old One, prevent the corruption of the world. These days it’s a well trodden plot, and back in 2009, it was as well. It was the brutal difficulty and non-linear gameplay that made the world perk up and take notice.
For the most part, the Demon’s Souls remake is a fine strapping young game. It looks gorgeous and imposing on the PS5, with blood dripping and skeletons boning like never before on the next-gen hardware. Animations look phenomenal, sword and spear slicing through demonic flesh and scale like a hot knife through a load of rich creamery butter.
The Dark Souls of… wait a minute
While not technically the first, Demon’s Souls is often pointed at as the Ur example of the Soulslike genre. And with a fresh coat of paint, it’s pretty nice. Sounds great, looks better, and runs smooth and easy on PS5.
Was it worth remaking? Mmmmmaybe. It’s definitely a trip down nostalgia alley-full-of-skeletons.
How do you do, fellow games?
What you’ve got to remember is that this is a remake of a comparatively old game. Not in terms of years, really, but it’s been supplanted by itself. We’ve got a whole Kronos/Zeus dynamic here; Dark Souls picked up the mantle left by Demon’s Souls, and for some reason became the more beloved of teh two.
Yeah, I’m not sure either. But here we are, society.
Anyway, the Soulslike game moved on, and the downfall of this admittedly excellent remake is that it’s running an older version of the formula. I’m not even a big Souls guy; much more of a Bloodborne/Sekiro kinda speed here. The world moved on, Demon’s Souls. You haven’t.
No John, you are the demons
Demon’s Souls absolutely deserved its new lease on life, and yeah it’s the same game it was, but prettier. But the drawback of a faithful remake is that the sins of the past remain.
Much like Boletaria itself, Demon’s Souls is marred by the flaws of its past. So while I recommend it for people who are super into the YOU DIED genre, and for anyone interested in the superhero origin story of Dark Souls, the less historically inclined might be better off picking up a more modern, accessible game to ragequit over.