Demon’s Souls Review (PS5)

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A photo from one of the game’s areas, the Stonefang Tunnel. Sights like these are not a rarity. Photo credit: Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Bluepoint Games.

Rafael Magana

I began my journey in “Demon’s Souls” by navigating the dilapidated ruins of the Boletaria Outpost Passage, and was left in awe at the sheer beauty of what I was seeing.

I spent my time in the game’s tutorial area re-familiarizing myself with the controls, which felt exactly the way I remembered when I played the 2009 original.

This didn’t stop me from dying to the game’s first boss, however. As I died, the game informed me that I was now bound to the Nexus (the game’s hub area) and my soul couldn’t escape it.

It’s not like I’d want to if I’m being honest.

Developer Bluepoint Games has knocked it out of the park when it comes to the game’s graphical capabilities. There were times in my playthrough where I was left awestruck at what I was seeing. It’s incredible to see Boletaria the way FromSoftware likely expected the player to see it.

Gameplay wise, the game feels very similar to its 2009 counterpart. Many weapons still feel the same way they did in the original while adding new animations to give the game a polish and flair that it did not originally have.

The game’s musical score was redone by developer Bluepoint and was much improved. The musical score was an immensely important part of the original game and has only improved with Bluepoint’s involvement.

Players are still able to make whatever build they like, and the mysterious world tendency system makes a return. Bluepoint has added very little new content to the remake, preferring to produce as genuine a remake they could.

Another area in the Stonefang Tunnel archstone. The game, while lacking ray tracing, makes the most mundane areas look beautiful.
Another area in the Stonefang Tunnel archstone. The game, while lacking ray tracing, makes the most mundane areas look beautiful. Photo credit: Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Bluepoint Games.

There is a hidden door that was added to the game, however, with a lock on it that has remained an enigma for the community since launch. There is apparently a new item beyond this door. Content like this proves that Bluepoint has a grasp on what the Souls community likes, and is willing to take risks.

The game maintains the hub-like area, The Nexus, where the player can level up using the souls that they gain from defeating enemies. The Nexus offers players a respite and a place to relax after venturing into any of the game’s 5 areas.

An image of my character in the game's hub area, The Nexus. Players can level up here and take a break from the game's brutal difficulty.
An image of my character in the game's hub area, The Nexus. Players can level up here and take a break from the game's brutal difficulty. Photo credit: Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Bluepoint Games.

Demon’s Souls was FromSoftware’s first attempt at making a Soulslike game and lacks the open-world nature that “Dark Souls” and it’s sequels offered. It does have a non-linear nature when it comes to its progression, however, and players are allowed the freedom to tackle levels in any order that they see fit.

In my playthrough, I became stuck in an area that was very muddy swamp area that was full of enemy ambushes. I kept on dying and became a bit frustrated. I remembered my options, however, and realized that I had the freedom to tackle another level and that I could simply return when I leveled up a bit more and had better gear to tackle the area that was getting the better of me.

Online functionality is still available as well, with players being able to invade each other’s worlds and engage in combat with each other. Players, in classic Souls fashion, can also leave messages for each other that will help other players progress through the game’s areas.

A message left by another real player that was left in my game. Messages like these typically warn players of dangers ahead.
A message left by another real player that was left in my game. Messages like these typically warn players of dangers ahead. Photo credit: Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Bluepoint Games.

“Demons Souls” is as hard as many remember it. There were times where the game left me frustrated after dying to a boss for the 5th time in a row. Yet this difficulty was what kept me going, alongside the sheer beauty of the game.

“Demons Souls” is the PlayStation 5’s killer app, and the first truly next-gen experience. If you have a PS5 and do not own a copy of the game, you are doing yourself a disservice. Play it.