October 11, 2009

Demon's Souls (A Game Of Kick The Corpse) | Review

Chris Nitz Says

Pros: Addictive game play with a gorgeous setting. Beating a level never felt like such a great accomplishment. Once you get leveled up, you have an awesome feeling of being barney badass.

Cons: This game is hard. You will die....A LOT! You will be grinding souls like no tomorrow to buy that one extra skill point you want.

Demon's Souls is a very addictive game. The storyline is pretty much par for a fantasy game. Evil has taken over the world and it is your job to rid the world of this horrible evil. Others have tried, but you are the next salvation.

The thing that sets Demon's Souls apart from many RPG's on store shelves today, is its difficulty. You are thrown into the game and punished right away. You get no handholding, no instant save, no life yielding fairy in your pocket. You are given a shield and a weapon and told to go and kick some demon butt.

This is a game of patience. Just running into a new area often leads to being ambushed and meeting your demise. By the time you beat a level, you will know how each enemy moves, how they attack, and the best way to counter each attack.

The part that makes this game so addictive is that as you level your character, your weapons, and your magic (if you use magic at all), you get a feeling that you are actually getting stronger. This is one of the first games that getting a weapon +1 actually feels like the +1 made a difference.

You also get a great feeling with every little bit of progress made. You will make your way through a level only to come to a spot that will give you more problems than driving a car over a spike strip. Then, something will click and you'll figure out the trick and move on to the next obstacle. Your triumph will drive you further. There is an awesome feeling the first time you take down a dragon, or see that Tower Knight fall to the ground.

You will spend pretty much the entire game in your soul form (being in soul form means you have half of your hit points, yet you are stronger). Just accept it. You can return to life after you beat a level’s demon, but you are pretty well guaranteed to die on your next expedition. Thus you are forced to wander around in soul form until you beat another demon. The game is nice enough to give you a ring in the first level that increases your life while in soul form, so it's not all bad.

When you die (oh how you will die), you will lose all the souls that you currently had. You re-start at the beginning of the stage and every baddie has re-spawned. If you can make it back to your bloodstain without getting killed, you get all your souls back. If you die on the way, you lose all the souls you had.

Grinding is the name of the game here. You grind souls as if it were the next fad coming into style. As you level your character, you need more and more souls. You will need souls for items (your items are not replenished if you die). You will need souls for magic.

The online component can be fun, or it can be deadly. When you are signed on with your PSN account, people can leave messages. Some of the messages can be helpful, others can be misleading and send you to your death. Most of the messages I read while online were nothing spectacular, though fighting your way through a hardspot and finding a message that reads “Hi” made me chuckle a time or two.

You will also see bloodstains. Touching these can reveal how other players have died. This can be helpful if you are new to an area and don't know what is up ahead.

The biggest part of the online experience is that you can jump into another person’s game. You can either be helpful and assist them in killing a demon, or you can enter in as a black phantom and attempt to kill the other player.

The two biggest complaints I have are the camera and the physics engine. The camera is great most of the time. There are times when you'll be in narrow halls and the camera will go crazy. Sometimes it can be just as evil as the creatures you are fighting. Though moving it around can often solve this issue, when you are just about to get attacked, the camera can go crazy causing you to get hit or miss your attack.

The second is the physics engine. It is great fun to break a bookshelf and see everything fly around. It is not so much fun when you have a corpse stuck to your body and you drag it around for a few minutes. You will be kicking corpses throughout most of the game. It took some getting used to, but you can look past it.

The game runs well. The only slowdown that really happens is when there are objects being broken and several creatures on the screen. The visuals are fantastic and fit the game well. It is a dark game and the visuals fit it. There is almost no music. This is a good feature as you will be listening for knights breathing and crossbows being loaded.

I recommend Demon's Souls for those who want something different. Know that you will die a lot starting out, but your character builds into a powerful killing machine. Every bit of progress is well earned, and every demon felled is like putting another notch on the bed post.

I will end this with a few tips. No character is really better than another as you build them to your play style, but the royalty class is a bit easier to start with. Learn your enemy’s movements. Don't try and kill the dragons right away. Lastly, it's a game, you are going to die, don't let that deter you from having fun.