(Available for PlayStation 5 only)
The PlayStation 5 has not only kicked off its launch with a botched pre order program but also a remake of the PlayStation 3 classic that kicked off the Soulslike genre of games Demon’s Souls. The game was revealed during the first of what would be 2 PS5 events in the summer and was later confirmed to be a launch title for the console. This game is a complete remake from the ground up to take advantage of all the technology in the PlayStation 5 including the great lighting effects you get from Ray tracing and the incredible load times of an SSD drive. Though this remake has not been made by original developers From Software but has been handed over to Bluepoint Games who excellently handled the Shadow of the Colossus remake which in my opinion is the definitive version of that game.
- Graphics: of all the games that make the most of the PS5 this game is top notch in the graphical department. The game gives 2 options with both performance mode and theatre mode. Performance mode is the default and has the game run at 60 Frames per second and theatre mode takes the already really good graphics and turns them up slightly with the sacrifice that the game runs at 30 frames per second. Honestly the slight improvements are not worth it in my opinion since performance mode still takes advantage of things like the HDR and is still a brilliant looking game and is in my opinion the best looking game on the console so far and the refined graphics has actually made some of the enemies and bosses and their telegraphed attacks more visible to plan out strategies.
- Gameplay: this feels really refined. The team has looked at a lot of the minor shortcomings of the original game and fix them. For example you can now move between realms rather than have to travel to the hub world “the nexus” which aids well when grinding for experience. There’s also slightly better combat and progression which lead to more motivation to get better as you think through each fight. Co-op has also been improved allowing up to 6 players in 1 game online which can really help everyone involved.
- World design: these realms are all very well designed which feel great to explore. With the improved graphics you can feel the heat and darkness of the mines in the Stonefang Tunnels or the ooziness of the swamps in the Valley of Defilement and everywhere feels like it tells a story in itself. the game also gives you the terror of their environment making you think for each corner what possible encounter you could have.
- Controls: the haptic controls really benefit the game making this feel like this is the best controlling game in the Souls franchise. The rumble in the PS5 controller also is amazing making the charging firebomb or weapons hitting your shield feel like they are the actual things they represent. Would really recommend having the rumble setting to immersive since the game is way harder with it off.
- Boss battles: once again the boss battles are the highlight of this Souls Game. Each boss has been very well reimagined and each have amazing designs and challenges and I really enjoyed learning each ones weaknesses and trying to apply it because just knowing it isn’t enough and will require a bit of skill. Highlights include the Tower Knight which will be very big early challenge, the Flamelurker which will make you want to risk going near a pair of Dragons to get flame resitant gear just to have a chance of survival, the Maneater which was incredibly stressfull to do on your own as you will discover when you get there (seriously that boss took me the majority of 2 days to beat alone, do it in co-op) and Maiden Astraea which gives multiple options to win but a real genuine extra challenge and will make you really think after you know her backstory. Btw for that boss fight I’ll give you this one bit of advice try and make sure you have a Plague resistant ring on standby for approaching her
- Difficulty is still unforgiving: don’t get into this thinking that Dark Souls was were these game got blisteringly difficult it was like that before and this game reflects it well. I didn’t get past the first area the first day I owned the game and it has some moments that will put new players off. that being said the difficulty really motivated me to get better to get better.
- World tendency mechanic: seriously this mechanic sucks. I know a lot of people disagree with me on this but I have never liked this mechanic and it actually ruined large parts of the game for me. Because I died too many times in human form rather than spirit form in an early area of one realm it meant that the area became uninhabitable even after significant level increase. This just punishes players and is not challenging in a good way and there was a very good reason it was removed from later Souls games.
Demon’s Souls remake is a must have for anyone who got a PS5. It look great, plays great and is the definitive version of the game bringing back the amazing experience whilst making it feel new and fresh. It would’ve scored higher but the world tendency mechanic put me off so much that it lost points but if you’re up for a challenge this is a real contender for the best Soulslike game with Bloodborne.
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