Sunday, October 07, 2012

Demon's Souls

The most polished and most fulfilling action-strategy-adventure experience in years.
Review By Surrender2joy

Demon's Souls is a game that will make you into a man. A scrawny fourteen-year-old, after two hours with this game, will be grooming his muttonchops and ready to ship off on the next boat to fight the Kaiser. If you are already a man, it will make you into some sort of bizarre double-man. What's that you say? You're a woman? You don't want to be a man? Too bad. Too bad. That's the Demon's Souls way.

You've probably heard that Demon's Souls is hard. Pshh. Lots of games are hard. Some are even harder than this one. The difficulty is not the point. What sets Demon's Souls apart is the way that it doesn't just kill you, but also stomps on your genitals when you're down. And it will make you realize that that's what you needed all along.

It's a lot like life. Sometimes in life you win, and sometimes the giant armored skeleton stabs your face off because the flying mantis monster you didn't even see shot you in the back with a spike at just the wrong time. And when that happens in life, do you respawn at the same spot and carry on like nothing happened? NO, [expletive] . You go back to the beginning of the level, leaving all your hard-earned souls out there on the pavement, and you fight your way back. And you learn a lesson from the whole thing, because you should have been wearing your Thief's Ring, now shouldn't you? That's life.

The trend in hard games these days is to unlock “Easy” mode for you once you've died enough times. Do you think Demon's Souls does that? Do you think Demon's Souls is so much as aware of the concept of “Easy” mode? NO IT IS NOT. If Demon's Souls even knew we were talking about “Easy” mode, it would come over here and kick the [expletive] out of all of us. And we would deserve it.

I'll tell you what happens in Demon's Souls when you die. You come back as a ghost with your health capped at half. And when you keep on dying, the alignment of the world turns black and the enemies get harder. That's right, when you fail in this game, it gets harder. Why? Because [expletive] you is why.

Have I told you about the online elements? At any time when you're in Body form, another player from anywhere else in the world can invade your game and murder you to regain his own body, or just to keep you on your toes. This happens when you're in the middle of fighting armies of unthinkable monsters that are probably already three-quarters of the way towards killing you. And no, you cannot opt out of this feature! This is what you signed up for when you agreed to be a man.

When this happened to me -- when a guy strolled into my game like it was Taco Bell and exploded my torso, costing me my body and all my progress in the level -- was I mad? No, because I was too busy being in awe at how [expletive] hardcore the experience was.

Now, don't let this dissuade you. Demon's Souls is a pitiless master, but let it never be said that it is not fair. The game rewards handsomely those who stand up to it, and the greater the challenge, the greater the glory.

SYSTEM: PlayStation 3



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