Reader Review: Demon's Souls

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Ben does, as he reveals his tendency towards darkness.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Ben Warwick. If you’ve played Demon's Souls, or just want to ask Ben more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Demon’s Souls (PS3)

Demon’s Souls is a third person action/role-playing game from Japanese developers From Software and it is unlike anything you have played before.

Loved

Difficulty: This is a hard game. If you rush, you will die. If you attempt to take on multiple enemies at once, there is a high chance you will die. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you will die again. When you die, you are re-spawned back at the start of the level with all enemies re-spawned and without your souls. This makes it all the more satisfying when a boss is lying dead at your feet.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere in each level makes you feel like your death is just around the corner. From the Tower of Latria’s brooding darkness and terrifying howls to the Valley of Defilement’s hostile open skies, you’ll never feel safe for a second.

Online: You will see ghostly avatars of other players running around your world, even though you can’t interact with them. Pressing the action button over a blood-stain left when another player dies lets you view the last 10 seconds of their life. Then there are the stones you can use to either summon other people to help you or invade someone else’s world and try to kill them.

Hated

Auto lock-on: When you are locked-on to an enemy the camera can be very frustrating, moving behind environmental objects and blocking your view of the action which can cause a very quick death.

Demon’s Souls is a strong contender for my game of the year in 2009. If your interest is piqued at all by reviews of this game, do yourself a favour and import it.

Reviewed by: Ben Warwick

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


Comments

    This game is almost unreasonably difficult. Its very frustrating to get to the boss at the end of a level, die, then respawn at the start of the level with all the monsters alive agin and all you're xp lying with your body at the bosses feet.....waiting to be lost if you happen to die again along the way back through the level.

    I've heard a lot about this game - not least through this site - and it does sound really interesting, especially the online functions.

    I wonder though, how much of the game's difficulty is intentional on the developers part or just due to ancient, entrenched Japanese game development?

    The difficulty is intentional and adds to the atmosphere. There would be no apprehension or trepidation when fighting bosses (or general enemies) if there was no risk of death not any penalty.

    Also with the lock-on, there's nothing forcing you to use it. In fact in PvP you almost definitely don't want it.

    To tell the truth, much of what is being called 'difficult' about Demons's Souls isn't really difficult in any real sense. Dying has no real negative impact on your character aside from potentially losing whatever currency you had accumulated to up to that point. As for learning by trial and error... Mario has a similar learning style for its levels...

    I loved the environments in the game, especially the Tower of Latria :D

    I really want to play it, but at the same time... why the Dickens didn't they release it in Australia? I'd pay full price for it if it was here, but I shouldn't have to import...

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