We looked at the reimagining of Demon’s Souls by Bluepoint Games and Sony Japan. PS5 opens the generation with the origin of the myth of From Software.
Demon’s Souls is part of modern video game history in its own right. Before the whirlwind of popularity that the Dark Souls trilogy would bring, From Software in 2009 offered us a small preview of the influence it would cause in the next 10 years. Boletaria went unnoticed at the time. With franchises like Call of Duty in full swing, few were the brave who decided to import a copy. Internet forums were the best breeding ground for its official launch in our country a year later.
The perspective of time allows the origin of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s creative vision to be further appreciated. It’s hard to find a game with a decade behind it that feels so current at the helm. The technical barrier of the original is a wall that Bluepoint Games has completely torn down. The Americans have managed to capture the essence of the five archstones while keeping their playable muscle intact. 11 years ago we couldn’t have imagined that its remake would open up a new generation of PlayStation. The time puts everyone in place.
Background: 11 years later
For many it will be their first time at Demon’s Souls, even for those who have experienced the company’s consecutive jobs closely. We are talking about a title that proposes several primitive mechanics that would evolve over the years within its formula. The biggest change you will find will be the structure of the world. There is no interconnected world, but we will have five doors leading to environments each more disparate.
Demon’s Souls impacts from the first contact.
There is no main line that says which is the correct path. It is you who through experimentation you are making way as you can … and against whom you can. That characteristic division makes it take an arcade look. You have a while, you get into a level and you can make the most of it. In comparison, each section of the world is smaller than in other works, but at the same time it is more dense and the set design is up to what you can expect.
Another of the peculiarities of Demon’s Souls resides in the bosses. It is, without a doubt, the installment with the largest number of puzzle bosses in the entire franchise. And we are not referring precisely to the Dragon King, who dispenses with combat and introduces you to a small stealth mission. We talk about the mythical King of the Storm and his epic encounter, we talk about the False Idol and its infinite life cycle, we talk about the Ancient Hero or the Old Monk… There are many moments that put mechanics before the player’s own ability.
The Ancient Hero remains vigilant.
The contrast does not affect too much when the obstacle requires our mastery with the sword. The Fiery Flamingo, the Impaler, or the Skinner are good examples of the toughness of open-ended head-on combat. The problem with these lies mainly in the passage of time. The evolution of the Souls formula has allowed us to discover increasingly intense combat as a new one arrived, especially with the introduction of phases and the extension of its lethal register in real time. Here, the traditional bosses’ move set is too short, and fighting them is a matter of patience as soon as you know their few blows.
But there are moments that continue to surprise 11 years later. In this sense we must point to Lady Astraea, who is part of the From Software icons. The artificial intelligence of your guardian adapts even when you play cooperatively. This detects where each player is placed and what position he must defend. In an enclave as special as the couple’s, it makes the fight even more memorable.
“We lead humble lives. Leave us alone!”
Perhaps the word that summarizes a first round of the game is toughness. Discovering Demon’s Souls for the first time is a tough journey, especially because of various design decisions that remain, such as healing items. Forget any trace of Estus: here you must heal yourself with herbs, and it is not an object that is very easy to see after passing the initial level. You will end up accumulating them, of course, but there are times when you play knowing that there is no hope. Your next ticket back to the archipelago can come from any corner. Back, by the way, which also has its own. When you die in a boss you will have to kick a good stretch. Some paths to reach them are long and require passing a good handful of enemies. Peace of mind and patience.
New generation ticket office
We have addressed what awaits a player who is embarking on Demon’s Souls for the first time. But what about veterans? There are not enough qualifiers to value the work of Bluepoint Games and Sony Japan. It is difficult to erase the smile that you outline by discovering first hand the new look of Boletaria. As we said at the beginning, we could never imagine that its remake would open a new generation, much less that it would look like this.
The scenarios are full of details.
And the fact is that the tour of Demon’s Souls on PS5 is a love letter to From Software, to the team that worked against the current a decade ago to bring us the beginning of a golden age for the ARPG. Given the technical limitations of PS3, some scenarios did not offer the magnitude that they manage to give off as of this November. The faces of places like the Latria Tower show that the study has managed to capture the essence of the Japanese.
The prison, excuse the expression, scary. The rectangular maze of cells looks like something out of any Survival Horror of the highest bar. You go out to the patio and you feel out of place. You hear a distant song that resounds even in your own bones. You go down a staircase and there are the jailers with their bells, predicting when they will come to eat your brains. The faithful crossbow continues to defend the place of heretics like us.
Latria’s Tower is one of the best settings in the game.
Never before have we played a From Software work with this audiovisual quality. Never. The fifth generation of PlayStation makes Demon’s Souls demonstrate what the console is capable of during its initial stages. The team has created a true sensory experience that goes beyond the screen. The DualSense synthesizes our actions to transmit them to our hands. Haptic feedback reacts to trifles like breaking a barrel, but also when we collide with the sword in the environment. Using magic is a good way to put your controller reactions into practice. The good thing about the remote is that it takes into account the position of the sound. If a magician in front throws an arrow of light, your DualSense will transmit it through the front of the chassis. So with the different directions. Adaptive triggers, on the other hand, do not work as effectively. The arc sometimes reacts to resistance; others do not. They are small problems that can be solved in a future update.
3D Tempest is another of the technological advantages that it makes use of. Any helmet takes advantage of the audio improvements, although in this review we have used Pulse 3D. It is easier to locate the position of sounds than in previous works, especially when echoes are produced. The Storm Island is a real pass with helmets, the rain seems to fall around you. All the praises when it comes to audio fall short.
The fight against the King of the Storm is one of those that takes advantage of the DualSense and 3D Tempest sound the most.
The differentiating factor between the original and the reimagining goes through the use of the SSD drive. Loading times are practically non-existent. There is no time to do anything between dying and reappearing. By reducing the information screens it makes the journey between arch stones much lighter. If all this is already new generation, it is even more so to be able to experience it at 60 images per second. The game has two modes, one that prioritizes performance and another that does the same with graphic quality. We highly recommend the first, since the second limits the frame rate to 30 and is not as noticeable a change as the first. The 60 fps make navigating the stage and fighting smooth, precise.
News: the trend continues
The trending system was one of the headaches on PS3. In the remake it remains intact, so your way of playing will continue to influence the elements that appear in your Demon’s Souls. Of course, the World Cup has been dispensed with, so we depend solely on ourselves. Having a pure white or a pure black trend keeps changing the status of some NPCs, their missions and the items that you can receive during some stages. We would like to see you again in future From Software jobs.
Yes, the sixth archstone remains destroyed. Bluepoint Games has left the entire content of the game intact, including inventory. The only set added is the reward for opening the secret door. What has been altered are some bugs that allowed the duplication of items, in addition to the limitation of healing items.
Global trends have been removed; now it is up to you to change them.
Multiplayer continues to be a real mainstay for enthusiasts. Those who want to play with friends will welcome the arrival of the password. From the network section you can choose a combination that, when activated by other players, will appear directly when they seek to be summoned. If you are with a friend and need help, you can put the password as a filter among all the users searching in the same area. The blue specters will return to their world once they have completed the section where they have been summoned, usually a boss, in addition to not progressing in their world.
Another novelty is the Fractured mode, in which the environment is reversed to the other side. In practice it works like a mirror; can be activated from the Nexus in exchange for souls. On the other hand, from the main menu you can access a gallery full of sketches and images of the creative process, a delight for fans. If you’re nostalgic, you can select a filter from the menu that changes the color palette exactly as From Software chose in 2009. Photo mode comes to the series for the first time, packed with options to capture any moment. Do you want a break? Activate it to act as a pause mode.
The cooperative is going very well. We found no lag problems.
The soundtrack has had noticeable changes. The original themes have been reinterpreted for the occasion. Returning to Lady Astraea, the piece detracts from her prominence, focuses on the circumstances of the combat and how her guardian feels about protecting her. It’s not that it’s better or worse; is different. Both are compatible, but draw different scenarios. The production is exceptional: the orchestra and the choir give a lot of flavor to the confrontations. The musical direction is at the same level as the Castilian dubbing, excellent.
It was hard to think of a reimagining like that. Bluepoint Games and Sony Japan have made Demon’s Souls a tribute to the figure of From Software, its legacy and its successes in the past decade. The origin of the myth returns wearing a semblance of authentic new generation. We have never before enjoyed a work directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki with this audiovisual level. What’s new with PS5 goes beyond the screen: DualSense haptic feedback, 3D Tempest sound, and 60fps Performance Mode make you feel Boletaria in an unbeatable way. As unrivaled as its load times, extremely short thanks to the console’s SSD drive. 11 years later a current formula is felt at the helm. With its things, this installment continues to give off a special aura in the trajectory of the Japanese. Death is just the beginning. Note: 9.5.
- Exceptional technical and visual quality. A true new generation game.
- The use of 3D Tempest sound and haptic feedback from the DualSense. Boletaria crosses the screen.
- Quality of life improvements and improved multiplayer.
- Very short loading times thanks to the SSD drive: there is no color compared to the original.
- The care for the detail. Absolute respect for the work of From Software.
- The set of movements of the traditional bosses is scarce.
- Some reinterpretations of the soundtrack change the drawing of the encounters.