Demon's Souls Remake - Review

Original Demons Souls turned out to be a landmark for the industry, because it was at the origins of the hardcore Souls series, which brought back the fashion for complex games. Back in 2009, I was one of the few people who managed to immediately see a masterpiece in the PlayStation 3 exclusive.

Demon's Souls Remake - Review
Demon's Souls Remake - perish on PlayStation 5.

But this is not the only reason for my reverent attitude to this project.

When our site began to appear reviews written by authors from the editorial board, my first material in the section was just a review of Demon's Souls. In many ways, it was after this that I became more interested in writing large articles.

I've played the game from FromSoftware a lot of times, so when I launched the remake from Texas specialists from Bluepoint Games, I was wondering how accurately they would be able to preserve the spirit of the original source. Let's see if the studio managed to cope with all the elements of the hardcore hit when transferring to new rails.

It all starts with an epic intro that repeats key points from the original intro. Next, you need to create your own character, and already at this stage you can see how the developers have reworked the visual component of the game. Highly detailed faces and costumes immediately say that we are facing a new generation of game. The original Demon's Souls had a good editor, but due to the lack of detail in 2009, players paid little attention to the appearance of the protagonist. As a rule, users dressed in heavy plate armor, through which it was hardly possible to see any features of the hero. However, now the visual component is much prettier, so many will definitely want to spend more time creating their hero. Moreover, in the options, it is now possible to disable the display of the helmet, and some armor sets were specially created for different body options. By the way, instead of choosing a gender, they offer to choose just a “body type”. A — female version, B — male. In general, with due diligence, the characters turn out to be very beautiful and pleasant to look at, which is really pleasing.

Then the prologue begins, where the player is taught the basics of the combat system. Strong and weak blows, somersaults, parrying followed by a powerful lunge-all these mechanics work in much the same way as in the original. In one of the interviews, the developers said that they moved the basics and the overall balance almost unchanged. This is true, but there are some points that have undergone a slight adjustment. For example, initially during the fight with the “Dragon God”, the columns that need to be destroyed to get to the ballista broke with a single swing of the shield, and now require several full-fledged strikes with the main weapon, which is why you can not just slip past the giant. Otherwise, it's still the same fascinating combat system that makes you calculate timings and burn with anger after another loss.

Here, however, it is worth noting that fans of the series who have passed the Dark Souls and Bloodborne trilogy, the first third of the game may seem like an easy walk, because subsequent projects after the original Demon's Souls developed and sometimes complicated its idea. After the prologue, I managed to reach the Knight of the Tower without losing once. By the way, my character was not killed by a boss or even a dragon flying nearby. I decided to go back to the Nexus to buy arrows, where I climbed up on the ledge for a bunch of souls and fell out. At such moments, it becomes clear that you can not relax in this game for a second.

One of the main points that distinguish the original “Demons” from subsequent “Soulshow”, is a method of treatment. There is no magic flask of healing potion, which is restored at each fire. Instead, there is a special herb that falls from some enemies and is available from various merchants. Initially, the player could collect a large number of medicinal herbs and simplify the passage of difficult areas, but the developers of the remake decided to redo this moment, as a result of which each type of” green " has a limit on the amount that can be carried with you. A similar system took place in Bloodborne. By the way, the latter was largely inspired by locations from Demon's Souls and now due to increased detail, this relationship has become even more obvious, especially in the second half of the Obelisk of the Small King and of course the Tower of Latria.

Artists and designers did their best and skillfully recreated all the scenery from the original game. Walking through the expanses of castles, underground cities and various poisonous swamps, although dangerous, is very interesting. Beautiful and bright interiors of the Boletarii castle are pleasing to the eye, and the attention of the remake developers to various trifles saturates the picture with details and makes it truly alive. What are the slowly smoldering standards after the next flight of a fire-breathing dragon or the ashes flying on the approach to the lair of the Dragon God? A huge number of different special effects and glowing objects makes the picture more cinematic and natural. As for the animations of enemies, they also changed in places. The behavior of some soldiers outside the battle seems more alive than before. If in the original they just stood, now, based on the context of the scene, they can look around and be afraid of every roar of the dragon coming from somewhere far away. I was also pleased with the gargoyles that live in the vicinity of the Obelisk of the False Idol and crumble after death into pieces, as befits stone creatures. In general, the visual component of the remake is really impressive and pleasing.

It is worth noting that in contrast to the subsequent FromSoftware games, the locations here seem more compact and in places strongly intertwined. To open the door "here”, you need to pull the lever "there", and it is located at the opposite end of the map and it is guarded by strong enemies. In general, the classic system of "metroidvania", embodied on a small scale. However, there are no additional bonfires-except for those that remain after defeating the main bosses. So you have to repeatedly storm this or that part of the game, saturated with strong enemies, before opening a short path or entering the location with the boss. Given that in some areas do not give out medical items, you have to carefully measure each step or blow. Sometimes battling a powerful demon seems less challenging than getting to him through an army of his minions. In this regard, the Latria Tower is particularly different. This prison in the original was my favorite location, and in the remake with increased detail it became even better. The terrain is more a kind of horror puzzle and a kind of game in the game. By analogy with the classic Resident Evil here it is necessary to look for keys in the dark and it is desirable not to fall into the eyes of merciless Mind Eaters. Each duel with this enemy feels like a battle with a mini-boss, because he has a paralyzing projectile at his disposal, and attacks can kill your character in no time. In addition, along the perimeter of the location there are a large number of traps and dead ends, which at certain moments can be fatal. Due to the gloomy surroundings and the lack of medicinal herbs in the Tower of Latria, an atmosphere of danger is created, which increases in proportion to the greenery disappearing in the inventory. It is such moments that make this game unforgettable and make you continue to conquer the unfriendly world again and again, despite all the difficulties.

One of the interesting features of the original Demon's Souls was the trend system. Despite the fact that many did not like this element of the game, the developers from Bluepoint decided not to remove it, but to make it more understandable. Now the menu has a separate tab that shows the state of affairs in each of the worlds. A golden icon indicates that the player is on a light path, and a black one indicates a dark path. If you kill bosses in your world and call on other players to help them in battles with powerful demons, then the world icon will light up. And if you constantly die in the form of a human and invade other players to kill them, the emblem will turn black. After getting the lightest or darkest possible trend, new characters or enemies appear in some locations, as well as secret doors open behind which you can find useful items.

Another important element of the game is the extraction of special stones to strengthen weapons. Glittering lizards have long been a symbol of the “Souls” series, but in the original Demon's Souls, killing them turned into pain. If a player missed a lizard the first time they met it, it would not appear again until " New Game +". However, in the remake, the cherished lizard appears until the player kills it. Moreover, after each change in the world's trend, it reappears even where you have already killed it. This approach helped to get rid of unnecessary stress and frustration. By the way, the reptiles themselves sparkle so beautifully that you want to throw everything and run after them.

It is impossible not to mention the DualSense vibration output. It's not as advanced here as in Astro's Playroom, but, for example, during a dragon attack or a bomb exploding nearby, feedback in tandem with some sounds coming from the gamepad creates a certain presence effect. The same can be said about the resistance of the L2 and R2 buttons, which make it difficult to press while aiming with a bow. This is especially noticeable during shots at the dragon. At the moment when this huge creature flies past, the controller begins to vibrate in time with its fire, and the closer it flies, the more effort it takes to shoot.

In addition to the updated graphics, the developers have done a great job on the sound. In the PlayStation Platinum headphones, the volume is well felt, as well as the positioning of various audio effects. Standing near the passage behind which the “blue-eyed knight " is hiding, you can hear his languid breathing. When he starts moving towards the hero, there is a multi-layered noise of armor. These are not just ringing footsteps. Each element on his armor makes a certain sound, and the measured breathing is replaced by puffing sobs through the helmet. Even without seeing the picture, you can understand that a heavily armored knight is moving towards you, and not a simple guard. Something similar could be heard in Red Dead Redemption 2, but adjusted for the fact that here the audio stream seems more drained and clean. Almost every action that takes place in the vicinity of the character under our control has its own sound, which also changes depending on the location. Raindrops, a ferocious roar, or the very breath of a knight are perceived differently depending on the terrain. A slight echo will be felt in the building, and in the open space the noise will spread as widely as possible.

The original game has a very distinctive soundtrack. The music is turned on only during fights with bosses, and the performance is remembered for its unusual approach to the combination of instruments. In the remake, everything is the same, but the compositions themselves were completely re-recorded with the participation of the orchestra, and the performance began to feel more academic and traditional for fantasy games and films. You can argue for a long time about how much better or worse the original accompaniment is, but in general, the new OST turned out to be more epic and rich in musical instruments, which seems quite appropriate in this game.

In the remake of Demon's Souls, there are two visual modes: the first-with dynamic resolution and stable 60 frames per second, and the second - with honest 4K and 30 frames per second. Of course, the first option seems more advantageous even for owners of 4K-panels. The difference in visual terms can not be called significant at all, but the doubled frame rate seems absolutely necessary for a comfortable passage of this game. In addition, if you do not like the updated color palette compared to the original, then there in the settings you can choose one of several color filters, including the classic one, which makes the colors more muted, and the gamut - a little greenish.

As for technical problems, during the passage of any serious performance drawdowns or glitches I did not meet. Except for one case, which, as I found out, is not exactly a bug, but some strange “cheat” left by the developers in the game for testers. If you use a gold coin next to the woman in black, the character's luck increases to 80,000, and the level is fixed at 999. Further, because of this, pumping the hero becomes impossible. By default, a gold coin increases luck and the chance of dropping valuable items from monsters. I came across this by accident when I was going to go knock out stones in the second world and activated the item while standing near the second obelisk-apparently, the woman in black was sitting somewhere nearby. While the described process is irreversible, but the developers promise to fix it with future patches. If you have such an embarrassment, then you can break the game completely and create a” blue blood sword“, which receives a bonus to damage in proportion to your luck, which in the current situation will give your character an attack equal to two and a half thousand, and turn it into a ”Vanpanchman".

Bluepoint Games once again did not disappoint - the remake of Demon's Souls turned out great. Impressive graphics delight with their detailed drawing and lighting, and almost identical to the original game mechanics gives the most unforgettable sensations that gamers experienced back in 2009. Demon's Souls is an important game for the industry, and the developers at Bluepoint Games have once again proven their ability to handle such iconic projects. If you are a fan of the Souls series or just want to plunge into the harsh medieval world with demons, dragons and knights, then we strongly recommend that you read this masterpiece.