Today I get to gloat a bit because I managed to finish Demon’s Soul! Woo!
For those of you who only feed on the sweet blood of MMOs, Demon’s Soul is an action rpg from 2009 on the Playstation 3. It is considered, along with its sequel Dark Soul, to be one of the hardest game to come out in years. I already reviewed Dark Soul on this blog and both games share similar features so I won’t redo the whole review and instead focus on the journey through this game. If you want, you can read my Dark Soul post and most of what I wrote there applies to Demon’s Soul.
A journey about overcoming failure
Playing and completing Demon’s Soul is a lot about being able to fail and have the will to try again. It’s one of those game where once you have beaten a level or a boss you look back and tell yourself “Well it wasn’t that bad, you just have to do X to get through here”. It seems somewhat simple when you look back on it but the real difficulty is in getting to that point. In order to get the knowledge to beat the various challenges, you will have to fail a lot first.
And failing in Demon’s Soul can be incredibly frustrating because the price of it can be steep. Every time you die, you have to start back at the beginning of the level and you lose all the souls (xp/currency) you had accumulated. If you can make it back to where you died you can pick them back up but if you die again on the way… they’re lost forever.
And it’s pretty much how the games trick you. A lot of the challenges and enemies in Demon’s souls are not that bad in themselves… if you pay attention and are careful. If you don’t any of them can take you down which means every enemy has to be taken seriously. Now what do you think happens when you died in some far off place and you left a ton of souls on the ground? You try getting back, but you’re stressed out, which leads to a mistake which leads to drying again and then you lost a ton of stuff…
Controller meets the wall…
I’m barely exaggerating here, my controller did fly off at least once into the wall before I realized what I was doing.
But, if you’re able to take a deep breath (and maybe a short walk on top), pick the controller back up and try again, sooner or later you will make progress and kill another boss and suddenly you’re staring at the end boss… which by the way is a complete pushover… go figure.
For those wondering why you would suggest yourself to this torture I’ll answer by saying that when you do succeed you get a feeling of accomplishment that few games can deliver. So much so I had to share it with the world on my blog.
Okay… tips now
I know some of you might have questions about how best to go about Demon’s souls so here a short list.
- Ranged, magic especially, is king. Don’t go with a pure melee character. Good ranged damage will make your life a lot easier.
- Stay light-footed. Keep under 50% equipment weight so you can roll of the way of attacks.
- Shields are great! I know some people do it all with dodging but I couldn’t live without a good, strong shield.
- Don’t walk around with a ton of unspent souls. Chances are high you’ll die soon so if you have a ton of soul you could spend, backtrack and go spend them. If you die you’ll have to make the trip again anyway.