Demon’s Souls was FromSoftware’s first Souls-like game, so it was fair that it was rough around the edges, but the PS5 remake needed more changes.
It was an extremely competent game in its own right, but the original Demon’s Souls was ultimately the rough draft of the Soulsborne series, and every subsequent installment added to the foundation of its predecessor. So, while it’s hard to argue Demon’s Souls on PS3 was as polished as Bloodborne or Dark Souls 3, it’s fair to expect the game’s PS5 remake to contest that. Demon’s Souls PS5 is an absolute technical marvel and is a blast to play, but the developers left in a few kinks from the original game that would have improved the experience if ironed out.
When it came out on the PS3 back in 2009, gamers were fascinated with the tension and challenge Demon’s Souls brought to the table. The game released during an era of gaming which encouraged casual play and hardly demanded much of its players. Demon’s Souls, at its core, sought to combat this notion by creating a game where players overcome great obstacles and experience an adrenaline-fueled sense of accomplishment after defeating bosses. Its revolutionary formula took off, but just like other legendary titles that changed the industry, such as Super Mario 64, the game is a little rough around the edges.
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One of the main differences between Demon’s Souls and the other Soulsborne games is its weight system. In most of the Souls titles, weapons and armor each have a specific amount of weight, and players need to manage what they equip, or their movement and dodge speeds will be compromised. This system still exists in Demon’s Souls, but similar to Skyrim, every item players carry is accounted for, and it becomes impossible to carry items after a certain limit is reached. This feature ultimately makes collecting loot a clunkier experience than it should be, since players need to constantly be aware of their inventory weight.
How Demon’s Souls’ Inventory & Other Systems Hurt The Remake
It’s possible to send any item into storage at any time, but it’s the equivalent of slapping a bandage on a broken ankle. Players still have to stop everything once their inventory is maxed out and store all the equipment they’re not using, just so they can find out what the item they picked up was. Another unfortunate flaw that was overlooked in the PS5 version is that some weapons cannot be leveled up. Demon’s Souls encourages players to discover their own unique playstyles, but there are multiple weapons that cannot be upgraded, like the Great Club. It’s disappointing to discover a new weapon that’s fun to wield but will inevitably become dated, since it won’t increase in damage over time.
The Archstones that act as pillars to warp between areas are also limited and maintain their design from the original. In the Dark Souls titles, the functionally equivalent bonfires would allow players restore their health and respawn enemies, which was useful for farming. Players could also attune their spells at these bonfires. In Demon’s Souls, the only way to do this is warp back to the Nexus and reattune spells there because there is no way to rest at the Archstones. Even with the PS5’s fantastic load times, it’s obnoxious to have to needlessly warp just to refill health or change spells. Still, despite these oversights, Demon’s Souls stands as a fantastic title that both appeals to fans of the Soulsborne series and showcases the PS5’s impressive new technology.
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