The Demon’s Souls remake refreshes players’ memory of the 2009 classic’s difficulty, which sometimes bordering on excessively challenging levels.
The PS5-exclusive remake of Demon’s Souls remake is still giving players a stressful challenge that borders on unreasonable proportions after all these years, often crossing the line into outright unfairness. The original title, released in 2009, kickstarted the Soulslike genre and was infamous for its difficulty, with players having no real sense of where to go next and having to rely on in-game landmarks to determine their destination. Moreover, enemies were relentless, with bigger foes and bosses being the most unforgiving obstacles in players’ path that many had ever experienced in modern gaming at the time.
The Soulslike genre bred from the 2009 classic led to other titles that were equally as unforgiving, with creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and FromSoftware later going on to release Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and – more recently – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. In addition to making death both punishing and rewarding, core pieces of the formula for these games is stamina management and an inability to cancel attack animations, as players cannot attack, block, or dodge if their stamina has been depleted and they have to see every action they initiate out to its natural conclusion (for better or worse). Inspired titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and The Surge 2 utilize these mechanics in their gameplay, offering fans challenging experiences in universes beyond the Soulsborne series’ grimdark fantasy and horror.
With the Demon’s Souls remake having launched alongside the PS5, Twitter user gcyoshi13 shared a video revealing how the game is still excruciatingly difficult and demands persistence. The player-character is seen using guerrilla tactics against a giant molten bug, thrusting the creature with a spear, and dodging back behind a wall to avoid the monster’s fiery needle retaliation. The video is trimmed down for viewers, but gcyoshi13 indicated killing the large bug took five minutes to exterminate, before a single attack that curved down an otherwise safe-looking corridor killed them instantly.
One of the biggest selling points of any Soulslike experience is the level of challenge offered. Naturally, the further a player progresses, the more difficult enemies become. Charging in and hacking and slashing is the quickest way to ensure dying is a foregone conclusion. The genre requires at least some semblance of strategy and stamina management. Demon’s Souls and its mechanically related titles are not impossible to beat, but it is not going to be a breeze for most casual gamers.
For players who struggle with remaining patient and calm, Demon’s Souls will test their resolve. If, for whatever reason, someone wants to test themselves and work on improving their patience, this game (and others like it) is a good place to start. Playing a Soulslike title will teach persistence, and there is no reward for simply trying – one must succeed. Defeating enemies and gathering better weapons and armor, while practicing combat skills and learning how to manage stamina effectively, will prepare fans for the greater challenges that lie ahead. Once started, the game is both difficult to put down as well as complete. It is like an addiction – punishing yet satisfying.
Next: How Demon’s Souls Is Different From Dark Souls
Demon’s Souls is available on PS5.
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