One last hurrah: Let's play some Demon's Souls
The end draws near, and soon it will be the end of the world. Life, as you know it, will change forever, and the souls of lost warriors will be relegated to traveling alone without guidance. Meanwhile, the souls of the sinister will no longer be able to enter foreign lands to invade other warriors' quests. On may 31, Atlus is taking the Demon's Souls online servers down, and the game will never be the same again.
When Atlus localized Demon's Souls in North America back in 2009, countless gamers fell in love with it immediately. There were two main reasons for that. For starters, the game featured a wonderfully punishing level of challenge not seen in modern mainstream games. Demon's Souls features some of the best enemy design in video games, forcing you to think before you rush into battle. And because every enemy type behaves surprisingly different, there's never a dull moment in the game.
The second reason Demon's Souls became such an acclaimed hit was due to its online component. If you're even remotely familiar with the game, then you're aware of how it works. Players can leave hints throughout the game world so that others can read them and (hopefully) heed their advice. Warnings of enemy ambushes, dangerous falls, and boss encounters are littered everywhere throughout the Demon's Souls universe, creating a world where gamers can help each other without playing together.
Of course, for those gamers who do like getting together with others, there's also a co-op mode. Even then, the game remains totally brutal in its difficulty. If you don't like helping others, you can invade their world and be yet another obstacle for them (or leave misleading messages). Demon's Souls really provides an online experience so multifaceted that it's unlike any other, and it's a brilliant game because of that.
Sadly, with the servers going down in a little over a month, fans of the game will be losing one of its richest gameplay elements. Yes, the game will still be astoundingly wonderful, and its dark vibe won't take too much of a hit due to the lack of an online component, but we will no longer get to see the ghosts of the fallen; we will no longer be able to discover the warnings of those who journeyed the land before us; and we will no longer be able to warn others of the evil that awaits them, and that's something that's a bit saddening, to be honest.
Now, we can't fault Atlus for the decision to take down the Demon's Souls servers. Maintenance for those servers costs money, and after close to three years since the game's launch, it's obvious it isn't making the publisher the amount of cash it first did. So the decision on Atlus' part to take down the online component in Demon's Souls is most certainly justified. We don't have to like it, but we do have to accept it.
But rather than rant and b*tch childishly, I think we, the Demon's Souls faithful, need to enter its world once more and take full advantage of everything it has to offer. Let's add to its legacy by playing it and bombing its world with messages and ghosts rather than tarnishing it by complaining about how "Atlus is taking our game away, you guise!!!1" Let's go for one last ride in the world of Demon's Souls and experience it the way it was meant to be experienced. Let's play alongside others, and if you're a troll (which is totally fine), enter someone else's game and kill him via black phantom invasion.
Demon's Souls is a stellar game, and even after the servers go down, I know I'll continue to play it. Why? Well, because I fully doubt I can finish it by the end of next month. But also, because I truly believe it has plenty of other outstanding merits that make it shine as one of the best action RPG experiences of the current console generation. Until that day comes, though, I'm going to celebrate its online presence, and I implore you to do so, as well. Gamers, Atlus will be taking down the online servers for Demon's Souls on May 31, and it will truly be the end of the world as you know it.