Demon's Souls - PS3 - Preview
Bless Atlus USA for not only publishing quality PS2 games, but when given the chance to create a unique role-playing experience for the PS3, the company brings innovation into the fold.
From Software is the developer behind Demon’s Souls, a game slated for a fall release, but this is much, much more than the typical RPG experience. Why? Well, it is very hardcore for one thing. If you die, you lose everything and have to go back, kill the monsters and enemies responsible for your demise and then reclaim your gear. If you have played Diablo, you know this very well. You don’t have much to go back with, which makes the fight all the harder.
The game utilizes Havok physics to create a very nice visual experience and, like other RPGs, there are treasures to find. So what makes this such a unique experience?
Well, it is because the game integrates online play seamlessly into the single-player experience. You are always connected and can see other players within your game world. They cannot interfere with your game, but you can see them, and can even learn from watching them. Suppose you see another player who is attacking a quest enemy. You can watch the battle before you engage in your own (assuming your target does not spot you and attack) and learn from that other battle. If another player dies, they leave a blood stain on the ground in your game. You can click on that blood stain and watch the other player in the last 10 seconds of their life, seeing how they died.
But there is so much more to it than that. Players can also leave messages for other players within the game world. A player may warn you about a sneak attack through a doorway, and that might save your life. However, players can also leave dummy messages. They might tell you to jump down a hole to follow a light at the bottom when in reality that light might kill you instantly. It is up to you to decide who or what messages to trust. There is a fair bit at stake on your decisions.
The game does have an offline mode, in which you can totally play the game without all those elements present, but in actuality, these aspects bring a truly refreshing air to the game. And players can rate the messages left by other players.
The game brings a lot of elements over from massively multiplayer online games, but manages to forge its own unique identity.
In addition to the single-player online mode, there is also a cooperative mode and a player-versus-player element for up to four players.
Demon’s Souls is an intriguing concept that is slated for release in the fall. While most of the game is ready now, some minor localization is still needed to prepare it for a North American release.
This is definitely a game that players should watch for, but – as previously mentioned – this is not a game for the casual RPGer.