Demon's Souls

This game…is awesome.

It’s strangely fun and addictive…despite also being one of the most painfully difficult games I’ve played in years. The controls are awesome, the balance is perfect, the graphics are beautiful, the soundtrack rocks, etc. The story is rather spartan so far, but otherwise pretty intriguing. That being said, the game is insanely hard.

You’re stuck at 1/2 Max HP until you beat the first boss. If you die, you keep all your equipment, but are warped back to the start of the level, lose all of your souls (which you use as money and to level up), and have to march right back to where you died WoW-style to get them back. Where the exact same thing that killed you will probably repeat the performance. Oh, and the enemies all respawn, and if you get killed on the way back, all the souls from your first death are lost forever. Tough.

But seriously, play it. It’s enjoyable, even as its exciting you into a murderous rage.

Yeah, I got the japanese import when it came out. The game is awesome. Even dozens of levels later with shiny awesome gear, if you’re not paying attention those enemies you fought at level 1 can fucking murder you. And it never really feels all that annoying when you lose a ton of souls due to death. God knows there’s more. Game’s got great atmosphere, too.

Also, as to the hp issue… You can get the cling ring in 1-1, which boosts your hp in soul form to 75% of max. It’s pretty vital gear, think you get it off a corpse when you open the first shortcut.

This is harsh. Evaluate me.

So, uh, what kind of game is this? And for what?

An action RPG on the PS3. It has a similar combination of loneliness, opaque mechanics and painful difficulty curve as From Software’s King’s Field series (which Demon’s Souls is essentially the evolution of). It’s been raved about (current score on Metacritic is 90) for all the reasons people usually bitch about From games, probably because the presentation is amazing.

It’s difficult without resorting to cheap shots and other bullshit. You are never too high a level to get mauled by enemies, so you have to pay attention pretty much all the time. The game pretty heavily punishes playing too fast by having ambushes everywhere and a few subtle traps.

There’s coop and multiplayer, though they’re presented a good bit differently than most games. Both only happen on those rare occasions that you’re running a new level alive (as opposed to doing it as a ghost). Coop consists of you summoning the spirits of up to 3 people who have left a mark in the level you’re in, you can only communicate with gestures and they’re forced out at the end of the level. PVP is involuntary. If you’re alive in a new area and someone in range wants to break into your game as a black phantom, you’re stuck trying to deal with it. Again, there’s no verbal or textual communication between you. Even in pvp and coop the game is lonely and bleak.