Honor where honor is due. When it came out for the PS3 in 2009, Demon's Souls was initially nothing more than a side note in the gaming landscape. Eleven years later, the Demon's Souls remake is now one of the selling points for the PS5 release. And rightly so, as we find in our test.
The remake specialists at Bluepoint Studios (Shadow of the Colossus Remake, Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection) have really spruced up Demon's Souls for the PS5 and are still offering first-time players a fascinating experience that has lost none of its former appeal. But the remake worthwhile for veterans of the Souls series? What are the differences to the original?
The Japanese developer From software founded the Souls genre with Demon's Souls in 2009 and paved the way for the "Dark Souls" trilogy, Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. However, the influences range much further back. Already in the "King's Field" games from From Software, released on PlayStation since 1994, contained elements that you can rediscover in Souls games today.
It was only Demon's Souls who managed to weave these elements into a completely new gaming experience. That included new level system with collecting and losing souls, the tough boss fights and the tremendous atmosphere in the game world. However, Demon's Souls was anything but accessible and it was accordingly difficult for the game to get the attention it deserved in the press.
However, the player base was seething and Demon's Souls quickly developed into a real one in the time after the release Fan favorite. Initial rejection quickly turned into irrepressible fascination, as the action role-playing game was so different from the competitive games at the time. The feeling of happiness after countless attempts to bring a boss to his knees in order to subsequently penetrate new, unknown level areas is still unparalleled today.
The Demon's Souls Remake is now trying to transport this gameplay for new and old players to the PS5. And so much can already be revealed: This project succeeds without any problems.
The launch trailer gets you in the mood for the PS5 remake:
Bluepoint Games delivers a 1: 1 remake of the original game from where From Software was not involved. The game was ported to the current generation of consoles with a lot of respect and attention to detail.
Even eleven years after the original, the fascination with the remake is unbroken. After a short playing time, the comfortably warm Souls feeling sets in. As a connoisseur of the original, I enjoy playing through it again as much as it used to. Even more so because I rediscover the many newly designed, but well-known areas.
Players who plunge into the world of Demon's Souls for the first time will also get their money's worth. In contrast to the newer Souls parts, the somewhat cumbersome healing system, the partly non-existent abbreviations to bosses (I only say: tower knight …) or the still existing camera problems cause unnecessary frustration, but it is hardly possible to avoid the pull of this masterpiece.
The Demon's Souls Remake is the exclusive launch game that one can only wish for on the PS5 and is now finally getting the attention it deserves in 2009.
They are Strengthen from Demon's Souls Remake:
- Remake perfectly captures the fascination of the original.
- The game world and residents are full of details thanks to a complete graphic revision.
- Lots of useful improvements in comfort.
- Optional graphics modes (cinema mode at 30 FPS or performance mode at 60 FPS).
- Very fast loading times when changing areas.
- Comprehensive character editor.
- World tendencies system also included in the remake.
They are weaknesses from Demon's Souls Remake:
- Relatively little new to discover for connoisseurs.
- Ray tracing technology is not used.
- Camera problems like in the original.
- Annoying collecting of medicinal herbs (no rechargeable bottles) like in Dark Souls.
What exactly has changed in the remake compared to the original? The following are some of the most important:
- The PS5 look: The graphical difference to the original is of course the most obvious. Still, it doesn't make this any less impressive. Every texture in the game has been rebuilt and accordingly the game world is bursting with details. Where in the original the gates of Boletaria protruded bare and gray into the sky, the towers burn brightly and smoke rises. To what extent the new character design of some opponents pisses you off, you have to decide for yourself, but we liked it throughout.
- The character editor: The legendary ugly character creation from the original game is a thing of the past. With the new editor, you can now make even uglier warriors, but also beautiful demon slayers. Countless sliders leave nothing to be desired here.
- Useful comfort functions: Among other things, very welcome differences concern gaming comfort. For example, you can now transfer items that you can no longer carry directly to your storage box in the Nexus. The password function for playing online with friends that you already know from other Souls games has also made it into the remake. Last but not least, further details such as the durability indicator of equipment in the lower left of the screen no longer cause nasty surprises in combat.
- New items and areas: The sixth wedge in the Nexus is still broken, but there are still some new areas, such as a mysterious door that was not there in the original. There are also a few new items to discover. If you want, you can also mirror the game world in the remake in order to experience new perspectives.
- NPCs: Speaking of animations, the NPCs in the game world are now more lively. In contrast to the original, they have facial animations when speaking and no longer act like lifeless statues.
- Changes to the combat system: Don't worry, the basic concept remains untouched here, but you can now move in eight different directions instead of in four as before. There are also new punch and combat animations that bring even more life into the intense battles.
- Faster loading times: The loading times on the PS3 were sometimes extremely long. Thanks to the fast SSD on the PS5, it only takes a few seconds to switch between areas.