Demon’s Souls is finally getting some love with a long-awaited return to FromSoftware’s 2009 masterpiece. Bluepoint Games, the studio that handled the Shadow of the Colossus remake and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, have been tasked by Sony to develop this “re-envisioning” from the ground up exclusively for PlayStation 5.
Since FromSoftware’s Elden Ring hasn’t been seen in over a year, Demon’s Souls might be the next thing to scratch that Souls-like itch for many of us.
Here’s everything we currently know about Demon’s Souls, including its gameplay, release date, screenshots, setting, announcement trailer and something called "Fractured Mode."
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Demon’s Souls release date
Demon's Souls will be launching on November 12th, the same day that the PS5 will become available to the public. Contrary to what many of us originally thought was possible, this makes the game one of the console's launch titles.
The first gameplay trailer for Demon's Souls had revealed that the title would launch on PC at some point. However, this was apparently an error. I personally find this hard to believe, as Sony has been recently expanding towards the PC market. Demon's Souls may not launch on PC soon, but I bet it'll happen eventually.
Demon’s Souls gameplay
2009’s Demon’s Souls was revolutionary because it started the Souls-like genre, and was first in a long line of similar critically-acclaimed games developed by FromSoftware. The primary philosophies of the gameplay include strict checkpoints, complex level design, challenging boss fights, no manual saving systems, a world filled with danger at every corner, and a combat system that relies on careful strikes and well-timed dodging.
As these are the core aspects for what makes Demon’s Souls so phenomenal, it’s safe to assume that Bluepoint will be sticking to them. However, one of my biggest questions relates to how they might modernize the combat system. Will it play closer to Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3? Or do they intend to stay true to the original, as it’s far slower, less aggressive and more tactical?
Demon’s Souls feels sluggish and clunky due to its age, but if Bluepoint irons out certain kinks, it could keep the feel of the original without having to emulate the faster momentum of modern Souls games.
I'm also interested in how Bluepoint will balance the magic systems. One of Demon's Souls' biggest issues relates to certain spells being overpowered, as an ability like Firestorm can nearly one-shot a handful of bosses while a spell, like Warding, makes you nearly invincible in the face of most attacks.
Not only that, but similar to the original Dark Souls, keeping your shield up is always an incredible strategy. I managed to tank my way through some of the hardest bosses in the game just by blocking strikes, so I hope Bluepoint can take away some of its power and keep things more balanced.
Demon's Souls gameplay trailer
At Sony's PS5 Showcase, the company revealed our first look at gameplay for Bluepoint's Demon's Souls. To say it's everything I ever wanted is an understatement.
The trailer gave us an incredible first look at the opening area of the game, showing off just a taste of the re-imagined environments. We got to see classic bosses like the Armored Spider, Tower Knight and Flamelurker.
Demon's Souls setting
One thing I'd love for Bluepoint to do with the Demon's Souls remake is to bring back an area that was cut from the original. Within the hub of the game, there's always been an Archstone that was partially shattered, never allowing the player to interact with it and enter its mysterious world.
While this may have just seemed like a tease by the developers, it was actually intended to be an area called The Northern Limit. Dedicated fans dove deep into the game's files and have gotten a detailed look at it.
It's exciting to imagine how Bluepoint could create their own area from scratch, allowing for new bosses, weapons, items, enemies, and a world that's hopefully as memorable as the rest of the game. In the first gameplay trailer, I tried my best to spot if the Northern Limit Archstone was restored, but the trailer doesn't pan towards that part of the hub area.
Since the game is coming out so soon, this might not actually end up happening. However, I really hope Bluepoint Games does get to work on it.
In general, the most striking aspects of Demon's Souls revolve around its incredibly creative environments and how they interweave with the mechanics to allow for a terrifying experience. When traversing the quiet halls of Latria, the player will learn to fear the slightest of noises, as it could mean any one of its Lovecraftian nightmares has found them.
Or when perched upon the Shrine of Storms, players are fearful of even the most minor sight of the sky. That's because Storm Beasts are constantly lurking and waiting for the player to peek their head out so they can launch deadly spikes.
When trudging through the Valley of Defilement, players have to be careful when attacking; one misstep could result in a tumble off the edge and a swift death. And as they descend further, they'll learn to steer clear of the area's discolored liquid. It's indicative of the plagued enemies that are particularly deadly when the player can barely move.
I've never panicked more in a video game than when I first entered a cage in Latria that descended down for what felt like an eternity. Ultimately, I was released into a crimson swamp. I was already freaking out, but when I caught sight of vile centipede creatures with screaming human faces morphed into their bodies, I turned around and got out of there as fast as I could.
This is exactly the type of experience Demon's Souls is all about, one wrought with terror and panic. Hopefully, Bluepoint can modernize these emotions and not lose sight of how important it is to keep the core horror of Demon's Souls intact.
Demon’s Souls screenshots
A handful of new Demon's Souls screenshots have been revealed to the public. This includes a close-up look at the Armored Spider, the balcony of the Nexus and the horrifying Gargoyle section within the Tower of Latria. We also got an incredible view of Boletarian Palace from afar.
Besides from the new screenshots, the original batch showcases the changes in the tutorial area and Boletarian Palace. In 2009's Demon's Souls, these areas relied on simplistic castle designs and seemed well-kept, which clearly indicated they were being lived in by something resembling humans. However, in these re-envisioned screenshots, the castle grounds seem deserted with weeds growing between the stones and bricks that are scattered around haphazardly.
Demon’s Souls announcement trailer
Demon’s Souls was revealed at Sony’s Future of Gaming event on June 11, where fans were treated to an incredible announcement trailer that showcased a handful of the game’s most memorable bosses and encounters. I got goosebumps the moment the familiar theme began playing and we saw the dangling corpse being hung above a ravaged world.
There are so many nostalgic moments scattered throughout the trailer, including the Storm King and his beasts soaring through the thunderous skies, the Tower Knight slamming his gigantic shield into the castle grounds, and most dangerous of all, that pesky Reaper with his horde of Shadowlurkers. It’s no exaggeration to say that I screamed in excitement when this trailer was first revealed.
Demon's Souls Digital Deluxe Edition
Demon's Souls will launch with a Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition. Obviously, the Standard Edition just comes with the game, but if you pre-order Demon's Souls, you'll get access to a unique Reaper Scythe weapon.
As far as what's available in the Digital Deluxe Edition, it's quite a long list. As far equipment goes, players will receive access to Red-Eye Knight Armor, Boletarian Royalty Armor, Hoplite Shield, Ritual Blade, and Ring of Longevity.
This edition will also come with many one-time use consumables like Perseveration Grains, Phosphorescent Grains, Bearbug Grains, Storied Warrior Soul, Renowned Warrior Soul, and Legendary Hero Soul.
Additionally, weapon upgrade materials like the Large Hardstone Shard and Moonlightstone Shard will be included in the package. However, the coolest part of this edition is that it comes with the Demon's Souls Original Soundtrack. I'm highly anticipating what some of the original game's most memorable songs sound like now.
The Digital Deluxe Edition costs $89.99 ($69.99 for Standard) and can be purchased here.
Demon's Souls Fractured Mode
When Demon's Souls was announced, Sony released a PlayStation Blog providing further details on the game. Within this blog, a specific statement talks about how the game has been "masterfully enhanced with a new 'Fractured Mode.'" Fans have been heavily contemplating what this could mean, but the best theory so far relates to a piece of cut content present in the original Demon's Souls called "True Death." The Demon's Souls Wiki describes True Death as a hardcore mode that makes failure far more severe and punishing.
As written in the Wiki, "When your HP reaches 0 in ghost form, True Death occurs. A player with a True Death has all of their gained experience reset."
It's clear why this mode might have been cut, as adding a perma-death mechanic to a game that's already incredibly difficult would have been far too risky at the time. However, now that Souls fans are desperate for an extreme challenge, Bluepoint Games could bring some form of True Death back without getting severe backlash.
Demon's Souls SSD and load time
Gavin Moore, Creative Director at Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio, has provided some more information in a blog post about how the PS5's SSD is doing such great work to help Bluepoint Games realize their Demon's Souls re-imagining.
Moore talks a bit about the SSD and how useful it has been, claiming that they "see it not just as storage but also memory, utilizing the speed of the SSD to load data at blistering speeds, bringing you straight back into the action to avenge your many deaths."
This is great news, as Bloodborne was notorious for its frustrating load times. When players would die, especially before the patch that made things a bit better, they had to wait anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to get back into the action.
Dying in something as difficult as the Soulsborne series evokes a feeling of blistering anger. We want nothing more than to obliterate those who wronged us. Like the Batman, we become vengeance.
Demon's Souls menu music leak
Demon's Souls' menu music has been apparently leaked online, although we're unsure if this is official by any stretch of the imagination. Reports claim that Sony had accidentally released this audio to its servers and fans got their hands on it.
Demon's Souls Remake Audio also included pic.twitter.com/sKgWEc5AzJOctober 19, 2020
Twitter account Gaming Leaks & Rumors has preserved the audio, since it's been taken down by YouTube. Although it may not be confirmed, it's easy to believe this is official as it sounds like a professional mix of the Maiden in Black theme from the original Demon's Souls.