Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Demon Souls: VERY first impressions

Last night I got home after an evening of drinks, chow and cup cakes celebrating my girl friends Birthday, to a package sitting on my desk.

Like a mad animal I tore that thing open and inside it was my import copy of Demon's Souls :D

Demon's Souls is the spiritual prequel to Dark Souls, the game that has had me firmly in its grasp since I first put into my ps3 tray.

Even though Demon's Soul came out back in 2009 in Japan, the game looks amazing. From the opening video to the first time you step into the world of Boletaria, the game is rich with details and polish that would put some of the current games to shame. The only thing to me that sort of threw me of at first was the very slightly stiff animations for the main character. In Dark Souls your toon moves with such fluidity. This does nothing to hinder the game in any way though, and after a while you don't even notice it.

Right off the bat it was clear that Demon's Soul had more of a precise narrative to it as well. Where as the beginnings of Dark Souls are a bit of an enigma that you have to work out, Demon's Soul tells you about a Mad king and his meddling with dark rituals beyond his control to gain power, which leads to the world being plunged into sort of evil fog. From this fog we get these mad ass demons that have come to eat our souls!

There's a slight Lovecrat element to the story (At least to me) as we hear of old ones and their servants seeping into our world, looking to claim what is ours as theirs.

As you begin your journey you're guided through a tutorial by an unknown voice, this again was a lot more extensive than the one from Dark Souls. At the end though you come face to face with this massive demon that quickly crushes you.

As you die this unknown guide brings you back to 'life' and you wake up in this thing called the Nexus.

This is where the first big difference from Dark Souls pops. Where as in the Dark Souls you have a sort of open world where all the ares are linked and you make your way between them without loading times (unless you port), in Demons Souls you have the Nexus that has portals that warp you to the different areas.

This place is also filled with refugees that range from Black smiths, merchants and this one guy who offers to hold all your shit if your inventory is full.

Also now I was in my 'undead' form, but unlike Dark Souls where being undead means you look like shit and can't hurt things as much... in Demon's Souls you still look pretty, but you're life bar is slashed in half. To get the rest of it back you must acquire a demon soul and the first one can be found through the nearest warp gate.

After I made my rounds meeting and greeting I entered the first warp gate and was taken to a massive fortress. When I say massive... I mean massive. The sense of scale grabbed me right away. Looking up at the giant walls that stood before, thinking about what horrors might be waiting inside... a feeling of both fear and joy crept over me. Joy because I love exploring new places, fear because the place looked farkin creepy and I knew there were any number of things in there that are just waiting to tear the shit out of me.

The combat in the game actually handles just like Dark Souls, with controls that are very responsive. The mechanics are pretty much the same, with counters, shield bashes and everything else I've gotten used to.

But the baddies, the baddies were are lot more aggressive. I also felt it played up the horror element a bit more too, from the blood curdling cries of the shambling zombies to the eerie music (or sometimes lack of) that haunted your journey.

Making my way through the dark halls of this menacing fortress, I was truly tensed out of my mind. I had gotten so used to Dark Souls as it forced you to learn every nook and cranny of it. But now I was up against a new area, with new traps and new baddies.

That's what Demon's Souls is... more Dark Souls. Or Dark Souls is more Demon's Souls.

I didn't get to play much of Demons Souls last night though as it was my girl friends birthday and I really wanted to spend some time with her, so after I died a few times on this one red eyed spear knight, I decided to call it.

But I know that this game will be another addiction. I want to say that it's sort of an early version of Dark Souls, but that doesn't sound nice and takes away from the games greatness, but it definitely feels like a more raw Dark Souls. Darker, more in your face and out to get you, with some indication of a story that it wants to tell. Plus like I mentioned it feels even eerier.

I love it, and am really glad that I got it.

Tonight we have a family dinner, but as soon as that's done I'm so hitting this game with a vengeance!

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