E3 Impression

Demon's Souls


Anna Marie Neufeld

The scarab from Aladdin multiplied and grew, apparently.

I didn't expect to have much interest in Demon's Souls since I don't own a PS3, but it's an interesting concept nonetheless. A Diablo-styled dungeon action RPG with exploration, Demon's Souls wasn't what I expected.

Our sample hero had both melee and ranged weapons, and used them both proficiently, taking down enemies with only a few blows; presumably, the game gets harder as the player progresses. It has an online-esque portion where players can see ghosts of others in the world when they are battling at the same locations. In addition, there's an elaborate "notes" system for players to leave each other game hints and tips. We ran across one that said "Look out!" and sure enough, a giant boulder was rolling towards us — RUN! We ducked around a corner, with a sigh of relief. We would have died had that note not been there, so as thanks to whoever wrote it we gave it a vote up. Notes with more up votes will come frequently, as players have found this information helpful.

Oh man, that looks so sweet on my van with Tull playing!

Sadly, we did not take the advice of the next couple notes, which told us not to go further without magic and that the mob ahead should be returned to once we weren't quite such newbs. We charged ahead and were confronted by an enemy that would be impossible for us to defeat, so we quickly scribbled a note "Goodbye," and died a shameful death. Scattered throughout levels are bloodstains, where you can watch the last couple of deaths that occured in the area. This is another great tool to ascertain what is coming ahead and any dangers that may lurk around that dark corner over there....

Since we were dead, we decided to create a new character. Aram, Atlus' PR drone, decided to make a female named "Anna," and to show just how crazy the customizations can get, made her horse-faced, much to my chagrin. The new horsie "Anna" went into the world and we whipped through the tutorial, which had notes relating to various commands that the player could use to attack, dodge, move, and other relevant choices for an action-intensive game. We viewed several very pretty cutscenes that were quite stunning and gave us more info as to why "Anna" was where she was, and what her motivations were. Handy.

Right now there are already servers which host an Asian version of the game, and the final decision on whether North America will share these servers or have its own has not been finalized. Either way, PS3 owners should look forward to a very solid hack and slash that goes above and beyond most titles in the genre. I hesitate to call it a system-selling game, but along with some of the other items coming out of E3 it makes me give some serious consideration to purchasing the console some time in 2010.

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