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Julius

Demon's Souls (12th November 2020)

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Every time I hear someone describing a Souls game, it seems to get even worse. I had no idea about the experience dilemmas until now.


I can't think of a game I would enjoy less!

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10 hours ago, Goron_3 said:

Get Bloodborne. It's the perfect entry into the series. The Victorian, H.P Lovecraft inspired setting is incredibly well put together and the gameplay is much faster and aggressive that Dark Souls.

Gaggle summarises many of the great things about the Soulsborne titles, but it's the small things that really make the games so great. Using Bloodborne as an example, you're exploring a rich and diverse world without a map or markers to help you get your bearings. A big part of the experience is not just becoming skilled enough to defeat the enemies /  bosses, but also in unlocking shortcuts in the environment to help you get between areas quicker (for example, opening a one way gate or activating a lift that let's you easily connect between the area in which you spawned in and the area in which you just spent an hour trying to reach). 

The Soulsbourne games also use a unique mechanic whereby the experience you gained by killing enemies (which you can use to level up) are lost if you fall in combat. When you respawnn, the enemy that killed you will hold that experience, but if you die again before you retrieve it, it's lost forever. It's creates these really tense scenarios whereby you'll have immersed yourself into an area and are pushing forward (often against you're own best judgement) because you're hoping you will unlock a short cut to connect you back to the save point. Do you back track to save area, cash in your experience and level up (which respawns all the enemies you just killed) or do you keep venturing forward knowing that if you die, you've lost all that experience?

Furthermore, the bosses are universally loved in each of the games and they are designed to really test your ability to hold your nerve and make crucial decisions. Most enemies in Bloodborne and the Souls games, even the weak guys you saw in the trailer, can easily kill you in one or two hits if you're not careful. The experience is about understanding what move they are about to use, whether to block/roll or whether to attack. Honestly, even after putting 100 hours into Bloodborne, I've gone back to earlier areas and got wrecked by a relatively weak enemy because I wasn't focused enough. 

Give Bloodborne a go. It's just a brilliantly woven game. I can't praise it enough. 

Thanks for the insight.

I've played (and loved) games with Souls-like mechanics you mention, Hollow Knight or Jedi Fallen Order. Obviously not to the same extent, but there are similarities. I think I'd enjoy that tense risk/reward gameplay. If I can get through Darkest Dungeon without going mad (unlike some of the characters I played as), I should be able to enjoy Souls games. 

Reading this it sounds like I definitely should have given Bloodborne a chance when I still had my PS4. Don't think I'll bother with PS+ on PS5 though so might have to find it cheap somewhere if you think it's a better more modern experience than Demon Souls.

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One thing I'll say about the Souls games is that actually, they're not that difficult at all. They are games that reward understanding, experience and patience. The whole "you'll die a lot" thing is true but it's not like you need to be a gamer with good twitch reflexes to do well.

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1 hour ago, Sheikah said:

One thing I'll say about the Souls games is that actually, they're not that difficult at all. They are games that reward understanding, experience and patience. The whole "you'll die a lot" thing is true but it's like you need to be a gamer with good twitch reflexes to do well.

This is very true. The games aren't brutally tough; they are just punishing. People assume that the games are impossibly hard but they are actually very fair.

@Ronnie Whilst I've not played it, the same team behind Bloodborne /Dark Souls also made a game called Sekiro which is also on Xbox (which I believe you have access to?). Sekiro is an even more aggressive version of Bloodborne from what I've heard, and having just reminding myself of the Easy Allies and Digital Foundry reviews, it looks like it runs wonderfully on the Xbox.

 

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15 minutes ago, Goron_3 said:

This is very true. The games aren't brutally tough; they are just punishing. People assume that the games are impossibly hard but they are actually very fair.

@Ronnie Whilst I've not played it, the same team behind Bloodborne /Dark Souls also made a game called Sekiro which is also on Xbox (which I believe you have access to?). Sekiro is an even more aggressive version of Bloodborne from what I've heard, and having just reminding myself of the Easy Allies and Digital Foundry reviews, it looks like it runs wonderfully on the Xbox.

 

Had a quick look at Sekiro when everyone was talking about it but it didn't appeal to me for whatever reason, will have a proper look though and see, thanks!

Edited by Ronnie
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The difficulty of the Souls games is exaggerated, true, but they're still difficult when push comes to shove. And it's one of the few series where seeking out tips and guidance online comes recommended - if you go in blind you unwittingly handicap yourself in a big way, as the mechanics aren't made transparent. I'd also disagree slightly with buddy Goron: some things in the series are outright unfair, but like other unconventional aspects of the game (including the opaque systems, minimal dialogue etc) in most cases they make the game better, darkly funny, or at least distinct. We could pick bones about what encounters are fair or unfair, but ultimately we'd all agree that even the hardest sections are worth persevering with. Also not mentioned: the sense of atmosphere and reward you get in Souls games is unmatched, and so many details contribute to that.

My personal recommendation would be to play Dark Souls first. Play the best, I reckon, and then try the other entries if you like it. I love what they've revealed of the Demon's remake so far, don't get me wrong. The FOV makes it look way more cinematic than I remember it being, and it'll still be a treat to play even after all this time. But some of the less polished aspects of the game could put new players off, so you may as well try the series at its peak if possible, and it's cheap and easy to do.

I didn't get along with the movement/combat of Sekiro so I didn't stick with it, but that might've been from general Soulsborne fatigue more than anything else.

Edited by dwarf
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Yeah, this is going to be my first From game and I cannot wait. Maybe it ends up bouncing off me, but I'm more than willing to give things a go outside of my wheelhouse and try new things! 

I think a big part of that will be the loading times and how quickly you can get back into the game, I've seen one or two streams of the Souls games and I feel like cutting down on those load times should mitigate a lot of the concerns I had about how quickly I get back to playing after dying, how quickly I can get back to where I was to reclaim souls, etc. 

Speaking of which, loading comparison with the original game:

SerpentineHandsomeHoneyeater-size_restri

Insane what a difference a couple of gens, an SSD, and Bluepoint can make! 

Also, the minimum file size and number of network players has been spotted on the PlayStation Direct site. 

Quote

1 player. 2-6 network players. 66GB minimum. 

Just looked it up and the maximum number of network players in the original was 4, so that's neat! 

Edited by Julius

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23 minutes ago, Julius said:

Speaking of which, loading comparison with the original game:

SerpentineHandsomeHoneyeater-size_restri

Insane what a difference a couple of gens, an SSD, and Bluepoint can make! 

But when will I be able to drink my coffee :(

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18 minutes ago, drahkon said:

But when will I be able to drink my coffee :(

Once you've finished the game :laughing:

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2 minutes ago, Julius said:

Once you've finished the game :laughing:

But I need my coffee now :D

Anyway, I think they should've made the trailer a little more realistic. One-shotting these enemies, while possible later on, isn't very representative of the game :p

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8 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Anyway, I think they should've made the trailer a little more realistic. One-shotting these enemies, while possible later on, isn't very representative of the game :p

It was a weird choice for sure. I get the feeling that was only the case due to some sort of time restriction for their part in the show, and they just wanted to quickly showcase the different environments and lighting at the start. 

But yeah I am fully expecting that same section to take me 20-30 minutes :laughing:

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But I need my coffee now
Anyway, I think they should've made the trailer a little more realistic. One-shotting these enemies, while possible later on, isn't very representative of the game
I suspect they did that because you'll notice there's no HUD element or locking on to enemies going on - I think they wanted to make a pretty looking demo. Which means they can probably just about one shot the enemies without it looking weird.

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Yooo, I know why they did it :p

I just don't think it's representative. Newcomers might be taken aback once they start the game :D

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Well, it's still 53 days away over here in Europe...

But Digital Foundry's breakdown of the recent gameplay shown during the PS5 Showcase will at least make the wait 10 minutes and 45 seconds shorter! :p

 

Edited by Julius
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Digital Deluxe Edition is on the way. Besides the Scythe, are the rest available in-game anyways (besides the OST of course), and this is just a boost at the start of your journey? 

Oh, and some more awesome images to drool over:

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Edited by Julius

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More footage from Famitsu:

Some additional info from Polygon. Confirmed no 6th archstone:

 

Edited by Julius
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This looks extraordinary. Easily the best game I've ever seen.

When I do pick up a PS5, this will be the first game I play. I'm currently working my way through Dark Souls Remastered and I'm in love with it. Bloodborne is still my favourite though.

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PS3 vs PS5 comparison by ElAnalistaDeBits:

Awesome. Though I like the cinematic look of the new camera, the option to play with the original camera angle is probably going to be the way I end up playing. Not that it doesn't look great with the cinematic camera, just feels a little too close to the action, and being slightly off-set too makes me think I might have a better time with the original one. 

Maybe :p

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Does look incredible, first time I've been wowed by something next gen. I played the original before Dark Souls, and I'm glad I did because I don't know if I could have gone back to Demon Souls. Dark Souls ironed out a lot of the concepts in Demon's, and was far less opaque (which is saying something). Lots to love though still in Demon's, and one of those things is the aesthetic designs of the levels, which as opposed to Demon Souls (which has to abide by a modicum of continuity due to the connected world), is diverse and brilliant. Whenever it is I pick up a PS5 (probs 2-3 years down the line) I will be picking this up too. Highly recommended

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State of Play shadow drop:

Quote

SIE Worldwide Studios Creative Director Gavin Moore shares development and gameplay insight into Demon's Souls, a PlayStation classic lovingly rebuilt for PS5.

In this tour, we’re sticking with the offline experience – once the game launches, you’ll be able to discover the asynchronous and synchronous multiplayer features that make Demon’s Souls so adored among fans.

 

Edited by Julius
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