Developer: From Software
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2009
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site
In a nutshell: I spent nearly half of the hour dead.
0:00 I was pretty unimpressed with a live Internet video demo of this game a few months ago -- it just looked like any other dungeon hack-and-slasher. But then the game came out and all sorts of critics started praising it for its design and punishing-but-fair difficulty, so I figured I had to see what all the fuss was about.
0:01 "On the first day man was granted a soul, and with it, clarity. On the second day upon Earth was planted an irrevocable poison, a soul-devouring Demon." Wow, so we only got one uninterrupted day with a soul? LAME!
0:02 A flying beast casts a huge shadow over land. A choir chants over timpani and trumpets as a lone armored hero takes out a bunch of shambling, possibly undead soldiers in slow-mo. He gets knocked back and rises to face a skeleton holding a huge scimitar. Organ music as a glowing ghost shoots an arrow at the skeleton. A giant dragon-ish beast rises up in the middle distance and roars. Fade to white as the choir fades out. Yeah ... that intro did nothing to convince me this isn't the same hack-and-slash crap I've played a million times.
0:05 The game can't connect to the Demon's Souls server, possibly because it's a trade demo and not a retail copy. Looks like I'm going it alone...
0:07 Time to "Create Profile." I name my character "?!," because I can. I can be a Soldier, Knight, Hunter, Priest, Magician, Wanderer, Barbarian, Thief, Temple Knight or Royalty. That's a lot of choices! I think I'll go with Royalty, just because it's so different. And regal!