Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Demons and Demigods

Posted by deckard47 on April 23, 2009

I call the book rights for that one.

Um, but back to business. No Demigod last night, I was too busy wrangling with Sacred 2. I know it seems weird that I’m spending so much time on getting this one game patched, but it’s a lot of fun, and the patch fixes the fact that it is broken all over the damn place. Anyway, it seems that there is no way to patch my version of the game using the patches they have, because mine is 1.11, some bastard castoff between UK retail (1.01?) and US retail (1.12). I wish I was kidding. What happened to the days when you could just patch something, and it didn’t have to start any particular damn place. I guess I should go buy a copy if I really want the patch. Which seems dumb, and expensive, especially since Ascaron (the studio that made the game) is going under. Hell.

Second (and the reason for the Demons), there’s this game that I read a preview of a while ago. Japanese PS3 exclusive, called Demon’s Souls, which tasked you with killing demons and collecting their souls, naturally. It’s just been import reviewed by Eurogamer, and sounds sweet: as far from DMC 4 and Ninja Gaiden 2 as one could hope for (that’s me, hoping). Listen up:

Demon’s Souls is deeply tactical, preferring to pit you one-on-one against vicious and high-level enemies that can use the same tactics, weapons and magic as you rather than drowning you in a sea of lesser foes. You slowly build up a large inventory of vastly differing equipment and skills for yourself as you inch your way through the levels, finding treasure, killing demons and using the souls you get from them to buy a tiny bit more health, strength, magic power, carry weight or life-saving equipment.

Yes, I like the sound of it. But wait! There’s more!

What you fight with is entirely up to you. Any character can scavenge, buy and use any weapon. Go with a sword and shield and you can parry enemies’ attacks with the latter before stabbing them through the heart in slow motion, if your timing’s good enough (mistime your parry, and you’ll probably die). Choose a dagger and light armor and you can roll and dart around before stabbing demons in the back for a similar, satisfyingly gory critical hit.

Using a bow lets you stalk enemies in first-person from a distant turret. Find a wand, and you can cast magic; find a talisman, you can heal yourself with miracles. The closest comparison is Monster Hunter, but Demon’s Souls’ combat controls are more precise; the weapons feel realistic rather than comically extreme. Fighting is physical, violent and cathartic, and you find yourself forming genuine attachments to favorite weapons.

Fuck yes.  I want to choose a dagger and light armor! But there is, indeed, more:

When you die in Demon’s Souls – and you will die, a lot – you lose your physical body, becoming a soul with half a health bar (although in practice it’s more like a three quarters, as there’s a ring in the very first world that lets you cling a little closer to life). The only way to get it back is to kill a boss monster.

When you die again you lose all of the demon souls you’ve collected from your hard graft, and have to fight your way back through the level to your own bloodstain to regain them – at which point you either have to sprint for dear life away from whatever killed you the last time, or face getting unceremoniously dispatched by it once more. Die a third time before you make it back to your bloodstain and those souls are gone forever, which is truly heartbreaking when you have to work so hard for them.

To summarize, you end up playing the vast majority of Demon’s Souls as either a dead person or a dead person with no money. Every time you die, you start again at the beginning, with all the enemies you just struggled to overcome back where they were. There is no compromise. There’s not even a pause button. You get better, or you get nowhere.

I’m sorry about the huge block quotes, but I wanted to impress upon you how weirdly excited I am by this game, and why. In this game, once you reach a certain level, you can enter other character’s games and assassinate them. But only if they’ve activated the ability to call in other nice players to guide them through the levels in the forms of balls of light. But if you go around assassinating people for their demon souls, your world becomes darker and more dangerous, but contains more rewards. Shit, just go read it, for real this time. It sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard of before.

Oh wait, there aren’t any plans to bring it to the US. Hell, again. Time to import, for the first time ever? I’m going to look into this soon, because this sounds so incredibly interesting. And totally not up my alley (which is not a nice place to go), when you think about it. Back to work!

(If I buy this, Iexpect any of you who have PS3’s to buy it and play it as an evil assassin who comes into my world and kills me)


2 Responses to “Demons and Demigods”

  1. How the shit is this not getting an import?

  2. deckard47 said

    I don’t know! I want to follow the link at the bottom of the article that details how to import an English language version from Hong Kong. Except I just dropped 40 on Demigod. Crap.

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