When the obscure Japanese roleplaying-action-adventure hybrid Demon’s Souls crept onto the gaming scene in 2009, few would have predicted the impact it would eventually have on the medium. Now, the word ‘Souls’ is enough to light up the face of a certain kind of gamer – the kind that has either succeeded or failed to conquer the challenges of one of developer From Software’s challenging epics.
To understand the legacy of this revered series, let’s go back to 2009, the year Demon’s Souls hit shelves. Demon’s Souls will incidentally be getting a full-fledged PS5 remake from Bluepoint games – go here if you want to learn more about this stunning game’s reveal. Here are five ways Demon’s Souls changed gaming forever.
1. It was difficult
Game design has always been fluid, but back in the late 2000s difficulty was not in fashion. While games usually had multiple difficulty settings, the main goal of many popular games at the time was to make it possible for anyone and everyone to finish the game. While this is an admirable idea, the Demon’s Souls team were not interested in it. You don’t have to look far to see Demon’s Souls influence in this regard, with many games stepping up to the plate to offer gamers tougher challenges for greater rewards.
2. It was punishing
To say that Demon’s Souls is punishing might sound like simply saying it is difficult but the concept is subtly different. Demon’s Souls’ methodical approach to combat was not only challenging, it took real dedication to master. Only those willing to put the time and effort into learning every aspect of the game would survive to see it through.
3. It made you work for its story
While games like Uncharted and Heavy Rain were doing a great job of telling video game stories on par with the latest movies, Demon’s Souls was playing an entirely different game. Demon’s Souls was full of dark and rich lore but it was hidden deep within the game’s environments, items, and even gameplay mechanics. This tradition has carried over into other games from From Software and beyond.
4. It made fantasy darker than ever before
While fantasy settings in games often do a great job of emulating western fantasy greats like Tolkein, Demon’s Souls took a decidedly darker approach, weaving in elements of traditional fantasy with influences from occult folklore and Japanese manga.