At this point in time, the Playstation 5 library isn’t incredibly extensive. There are a few good games here and there, but few things that you can’t pick up on another machine. It’s still taking its first steps. Whether it will waddle, walk, or run is still yet to be seen.
Currently, as of the writing of this article, there are less than ten games only playable on the PS5. One of those being one of my personal most anticipated games of the year: the remake of Demon’s Souls.
Of all the games in the Soulsborne series, Demon’s Souls was the one in most dire need of an upgrade. Surprise, but the first game in a genre from 2009 has not aged incredibly gracefully. It was stiff, it was ugly, it was broken, and now, it isn’t even complete; the servers were taken down a few years ago. If this game were to survive, it needed to come back with a fresh coat of paint.
So, did the remake do its job? Or is it the same busted game from a decade ago?
Yes. And also no.
In terms of gameplay and story, this game is almost exactly the same as the original version. None of the areas, enemies, or bosses have been reworked in any way. If you’ve played the 2009 version, you’ve played this game.
Thankfully, there are a few improvements to modernize this game. You can now roll in any direction, not just four. Picking up items is much quicker. If you surpass your item carry capacity, the item will automatically be sent back to storage. All of the necessary improvements, the ones needed to make this game playable in the modern age and the new generation, were made.
It’s also not shocking to say that this game is a significant visual upgrade over the original. Surprise, a game released in 2020 on the PS5 is better looking than a game released in 2009 on the PS3! All of the environments, character models, and animations have been completely redone. They’re still faithful to their original designs, but they have a brand-new modern coat of paint. Even the music has been given an update!
And it. Is. Gorgeous!! The lighting! The use of color! The sheer amount of detail poured into every model and animation! This is the new generation!
Speaking of animations, there are a ton of them! Each weapon in the game, from your bare fists to the biggest sword, has its own backstab and parry animation! It’s a small thing, but it incentivizes trying new weapons! How would backstabbing a dude with a giant axe look compared to backstabbing him with a knife? Plus, they’re all totally brutal and incredibly satisfying!
This is helped a lot by the PS5’s new enhanced rumble feature. You can feel the blade entering the body, the club bashing the skull, so on and so forth. It’s the kind of thing you’ll stop noticing pretty quickly. But when you remember it’s there, it brings a feeling of great satisfaction!
It’s not all perfect, though. One of my biggest gripes is in the facial animations. That’s right! For the first time in a Souls game, the characters will actually move their face when they speak! While this is pretty fun and novel for long-time fans, it gets old pretty fast. Especially since some of these animations are really janky and kind of silly. A fun addition, but not an especially incredible one.
You know what is incredible, though? The load times. Or the lack thereof. One of the worst parts of the original game were the really long load times. Here? They practically don’t exist! Between hopping between levels, you’ll only have about two or three seconds of down time before you’re playing the game again! If that! It makes trying again after a death easier than ever!
I’m also a huge fan of the new character creator. It’s far more detailed and free-form than any other avatar maker in the series prior. The sheer amount of power given to the player when crafting their character is insane! You can make practically anything, from yourself to Shrek!
Overall, I think the Demon’s Souls remake is pretty good. It is definitely an improvement over the original version. But is it a PS5 seller? No. Sure, it’s pretty! But at its core, it’s still a PS3 game. A good one, yes! But a PS3 game nonetheless.