With no UK release anywhere on the horizon, those of us who are hoping to get our paws on a copy of Demon Souls, the highly anticipated new action rpg from Atlus, perhaps ought to consider the option of pre-ordering an American version. True, this means that you will most likely be locked to US servers (so playing against gamers in the US) when using the online facilities but who knows when or even if we'll see it come out this side of the pond?
Luckily Axel Music are currently offering the title to preorder for a bit cheaper than any of the competition and even better will be shipping from the EU so there will no be no need for stressing about it getting tied up in customs for weeks and no extra tax or “handling charges” to worry about.
Axel are also offering the deluxe edition (which comes with 150 page strategy guide in a posh case as well as an artbook and soundtrack according to the site) for £49.82.
Fabled to be one of the most challenging and unforgiving RPG/action games ever, Demon's Souls has received both positive and negative responses to its oh-so-difficult gameplay, with reviewer Paint Yamamoto of Japanese games site Famitsu claiming “"This is a game you learn how to play by losing -- you'll face sudden death frequently. But keep playing... and you'll realize how deep it really is” and awarding it 9/10.
The narrative centres around the Kingdom of Boletaria which has become besieged by a thick fog, which has isolated it from the rest of the world, and overrun by demons
You can choose your character's type from one of ten “classses”, ranging from Barbarian to Priest, Thief to Royal (however you will have the opportunity to shift between classes later in the game) as well as choosing their gender and customising their appearance. There is a variety of weaponry that you can wield, with gameplay adjusting to fit your choice.
Demon's Souls utilises online play in a rather unique and clever way. You will be connected to PSN at all times while playing the game which can be be pretty handy as it gives you access to message, hints and tips which other intrepid players who have gone before you have left. Furthermore the deaths of these brave souls are also represented by a bloodstain with which you can interact to see the players final breaths. This allows you to learn not just from your own mistakes but from those of others too. There is even the option to jump in and out of others' games to either help them or make off with their soul-shaped loot.
Demon's Souls is, by all accounts, a dark game in terms of its story, visuals, sound track and the fact that you will fall down head so often you may lose count, but also a fascinating and deeply rewarding challenge. More one for those who prefer a slow, treacherous, ride to success over instant gratification and non-stop action. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to customise your character and learn from your (probably frequent) mistakes then there is plenty here to reward you.
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