Before we dive in, let‘s get this question out of the way – no, Demon‘s Souls is not available for free on any platform. As a big-budget PlayStation exclusive, you‘ll have to pay full price to experience this remake of the pioneering Soulsborne classic.
But for hardcore gamers, the $70 entry fee provides a deep action RPG that‘s worth every penny. With its meticulously crafted world, uniquely challenging gameplay, and enormously influential legacy, Demon‘s Souls defined an entire genre for the better part of the last decade.
In this guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about the games‘ pricing, history, combat, and prepare you to embark on your grueling quest through the fog-shrouded land of Boletaria.
A Legacy of Death and Despair
Before Dark Souls enthralled millions, there was Demon‘s Souls. When it launched first in Japan in 2009, gamers got their first harsh lesson in the unforgiving, yet rewarding style that would become FromSoftware‘s calling card.
Releasing in 2010 internationally, Demon‘s Souls was a sleeper hit that garnered critical praise and a passionate cult following. "Few games have had such an impact on my enjoyment of gaming as a whole as Demon‘s Souls", wrote IGN in their 9.5 review.
Despite modest sales, Demon‘s Souls‘ unique online integration and brutally challenging gameplay inspired a wave of successors. Speaking to The Guardian, director Hidetaka Miyazaki said: “I did not expect Demon’s Souls to become a hit. I’m embarrassed by my ability to evaluate games.”
Yet this seemingly niche title laid the groundwork for the Soulsborne empire. Dark Souls and Bloodborne evolved the formula adding cohesive interconnected worlds and faster reflex-focused combat. In the decade since, these hardcore RPGs have collectively sold over 27 million copies worldwide.
Visuals and Gameplay Leap to Next-Gen
With the launch of the PlayStation 5, Bluepoint Games rebuilt Demon‘s Souls from the ground up to take advantage of new hardware. Visually, the PS5 remake is a showstopper, rendering Boletaria with stunning fidelity at a buttery smooth 60 FPS in 4K.
But Bluepoint‘s improvements go beyond cosmetics. Melee and ranged combat feels tighter with new motion-captured animations. Quality of life upgrades reduce tedious backtracking. And dedicated servers provide smoother online multiplayer.
However, the signature difficulty remains intact. "It‘s still as tough as it ever was", warns PushSquare. Be prepared to die again, and again, and again. But with each failed attempt, you‘ll improve and discover new tactics.
For gamers craving a hardcore challenge, Demon‘s Souls provides some of the most rewarding gameplay around.
The PS5‘s Killer App Justifies the Premium Price
At $70, Demon‘s Souls sits on the pricier end of PS5 launch titles. But when considering the scope and quality of this remake, it delivers tremendous value. Destructoid calls it "the first real must-own game on the PlayStation 5", claiming "Sony needs to push this, because right now, it‘s the killer app"
To put the cost in perspective, here‘s how Demon‘s Souls compares to other big PS5 exclusives:
- Marvel‘s Spider-Man Miles Morales: $49.99
- Returnal: $69.99
- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart: $69.99
- Horizon Forbidden West: $69.99
As a massive and visually stunning remake of an iconic RPG, Demon‘s Souls earns its premium ticket. Gamers know quality and depth when they see it.
The Door‘s Open for a PC Port
Unfortunately, Demon‘s Souls remains restricted to PlayStation consoles. But there is hope it could come to PC, as several other FromSoftware titles have. Dark Souls 1-3 and Sekiro are now on Steam with strong sales.
In a 2021 interview, director Gavin Moore said porting to PC is “not off the table” but “no plans at the moment.” So while not guaranteed, a PC port down the road is very possible.
Until then, playing Demon‘s Souls means either buying a used PS3 or the remake on PS5. But for diehard Souls fans, the investment is worthwhile.
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Make no mistake, Demon‘s Souls will test your patience. A first playthrough typically takes around 30-50 hours depending on skill level. Speedrunners have finished in under 45 minutes, but that involves major glitches.
For most players, progress will be gradual. Attempting to rush leads to quick deaths. With methodical skill-based combat, fights often last several minutes testing every move. But each small accomplishment rewards exponentially.
According to HowLongtoBeat, completing the main story averages 231⁄2 hours. For full completion, expect closer to 60 hours. That‘s on par with other Souls games, making Demon‘s Souls well worth the $70.
Mastering the Melee and Magic Systems
Combat in Demon‘s Souls works much like Dark Souls. You have light and heavy attacks, blocking and parrying, ranged options, and rolling to evade. But mastering your chosen weapon takes practice. Enemies punish mistakes harshly.
Stats also impact your playstyle. Strength governs physical damage for heavy melee builds. Dexterity boosts evasion for nimble fighters. Magic allows ranged attacks and buffs. Faith improves defenses through miracles.
Classes serve as templates, but you‘re free to customize your build. A Royalty could spec heavily into Strength. Mix and match to suit your preferred tactics. Just know respec options are limited.
Survival Tips for New Players
For those new to Demon‘s Souls, here are some pointers to help you minimize frustration:
- Choose the Royal class – Starts with ranged magic to lure enemies
- Take it slow and lure foes out one by one
- Keep your shield up when not attacking
- Don‘t get greedy – Only attack once or twice safely
- Farm souls to level up stats and vitality
- Upgrade your weapons at the blacksmith
- Co-op bosses by summoning helpers
It will still be challenging, but these tips will make your descent into Boletaria a bit less daunting. Keep an open mind, learn enemy patterns, and don‘t give up.
Critics Praise This Faithful Revival
Reception to the Demon‘s Souls remake was overwhelmingly positive, with critics praising its visual overhaul and gameplay enhancements. It currently holds metascores of 92 on PS5 and 91 on PC at Metacritic.
-"Bluepoint has succeeded in making an already fantastic game even better" – IGN (95)
-"Demon‘s Souls on PS5 is a visual masterpiece" – GamesRadar+ (4.5 / 5)
-"A stunning return for the granddaddy of Soulslikes" – Edge Magazine (8 / 10)
Many critics agreed Bluepoint found the right balance staying faithful while modernizing the 12 year old classic. It was no easy task, but this remake hit the mark.
For action RPG fans up for a white-knuckle challenge, Demon‘s Souls is a must-play. Though not free, it sets the gold standard for brutal yet rewarding gameplay. This genre masterclass pioneered many of the mechanics that defined the Soulsborne era.
Boletaria awaits, exclusively on PS5 in stunning 4K fidelity. Seek guidance from other brave hunters to help overcome the horrors ahead. Glory and treasure beyond imagination will be your reward. Now steel your will, gather your wits, and ready your blade. Adventure calls.