I’ve spent the best part of the last 2 weeks playing Demon’s Souls and I’ve achieved my first Platinum PS5 Trophy as a result. What I realised when going after this landmark achievement was that Demon’s Souls will punish you, just when you think you’ve got your hold on this game.
Demon’s Souls Platinum joins a very specific, but small list of games I have collected all the achievements for. Having bounced from PS2 to Xbox back to PS5 my trophy cabinet is slightly spread around. Demon’s Souls joins the titles Destiny 2 & Harry Potter Lego Years 1-4 so you can totally see my ‘type’.
Most of the time I avoid playing several takes of a game or a FPS on hardest difficulty as I know my skill level. Demon’s Souls and action RPG’s that are similar are my wheelhouse and I had a lot of fun running Demon’s Souls nearly 4 times to get Platinum.
For anyone unfamiliar, Demon’s Souls is the first in the ‘Soulsborne’ series of games. It set a precedence for being a brutal but a blast to play through with its methodical combat and difficult boss encounters. Originally made in 2009 Bluepoint remade it with stunning graphics for PS5. Combine this with it’s extremely fast load times it’s a direct improvement in every area from it’s 2009 birth.
Demon’s Souls Place in the Soulsborne World
The Souls games don’t have a difficulty marker, the learning curve is just set to punishing with no way to change it. Even in my experience I attempted Dark Souls 2 a couple of times before I understood the game, Bloodborne took me 3 attempts to eventually complete. Dark Souls 3 is my favourite but I was ready for it’s challenge.
Demon’s Souls I felt however, on my first playthrough, was a lot easier in comparison. Especially to my time in Bloodborne. I would reach a boss and would never die more than once before it evaporated into souls that I claimed and moved on.
My journey to the boss was plagued more with deaths as I would navigate the corridor like levels and facing of against the, in some ways, more difficult enemy types. Overall though, I felt I had managed the game pretty well.
I took the time to grind so I could be a katana wielding hunter type character. It was fun to curate the build and felt good once the last Pure Bladestone dropped as I knew Ed the Blacksmith would do me a solid and add the last upgrade. Mind you this was a RNG grind that needs a tweak.
From there I had fun as my damage was increased nearly 50%. I saw to it that I would go onto complete the game with little difficulty. Due to this I wanted to play more and go after the trophies.
New Game +
I found a guide that would let me be somewhat efficient but also try a new character, with a magic build, something I had never done in the Souls world before. My first go through was laughable. I knew these streets and magic was over powered.
Then I went into New Game+ the ‘endgme’ for Souls game. This game doesn’t allow you to clean up the world you left behind and instantly puts you in NG+ unlike the later additions. I however didn’t mind, it’s just the game again and not much harder right?
I was wrong. So wrong. I strutted around Boletaria Gates like I was fucking Jesus reborn. No one could touch me and I would just walk through collecting rings and spells that I needed.
Once I got to the second boss, good old Tower Knight, I had my shit kicked in. Then I tried to fight back before realising I had clearly bought a feather duster to clean the armour because my sword did nothing.
Once on the back foot I realised how hard everything was hitting me. I wasn’t used to being faced with this much resistance. All of a sudden each tiny little encounter was a threat to my life and I had to make sure I was on my guard.
The bosses had way more health and defences, the enemies hit much harder and my progression level to level was minimal. I was kind of excited originally at the thought but then I got a bit frustrated, as you do.
My biggest issue with New Game + and Demon’s Souls is that it exposes the narrow, corridor, maze like level design. When each enemy poses a genuine threat and you have to think about your position and opportunity, having no room to move becomes the biggest enemy.
This game is gorgeous and very accessible on first playthrough. The levels do feel linear but it gives a greater sense of direction and any deviation is rewarded. However when you have room for error it works well. When the difficulty increases it becomes a hinderance.
New Game+ is perhaps Demon’s Souls at it’s best and worst at the same time. The game has very, very few faults. When reaching a boss it’s a relief that pressing L1 once won’t kill it. It should be a challenge and you should have to earn it.
However if being pushed of a cliff because you can’t roll or having your stamina fully depleted after a block and 2/3 of your health along with it by an enemy that fills the screen doesn’t grind your gears you have more patience than me.
The bosses seemed to feel like more of a challenge, despite being set up with a clear weakness (unless you’re Old King Allant) you could expose. The game takes for granted that at this stage you have certain items and if you don’t, well, good luck or bring a friend.
This combination of difficulty increase is drastic and it will knock you back if you’re not ready but, for me, it needed some of it so that it didn’t feel like stroll or easy.
Considering all this I overcame the challenges, dabbled in some online play and got the last ding I needed before my next gaming adventure. It felt good to platinum a game like this as it really is a reflection of my love for these types of games.
If you haven’t, check out Demon’s Souls or any of the Souls game (3 is my favourite) as they absolutely some of the best games out there.