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Topic: Demon Souls as first Souls game

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Joker22Hero

Hey,

As the PS5 Launch comes closer and I wonder which games to buy/pre-order, I wanted to hear your opinion about Demon Souls. The trailers look wonderful and actually quite fun, but I imagine that the full game will not be as relaxed with it's enemies. So as someone who has always been put off the Dark Souls games because of their reputation for being crazy difficult and punishing, I wonder if I'm making a mistake here.

Sadly, I cannot get good descriptions why the Souls games are so hard. Do I need good reflexes or just patience to wait until the enemy reveals an opening? How punishing is death? I heard you will lose your XP but how bad is that and can you play it safer by using it at every safe point? Will the Game then become a grind? How important are stats?

As someone who genuinely despises rouge likes and lites for their perma-death and looks at the bonus Mario levels with puzzlement, as to how anyone could do that or find the motivation to do it, I fear those games might not be for me. I do however not mind grinding in any way.

Well thanks to anyone reading this who might help me. Maybe also recommend games that are close to the Souls experience but no 80€ so I could test myself

Joker22Hero

Th3solution

@Joker22Hero Although you’ll likely get a lot more useful advice from more accomplished Souls veterans than me, I think it’s worth a try to give one of the Souls-like a try. You are correct — the difficulty stems from very tactical combat where you have to be patient and “unlearn” some of the hack and slash reflexes you’ve likely adopted over the years, and play defensively, dodge and block, and attack very selectively. Usually success revolves around learning a certain enemy’s attack pattern.

The games are also known for occasional surprise enemies around a corner that catch you at inopportune times.

And yes, the other big issue is loss of progression when you die, with limited save points. And every time you save at a save point, enemies all respawn. So you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t — if you progress through a section just barely alive and want to backtrack to save, you’ll have to just fight through all the enemies again. The one saving grace is that at the save point you can use your “XP” to level up a little bit.

So yes, you can make the game easier by grinding sections over and over, killing all the enemies and going back to a save point, spending XP and leveling and saving, them killing all the enemies again, getting gradually stronger and learning enemy patterns better and better before trudging onward to try to find the next save point. And no, there are no maps in the From Soulsborne games and very little direction on where to go.

There are plenty of opportunities to get your feet wet in the genre before Demon’s Souls drops. One good option is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It’s a Souls inspired combat and save point system. The Meditation Points are the save points like the Bonfires in Souls or the lanterns in Bloodborne. The difference is that there is a map to help you find your way. There is a more cohesive and overt storyline (Souls stories are much more steeped in hidden lore and cryptic narrative), and in general it has a more lighthearted nature to the game. Also there is platforming and other 3rd person action mechanics mixed in that make it more of a hybrid. And finally, it had difficulty settings so at the easiest difficulty you can make it through if you struggle. But if you want a truer Souls experience then play on at least normal to see how you like it. Of course if you don’t like Star Wars then your mileage may vary.

Another good option is Bloodborne if you like the macabre. In general it’s more action oriented than the Souls games because of a mechanic whereby you can recoup some health if you can land an attack shortly after taking damage, so it rewards a more aggressive play style. But it’s still very much a game you’d need to play tactically with your combat. It’s a fantastic game, and it was the first Souls-like that I was actually able to finish. It’s only $20, and likely you could find it even cheaper if you search for a sale of a preowned copy. If you don’t like Lovecraftian horror then you may not gel with the game though.

One piece of advice that helped me — don’t shy away from searching online for help with a boss or with the game in general. Sometimes when I was ready to rage quit a tough boss, I’d watch a YouTube video of the fight and get good advice. Also, just seeing someone beat the boss gives you confidence know they it can be done. Without YouTube I don’t think I’d ever made it. It’s probably why I never made it far into the first Dark Souls - I didn’t take advantage of the online help.

Edited on by Th3solution

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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Shigurui

@Joker22Hero - In all Honesty I wouldn't recommend Demon's Souls as your first Souls game. Dark Souls 2, 3 or Bloodborne are a better choice to see if you're cut out for these types of games. By no means are they a pushover but I'd say they're all more forgiving. Demon's Souls is the hardest of the series imho.

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Thrillho

@Joker22Hero A lot of good points have been mentioned above. But I’d also say;

1) You don’t play these games for the story. The Souls games have a very vague storyline which is mostly hidden in lore etc but don’t expect much more than that.

2) As said above, there are no maps and the world is often quite interconnected. Often, you’ll have to find your way around by finding areas where enemies are not going to destroy you in one hit.. you’ll go back to those areas later once you’re ready!

3) There are loads of ways to build a character from classic quick, light hitting characters to tanks who wield big shields and even bigger swords. Or maybe you’ll focus on magic. There is plenty of gear that will work with whatever build you choose. The game is somewhat vague with stats but weapons have rankings attached to them if something is A or S ranked in a stat you’re strong in, it will be even more powerful. Some will require a certain level before they can be used (typically a high enough strength level).

4) The big thing is that the games are tough but in the vast majority of cases, bosses are beaten by being methodical and learning attack patterns. The adrenaline spike you get when you have almost won but are one hit from death yourself is pretty powerful but the rush of finally beating an boss is even greater!

5) That said, if you’re struggling you can normally summon another person to help you out. I used this a fair bit in DS3. Some people aren’t particularly helpful but some players will make fights much easier.

Overall, the lack of direction is what puts a lot of people off. The learning curve is often steepest right at the beginning so if you persevere then you’ll often be fine.

I have a weird relationship with the games where I don’t find them particularly “fun” but the challenge and ambiance of the games are second to none.

As said above, try picking up one of the older games on the cheap and see how you get on.

Thrillho

nessisonett

Dark Souls 1 is best to play if you’re patient

Dark Souls 2 is best to play if you’re a f***ing masochist

Dark Souls 3 is best to play if you want Bloodborne with dragons

Bloodborne is best to play if you want a few moments of brilliance hidden among hours of tedium

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough.

Joker22Hero

Thank you very much guys. As this was my first post on this forum, I'm genuinely surprised how nice and helpful your answers are. This definitely helped me understand the Souls games better and maybe saved me from a bad surprise at PS5 launch. However, it also raised my interest in the series. So I'll probably try Bloodborne as this seems best suited to my normal play style and take a friend up on her offer to borrow her copy of Jedi : Fallen Order.
Have a nice day

Joker22Hero

Thrillho

@Joker22Hero Ignore @nessisonett as Bloodborne is the best in the series.

All these posts have really made me want to get the DS1 remaster now though..

Edited on by Thrillho

Thrillho

nessisonett

@Thrillho Bloodborne is worse than Dark Souls 1 and 3 but The Old Hunters is amazing

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough.

Kidfried

Yea, Bloodborne is the best one. I found its combat difficulty higher (because faster) than Dark Souls 1, but aside from that the game is somewhat easier.

I really love the complex level design in Dark Souls, but the game has a lot of boring parts in between to make it happen. Whereas Bloodborne was more compact (and exciting).

Kidfried

JohnnyShoulder

Feel free to block @nessisonett on this one as he has clearly lost his marbles.

Bloodborne is probably your best best for your first game as you can be a bit more aggressive. The only thing I struggled with when I went back to Dark Souls Remastered is that player movement felt really sluggish, even with lighter builds. So will be interesting to see what, if any, changes bluepoint have done in regards to this.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

MightyDemon82

@Joker22Hero Bloodborne was my first and it took me a while but then it clicked. If you want a challenge then these are great games to get into!

MightyDemon82

Shigurui

@JohnnyShoulder - I really hope they stayed faithful to the original and haven't touched the character movement at all. Demon's Souls has a bouncy feel to its movement that isn't in the Dark Souls games. I always preferred that to the feel in the later games.

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JohnnyShoulder

@Shigurui That's good to know. I've never played Demon Souls so don't know the differences between that and the rest of the games.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

Jaz007

@Joker22Hero I’ve only played Bloodborne but have Demon’s Souls pre-ordered. It can be a very trying game for sure, but makes you feel like you really get good at the game and great about your accomplishments in it. One thing I would like to say regarding the story, is that it is cryptic and something you have to look for, but also stellar. The story and lore to Bloodborne is fascinating and is all through the design of the game. If you look for it and piece it together, you find it’s some of the best storytelling out there despite not being in your face. It’s absolutely a reason to play Souls game I can’t imagine playing it and it being as good without the story.
It’s very underrated and overlooked because you have to find it. It’s better than any other story you have to “find”, though. The very flow and atmosphere that Souls games drip is deeply intertwined with it.

Jaz007

JohnnyShoulder

Also the 'not being able to save apart from being at a bonfire' is a bit of a misdemeanor with the series, as you can save at any point in the game. As long as you exit the game from the menu wait until you are back at the title screen, the next time you load your game, you be exactly where you left off with all your items, Souls and enemies dead as you left the game.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

nessisonett

@JohnnyShoulder Yeah, I don’t know where that came from. That would more describe Resident Evil or Metroid.

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough.

Jaz007

@JohnnyShoulder To be more precise, the game will save everything you do whether you want it to or not lol. Even if you don’t quit through the menu, it already auto saved the last time you kicked a rock. You can’t do anything without these games saving automatically. ANYTHING.

Jaz007

Thrillho

@Jaz007 But it will tell you off if you don’t exit to the menu before quitting the game!

Thrillho

JohnnyShoulder

@Jaz007 Yeah your right it does save very often. I think it could be to do with how multiplayer works.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

Th3solution

@JohnnyShoulder @Jaz007 @nessisonett @Thrillho Ah fudge, that was my bad. I misrepresented that about saving the game. Fake news from me.
The lanterns/bonfires are not save points, so much as level up points. I think I was confused because I most recently played Fallen Order and in that game typically you can only save at a Meditation Point (except at certain scripted times in the game) and when you quit out you’ll spawn at the last Meditation Circle. I had forgotten that Bloodborne (and I assume the Dark Souls games) save current progress when exiting. It’s been a while!

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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