It’s been long rumored that Bluepoint’s latest remake was going to be Demon’s Souls but at Sony’s PS5 reveal event on Thursday it was finally confirmed. Revealed through a jaw-dropping trailer featuring the music and much of the imagery from the iconic opening cut scene of the original game, Bluepoint’s Demon’s Souls remake was one of the nicest surprises of the show.
Hidetaka Miyazaki’s breakout hit, Demon’s Souls was one of the most revolutionary games of the previous console generation. Built upon a legacy of ultra tough old-school games that would have kids swapping hints and tips in the schoolyard, Demon’s Souls was a hard-as-nails throwback that was both deliberately obscure and purposefully bleak. It was also the progenitor for the Dark Souls series and the genre which they spawned, the souls-like.
However, as fantastic a game as Demon’s Souls was, it was not without its problems. After the heyday of the game, the servers were nearly completely abandoned, especially after the superior Dark Souls was released. Further, the grind-heavy nature of acquiring weapon upgrades and healing grasses really bogged the experience down, and since players could accidentally aggro important NPCs for the rest of the game, an entire file could be ruined simply by setting your PS3 controller down the wrong way.
Naturally Bluepoint’s remake will no doubt address many of these issues in order to make the game more accessible and less frustrating for players weaned on FromSoftware’s more well-designed follow-ups. A refillable Estus flask style of healing would go a long way here but if they do decide to keep with the healing grasses of the original, the drop rates oughta be reconfigured a bit. The same goes for some of the more rare weapon upgrade stones.
Being that it’s Bluepoint, though, we can expect that whatever improvements they make won’t take away from the goal of emulating the original Demon’s Souls experience for a modern audience. For evidence of this we need look only to Shadow of the Colossus, one of best and most faithful remakes ever produced.
One improvement we won’t have to speculate on is the look of the new Demon’s Souls. As compiled by Twitter user @illusorywall, the comparison between the original and the remake of Demon’s Souls couldn’t be more jaw-dropping. Bosses, enemies and environments all look spades better than they looked in the original game and, as such, Demon’s Souls isn’t just a long desired remake, it’s also an excellent showcase of what the PS5 will be capable of.
Still, if gorgeous visuals aren’t your top priority, Demon’s Souls will also allow the player to optimize the frame rate instead. Frame rate drops can be detrimental in a game like this, where other players with faster internet connection may be entering your game with the express interest of killing you and stealing your hard-earned souls. Alas, players will have to choose their priority as the blog post from Sony suggests that both modes can’t be activated at once.
There are even more possibilities to consider here, however. Notably, Demon’s Souls had an entire world cut from it, as the shattered archstone in the game’s Nexus shows. Though fans speculated that the broken archstone might one day emerge as DLC, this expansion sadly never emerged. If Bluepoint really wants to blow fans away, reintegrating this planned 6th area would be an absolute master stroke, though this would naturally require some help from Hidetaka Miyazaki and FromSoftware to fully realize.
As for that, and other additions, all we can do is speculate. However, we can hope for a release somewhere in the holiday 2020 launch window of the PS5. Either way, for fans salivating for more of that Dark Souls energy, this reveal is very good news indeed.