A world in darkness
In Demon's Souls, King Allant the XII, the last king of Boletaria, searched tirelessly to expand his might. The Nexus, a great ice shrine nestled in the mountains, bestowed the power of the souls onto him, bringing prosperity to his kingdom. Craving more power, he returned again to the Nexus, where he foolishly awakened the Old One from its eternal slumber.
This long forgotten evil, now unleashed upon Boletaria, plunged the realm into darkness and fog. A mighty demon horde poured into the kingdom, devouring the souls of men.
Champions from other realms learned of Boletaria's fate and set out on their own to deliver the kingdom from evil; none would return from the cursed land. Summoned by a mysterious maiden in black, you go forth, the last hope for humanity in a place lost to demons and darkness...
Forging a soldier
Before you delve into the world of Demon's Souls you are tasked with creating your very own character. There are a vast amount of customization options for you to choose from, each of which allows you to edit everything from facial features through to body size and age. There are a number of classes to pick from too, including Soldier, Knight, Hunter, Priest, Magician, Thief and Temple Knight.
Each one suits a different set of play styles, depending on how you want to approach the game. For example, a Thief is great at surprise attacks and performing devastating critical hits during a parry. On the other hand, the Magician has only a small weapon; and is generally not the best character to choose if you plan on a lot of hand-to-hand combat.
Once you've selected your combatant, you're ready to journey to Boletaria. A word of warning: from here on in, Demon's Souls becomes incredibly tough. With that in mind, it's worth planning every single one of your attacks meticulously. Charging into battle against an opponent will most likely get you killed. What's interesting about Demon's Souls is what happens to you when you die. When slain, you are transported to the Nexus realm in soul form and must either defeat a major demon or find and use a Stone of Ephemeral Eyes in order to regain your body.
There are a vast amount of upgrades available to you throughout the game too. Everything from your armour through to your weapons can be tweaked to your desire. However, upgrading weaponry requires souls that are gained by killing enemies, so be sure to have enough when the time comes. Over time your weapon will wear down so be sure to monitor this is because a blunt sword or damaged shield can be costly in later, tougher missions.
Demon's Souls certainly presents a challenge unlike any other game on PlayStation 3, although a little bit of perseverance and planning, the rewards are huge, especially when you defeat one of the game's gargantuan bosses!
Demon's Souls includes a unique multiplayer mode that can assist you in your quest for glory. For example, if you are connected to PlayStation Network while playing through the story campaign, you will be able to see wandering apparitions. These are other players playing through the game at the same time as you. By paying attention to their actions, you may be able to gain clues as to the location of hidden items and passages.
If you happen to stumble across a bloodstain, you can touch it to view the movements of another player just before their death. This is ideal for avoiding traps and defeating certain enemies. You can also read messages left by other players that point to clues about where to travel to next in order to complete certain mission objectives.
Another stellar use of multiplayer in Demon's Souls is the way in which it allows you to regain your soul. Sometimes you're tasked with entering another player's game to defeat an enemy, while on other occasions you may be instructed to enter a game and kill that player. Challenge Play is a great way to collect more souls and requires a Red Eye Stone, which you'll find with a little bit of exploration. Once you have this, you can summon another player into your game and challenge them to a duel for their souls.