First of all, yes, this game is hard. You die a lot, most of the time this is due to the fact that you're trying to rush through a level to get back to a place you dropped all your souls when you died last and this makes you careless. And careless in the world of Demons Souls means dead.
Demons souls is an action RPG with a difference. Your character traverses the levels collecting souls along the way with the ultimate goal of defeating the demon boss at the end of each level. The bad news is that every time you die you have to begin the level from the start, and you lose all your currency, and experience points... extremely frustrating especially because you need a few goes at most bosses before you figure out what tactics to use. Luckily a lot of levels have "short cuts" which can be activated once reached. Still, the knowledge that falling to a boss will mean re-playing a large chunk of the difficult level you only just got through for the first time, only makes the boss battles more tense and exciting. Outside boss battles exploration is rewarded well with items and souls, and its worth shopping about as prices for items vary wildly between different merchants.
Whilst the main mechanics of the game are fun and rewarding, Demon's Souls really shines in its online multiplayer component. With online switched on, the player can see "white phantoms" which are other players playing though the same level areas. These serve the purpose of showing tactics employed by other players in certain areas. Aside from this, when other players die in their own world they leave blood stains, clicking on which shows the last 10seconds of that player's life, and perhaps shows mistakes you could avoid.
One of the most exciting parts of the game is the ability to "invade" other player's games or be summoned to be the boss for another player. The excitement of fighting hand to hand with another player is a rush which is almost unrivalled.
Enough waxing lyrical about the game's good points, now the bad points:
- the game is not very good at explaining what you have to do (to be fair what you do is kill demons)
- not much storyline and limited interaction with other characters (again, this adds to the feeling of doom and loneliness which the game thrives on)
- some non-combat related puzzles would be nice
Anyway I say: go buy it!