Think Dragons Lair with better graphics. Unforgiving, to beyond the point of frustration. Not to mention over-hyped.
Demon souls is a remarkable game. It does set benchmarks which other RPG's should adhere to. Its brilliant online system and graphics all add to a great game. But there is one flaw which had me quitting over and over. It's too unforgiving.
Now I know the video reviews of various sites mention that you will die and die often. But that doesn't make it fun. Its boring.
Playing through a large level and getting killed and having to repeat it all over? No thanks. It reminds me of games of old where there were no saves and if you died, no continues. It's 2010 and I should have to replay a level 10/20 times to beat it.
I wouldn't mind so much if all the enemies were dead and you just had to walk back to your body, like WoW for example. But here, everything remains as it was. Every enemy you fought returns and you heart sinks when you die. While some might say this is the games charm, for me personally, no thanks. It's too frustrating to keep doing the same level over and over.
In fairness there is a kind of checkpoint. When you get far enough in a level you can create shortcuts so if you die, you can use your new path to get things moving faster. But this is only after fighting all the enemies multiple times over to get to that point.
While fighting enemies brings its on challenges, there are areas which seems to be there just to kill you and you have no chance to escape. In one area, you reach a long pathway over a bridge with a horde of enemies on the other side. As you approach them this dragon appears and roasts everything, you included. You wont make the same mistake twice but in teaching you this lesson you have to retry it all over again and this was only minutes from the point where you can create a shortcut back.
There are points also which remind me of World Of Warcraft. Such as a level 1 going into a level 12 area. You will encounter enemies far far tougher than you and you will die within seconds. The idea is to level up and come back. No thanks, too much effort and boring to boot.
The main downside is that while playing, I never enjoyed it. I was always thinking, "any minute now I am going to die and do this over again". It's a thought that never goes and I end up inching forward preparing for attacks and not enjoying anything. I don't have time to look at the graphics, the environments etc, I just want to stay alive. And when random acts kill you, with the only way to have survived is to have prior knowledge, it fills you with anger.
At one point I was on the edge of my seat. I got a long way into the first level, approached this one guy in a room with wood barrels in front of him. As I approached he threw a fire-bomb at the barrels and BOOM. Dead. Its true I didn't make the same mistake twice, but being force to learn this is beyond boring.
Maybe I'm in the wrong. I don't like games easy but this is the polar opposite. Its tough and you WILL die over and over and over, having to re-tread the same route, kill the same enemies over and over. Not to mention the games only currency, souls, are lost when you die. You can run back to the spot you died to reclaim them but if you die again, gone. Which means to save up a lot of "money" to buy things. Its up to you, risk all the money and press on, or go back and spend it before you loose it. Either way, your being screwed.
I'm glad I rented this game, but I would have been annoyed if I bought it.