In its endeavor to bring gamers a hard game, it sometimes crosses the line between hard and cheap, but it's still solid
Game play: 6. The basic concept of Demon's Souls is exactly what you would expect out of your typical role-playing game, but that's not what makes Demon's Souls so unique. What makes it so unique is the fact that it's always online. You can call people up to help you figure something out; other players can come into your world and kill you; and you can play cooperatively with friends. You can also leave hints for other people to read.
Another interesting factor in Demon's Souls is the soul mode. After you are killed, you are then a soul, and lose about half of your original health. Other than these two things, Demon's Souls plays like your typical role playing game.
The controls are pretty good. Button layout is what you would expect. The combat is really good as well.
As interesting as the concept of always being online is, it is not without its flaws. The only flaw or annoyance about it that you cannot fix by simply signing off your PSN is not being able to pause the game. I know the game is designed to be online always, but not being able pause literally ever is extremely inconvenient. If you need to remember why it's important to be able to pause your game, then Demon's Souls will remind you about what a pain in the ass it is to not be able to pause; especially when you're fighting a boss. That's not to say that it's bad that you access your equipment and everything during game play; I do not mind that at all. But being able to hit the PS button or something and pause the game if I have to go to the bathroom or something like that would have been nice.
Another flaw in Demon's Souls's game play is that sometimes when it is trying to give you a challenging experience, it often will cross the line from challenging to just plain cheap. The main issue being soul mode. Taking away half my health is really just cheap. It does not make the game any better; it's just frustrating. The game would have been plenty hard without it.
Demon's Souls can be a very fun game because of its vigorous challenge, but due to its periodic cheapness, that fun is interrupted in those moments of frustration.
Presentation: 7. The graphics are pretty good. They're not outstanding, but they get the job done. The environments have plenty of details and atmosphere. Sometimes the graphics might look dated, but you'll be too busy fighting to really notice them.
The sound is fine as well. Much of the game does not use a soundtrack, but the boss fights will and they use a pretty good soundtrack. The sound effects are adequate.
For a role-playing game, Demon's Souls has a pretty thin story. It's nothing particularly interesting or deep. Basically a monster from below the earth is taking over, and it's up to you to stop it.
Value: 10. Demon's Souls is a very lengthy game; not because of its content per say, but its challenge. It's challenge extends the value of the game well beyond 40 hours of game play. I put about 44 into it and I barley got half way through (I was not very good though).
Great boss fights
Great online play
Sometimes goes from challenging to cheap
You cannot pause ever
Demon's Souls is not the kind of game I would recommend to someone who does not like challenging games. This is a very hard game that I would only recommend to those who like the challenge and those who are very good at role-playing games. Casual patrons of the genre should be cautious about buying this game. Demon's Souls is a solid game that while it may have some flaws, is still a good game that is worth playing, if you can handle it.