Monday, May 10, 2010

Top 50 Games - 50. Demon's Souls

Everyone who hears about Demon's Souls, whether from a paid professional or an inarticulate acquaintance, hears in tandem about its brutality. And it's true: Demon's Souls is a scathingly difficult game, full of lowly archers that snipe you to death from atop a faraway castle turret, ravenous dogs that patrol dark subterranean tunnels, armored spiders that immobilize you with their webs, and a stamina bar that's never quite large enough. But I'm not the kind of gamer that thrives on punishment, so why did I spend $60 on this nightmare? The answer is simple: quality. The levels, initially nerve-racking, end up becoming second nature due to their memorable layouts. The art direction is deceiving, appearing at first to be generic dark fantasy, but soon you realize that it was developed in Japan and not Canada, and the visuals become that much more compelling. While Demon's Souls does get me to take breaks from it so as to relieve the tension, when away I tend to daydream of kingdoms wrapped in malevolent fog, of praying at the bare feet of the Maiden In Black, and of that somber, endless cycle of life and death that will draw me back in.

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