Prepare to die- yet again. The Souls franchise has been on top of the world since its inception, and though its next step forward isn’t being handled by FromSoftware, the upcoming Bluepoint Games-developed Demon’s Souls remake is looking like an excellent next-gen debut for it nonetheless. Recently, lots of new details on the game have emerged, giving us a clearer idea of what the remake is adding, what it’s changing, and what it’s keeping intact. Here, we’ll be going over ten of those biggest details- so without further ado, let’s get started.
References of a Fracture Mode have been doing the rounds on the internet since the Demon’s Souls remake was first announced, but now, we finally know what exactly it is. It’s essentially a mirror mode, flipping the entire game horizontally and making it so that you have to learn the environments and enemy placements all over again. Bluepoint implemented something similar in the Shadow of the Colossus remake, and it was really well done, so we’re excited to see how it turns out this time around.
You can’t release a AAA game in 2020 without a photo mode- thankfully, Demon’s Souls is going to have one. We don’t know the specifics yet, but the developers have said that there will be plenty of filters and tools to play around with. When you activate photo mode, the game will pause (which is a first for Souls), but if you’re playing online and another player invades your game, you’ll get a warning, which will be promptly followed by you getting booted back to gameplay.
Interestingly enough, you can also play Demon’s Souls’ remake with several filters applied, which means you’re going to have the tools to change how the entire game looks. As revealed in a recent Polygon article, there’s one mode that makes the remake look more like the original PS3 game, while another mode turns the game black-and-white, similar to the Kurosawa Mode in Ghost of Tsushima.
Meanwhile, you’re even going to have the option to change the game’s camera positioning to make it more like the original- though the developers have said that they think players should stick with the new camera placement, at least for your first playthrough, since it does a better job of showcasing the game and its technical achievements.
As you’ll know if you’ve played the original game, the Nexus is a location you’ll be coming back to time and again throughout Demon’s Souls, and in the remake, it’ll also have an interesting new feature. Creative director Gavin Moore, while speaking with GameSpot, revealed that players will be able to store their characters in the Nexus, change their build, and continue playing the game, free to go back to older builds at any time by accessing them in the Nexus.
Oh, and don’t expect there to be a Sixth Archstone in the Nexus, nor a new world that it will lead to. Players have been hypothesizing about that fabled world for a long, long time, but it’s been confirmed now that the remake, too, will have five unbroken stones in the Nexus, same as the original.
Bluepoint Games have also made some more granular changes to the game to tweak with the balancing and the difficulty. For instance, healing grasses won’t be as plentiful in the remake as they were in the original. To be more specific, they will have a much greater effect on encumbrance this time, with the more effective grasses weighing more than the others, which means you won’t be able to carry around hundreds of healing grasses like you could in the original Demon’s Souls.
Some new items are also going to be added to the remake. We’ve known about some of these for a while, including the weapons and armour you get exclusively with the Digital Deluxe Edition. Another new item type in the game is Grains. What exactly are these? In a nutshell, they will provide you temporary resistance against various status effects, such as poison and fire.
Bosses are, of course, the heart and soul of any Souls game, and as the very first Souls game ever, that’s doubly true for Demon’s Souls. The likes of Tower Knight and Vanguard had been shown previously, while recently, we got to take a look at a few more returning classics. The recent gameplay trailer, for instance, showed off Armor Spider and Flamelurker in all their vicious, ruthless glory, and the encounters against them seem to be quite faithful to how you probably remember them from the original. Meanwhile, it’s also been confirmed that the Old Monk fight – which basically sees you playing as a boss in another player’s campaign – will also be brought over to the remake as is.
The discussion around accessibility in gaming has been growing more pertinent as time passes, and the Souls games get brought up in those discussions quite a lot- probably more than any other series out there. Calls for difficulty options in the Souls franchise have gone unanswered up until this point- and that’s going to continue with the Demon’s Souls remake, with the developers having recently confirmed that there are no difficulty options in it.
Speaking in an interview with Game Informer, creative director Gavin Moore said, “There are no difficulty options in Demon’s Souls, and there shouldn’t be. I think the original challenge is fair. It’s all about learning enemy patterns and learning your environment, and then knowing when to move forward in combat with that risk/reward system. When to attack, when to back off. A lot of people tell me, ‘Oh, Demon’s Souls is such a hard game.’ I actually don’t believe it is as hard as people imagine it was. I think the difficulty levels of subsequent games in the genre have got harder.”
RE-RECORDED MUSIC AND DIALOGUE
Demon’s Souls had an excellent soundtrack, as Souls games always do, and though the remake is going to remain faithful to the original in that area as well, it won’t be exactly the same. Shunsuke Kida’s soundtrack for the original soundtrack has been re-recorded from scratch for the remake, so though the harmonies you hear are going to be familiar, they’re going to be updated versions of things you heard over a decade ago. Additionally, all the dialogue for the game has also been re-recorded, with Moore telling Polygon that “many” of the original game’s cast are returning.
Something that won’t be changing in the remake an awful lot is the World Tendency system, which isn’t necessarily everyone’s favourite, but is, admittedly, an important part of the experience. But while the larger system is going to work as it did in the original release, Bluepoint Gams have made some tweaks to it. For instance, the UI now is going to be much more explicitly indicative of what World Tendency state you’re in, which was a bit of an issue in the original PS3 game.