Demon’s Soul’s--From Software’s upcoming action-RPG that is being published by Atlus--is a game about death. You will die in this game. A lot. Because of that, only the most masochistic need apply.
The phrase, "You cannot kill me, for I am already dead" does not apply here. When you die in Demon’s Souls, you must start the level all over again as a ghost, this time with half of your original health. If you make it back to the bloodstain that marks where you died, you will regain all of the souls (i.e. experience) that you lost at your time of death. Die as a ghost however, and your bloodstain will be overwritten and all of the souls that you had on your previous playthrough will be gone for good. You are tasked with continually making your way back to your bloodstain, eventually hoping to regain your body by defeating that level’s boss. It’s brutally punishing, and there’s no telling if this will start to grate over the game’s 60 hour runtime or somehow manage to keep things tense throughout.
Demon’s Souls is primarily a dungeon crawler, two words that would usually send me running for the hills. But in Demon’s Souls’ case, it is a dungeon crawler for people who typically don’t like dungeon crawlers. The world is separated into five sections, each comprised of four interconnected stages. After the first level, you’ll be able to tackle the rest in any order, so no two playthroughs will be alike. Each level will be full of enemies of varying difficulties as well as a number of secrets. Early level will have some sections cut off by high level demons, so you’ll be urged to go back to those areas once you are more powerful. You can choose between ten classes at the offset, each with their own unique strengths and weakness. What you choose at the beginning only effects the earlier stages of the game, as you’ll be able to customize your character or class at any time later on.
Read the rest of the preview here, at TGR.