Demon's Souls

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Demon's Souls Game Poster Image
Brilliant, extremely difficult, violent RPG in bleak world.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

The message here is pretty heavy: there is almost no hope. One character says it is almost silly to try to save this bleak world because so many have tried and failed. The generally defeated tone of the characters you meet can be downright depressing.

Positive role models & representations

You are the hero means more in this game than in others. You can make your character very precisely in your own image and name him what you want. The story moves forward often not by telling the character’s backstory, but through the stories of other characters. You yourself are the role model here because many of the people you encounter are in a kind of limbo and seem to never to have hope.

Ease of play

The level of gaming skill must be very high to play this game. Because automatic saving is rare and there is no pausing, this is one of the most difficult games of the year. If you relish a challenge in your video games, this is for you. If hard=no fun, then this isn't for you.

Violence

Monsters emerge from the shadows to attack you, making the attack all the more frightening. They stick you with swords and you bleed into a puddle below you. You are hit with fire, too, which burns you. When you slice into your opponent, a misty rain of blood can drizzle the immediate area. Puncture the gut of one particular boss and there’s a waterfall of blood. However, you can turn the blood off in the options menu. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Demon's Souls is a game for mature players who love the challenge of an extremely difficult video game. It's not merely the copious amount of blood that's a concern here and the smaller enemies that fall like rag dolls at your feet, it is also that this game has a very depressing vibe. This is one of the hardest games created in recent memory. Because you constantly die, it can break the spirit of even the most seasoned gamer. However, there are hardcore gamers who relish this kind of challenge and for them, Demon's Souls is a game they  will love.

User Reviews

Adult Written byColin A. October 4, 2011

One of the highest pedigrees in gaming. Difficulty and content-wise absolutely not for children.

Demon's souls, as fearsome-sounding a name it is for a video game, fits it rather well. This will probably be the hardest video game you have ever played i...
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written bykilaen October 19, 2009

Try it before your kids

The violence the dark tone are the two areas for parents to watch out for. I wouldn't necessarily say NO KIDS. The violence is melee/spell oriented and a b...
Teen, 15 years old Written bycross_breed December 29, 2009

WARNING! Hardcore Players Only!

Those who value your television screens, do not get this for a child without a level head because controllers will be flying. The content isn't anything an...
Kid, 12 years old June 13, 2010

Great game but its dark and depressing.

This is one of my all time favorite game. But its dark, depressing, and downright HARD! this will be the hardest game you have ever played. you play as a knight...

What's it about?

In DEMON'S SOULS, a drab, encroaching fog full of soul-sucking demons threatens to make an utter wasteland of the already miserable Boletaria. It’s a kingdom which has plunged into an eerie darkness because its greedy king awakened a seemingly unstoppable evil being. In this role playing game, you are the final hope for humanity, the hero who must fix this depressingly bleak world. But you will probably die, many times, while trying. If you're good enough, you'll discover the mystery of the Old One, the greedy king. Along the way, you'll fight gross things like insects with human faces, octopus men, grim reapers and giant, round masses made of human bodies.

Is it any good?

It’s not easy. This extraordinary sleeper hit features a short, wham-bam tutorial and a challenging, dungeon crawler experience from the first fight onward. The steep difficulty level itself (you die miserably a lot), makes it an adults-only game and the massive amounts of sword killing, spurting blood, and fleshy gore seals its mature rating. (However, the bloodletting can be turned off.) Dying a lot yields a harder level when you try again. You can’t even pause in this masochistic hardcore gamer’s delight. It’s ingenious nonetheless. Besides a massive world to explore and many classes of characters to try, the fascinating online mode lets previous players leave messages of warning to help for you. You can also beg others to help you defeat an ugly boss in this, the most difficult game ever created for the PS3. Bravo.

Online interaction: By joining you, friends can help you beat a boss online. Players can leave helpful messages. But people can also steal your game, too. There is no ability to text or use audio in the online mode, so there should be no fear of four letter words or worse.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What do you think of this world? Is it too sad and forsaken? Or is it a step forward in games to see these deeply negative emotions?

  • Is it hard to deal with the constant dying of your character? Why or why not?

  • Do you wish the game saved automatically more often or do you like the challenge of getting to the end of the level and fighting the boss without save points?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release date: October 5, 2009
  • Genre: Role Playing
  • ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood

For kids who love make-believe

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