Demon's Souls

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

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The 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.


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. 

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.

Wondering if Demon's Souls is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGreg C. May 31, 2019


Demon’s Souls is an amazing game. It is very well designed and is truly beautiful. It is sort of violent, but it’s really not that bad. There’s blood, but not t... Continue reading
Adult Written byBossManJones February 15, 2012

Just a little bit difficult.....

The game is very dark and has minimal blood but the only real reason not to let your kids play it is they may break your TV when they throw the controller at th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byNerdNerd September 26, 2019

Excellent Game

It’s a pretty dark game. Only after playing it recently did I realize how violent it is. It’s not really violent, but it’s a depressing sort of “gory.” It has d... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDJstark May 16, 2015


Okay, I frikin love this game. It is kinda violent, though, and that needs to be understood, because this game could probably only just squeeze by as T. Origina... Continue reading

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
  • Last updated: September 26, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love make-believe

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate