MikeIsGood wrote:My PS5 shipped and is scheduled to arrive Sunday.
I'm currently on another planet.
ETA: Ergo I am holding off on Age of Calamity. Planning to pick-up Demons Souls at some point, but will probably start with some of the PS+ games honestly. I'd like to get a taste of the series from Bloodborne (which I know sounds brutal), and honestly I think I'll play GOW finally. It sounds like it got some nice PS5 upgrades and the Dual Sense effects are really featured.
So after playing a boatload in the last week (I'm WFH and work is slow) I have some thoughts for a Souls newcomer. This is probably gonna end up being why I recommend starting with Demon's Souls.
First the enemy density is pretty jarringly different from other Soulsborne games. In MANY levels, there are only a handful of enemies you really need to deal with before getting to the boss. It's not to say that occasionally some levels don't have mobs, but in almost every instance you can take on enemies on one-by-one. Also, they just seem to be much easier than what I'm used to. Like much, much easier.
Speaking of easier, the bosses are pushovers! I was actually thinking of you when I played through this. I can see newcomers playing this as their first Soulsborne and wondering what the big deal is. During my first playthrough the most I died at a boss was twice. I didn't finish that playthrough because halfway into it I didn't like my mage/warrior build and how limited I felt the gear was. I started over as a straight up knight yesterday, and I'll get to that in a bit. But it seems like many (most?) are gimmicky or can be cheesed. I haven't played a single boss that felt anything like the heart-pounding, white knuckle, afternoon long battles that are in DS3, Bloodborne, or Nioh.
The level design is interesting, though, and the first time through this is what will frustrate anyone. Levels are mazes upon mazes. If you don't know where you're going, you're gonna be inching forward incrementally and exploring every corner. That's part of the fun, because there are an impossible amount of secrets and cool stuff to find.
The big difference in level design though is there are five "worlds" with three or four separate but distinct stages in each. Other Soulsborne game have multiple checkpoints along the way for you to rest, heal, and level up. Demon's Souls doesn't and that's what makes it so interesting. One checkpoint at the very beginning of every stage, and if you die at any point (including at a boss fight), you go right the hell back to the beginning. It can feel daunting on your first run through, but you quickly open up permanent paths and shortcuts. Then when you die you can simply sprint back to where you were, running by enemies you don't want to face again.
Another BIG difference I see is when it comes to accumulating souls, the currency. In virtually every other Soulsborne game, if you played your way through a level and managed not to die, you were going to accumulate a significant amount of souls, enough to level up a handful of times. If you died and managed your way back, you were rolling in souls. Demon Souls is pretty stingy with its currency if you follow the recommended "path" through the game. Either you find a good farming spot (I only know of three so far), or you try your luck going into one of the stages where you're extremely underleveled. You can do that, because after finishing the first stage, you can literally tackle any of the five main stages in any order you want.
That gets me to where I'm currently at. Like I said, I started over yesterday afternoon as as a knight and ignored all magic. I didn't die a single time in any of the first handful of stages. Stages that took over an hour I was breezing through because I know where the keys were, which enemies were where, where the shortcuts were. I'm currently at level 58, which seems nuts after only a day+ of playing. I'm skipping over a bunch of levels and going straight for the final boss (technically) here in a few minutes, just because I feel like I can take him. I'll go back for the others of course because there's still maybe 40% of the game I haven't played, but I'm already looking forward to new game plus.
tl;dr: Demon Souls is the easiest Soulsborne game. It's also obviously the prettiest, so why not take your PS5 for a drive? The bosses are pushovers compare to the nightmares in future Soulsborne games. Level design is great and everything is accessible. It's a perfect entry point into the genre.