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Demon's Souls is One of Few Games That Truly Feel 'Next-Gen'

Demon's Souls is One of Few Games That Truly Feel 'Next-Gen' Image
  • Posted on 19th Nov, 2022 15:50 PM

Two years into the PS5’s life and Demon’s Souls is one of the few games that looks like a next-gen game and takes full advantage of the hardware.

p>The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are closing out their second year, and it's safe to say neither console has truly been able to stretch its legs yet. That’s not to say some great games haven’t hit either platform; this year alone saw all-time great games like Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok launch to standout critical acclaim. However, as far as an actual next-gen experience goes, few games are accomplishing what Demon’s Souls did in 2020.

Untethered to previous-gen consoles and developed by a pillar in the PlayStation Studios lineup, Bluepoint’s Demon’s Souls remake is still one of the few games offering next-gen visuals while taking full advantage of the PS5’s peripheral capabilities. It is one of few PS5 exclusives that feels truly "next-gen" as the rest of the industry continues to catch up in this transitionary period of game development. As the current generation shifts into its third year, it will undoubtedly start to shed the limitations of generations past and offer a genuine next-gen experience. However, for now, Demon’s Souls is still one of the few glimpses of the future that players can experience.

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Demon’s Souls Looks Like a Next-Gen Game

Demon’s Souls amazed during its 2020 PlayStation Showcase announcement, and the full game is still stunning two years later. Using faster compute-based tesselation techniques and impressive texture work, Demon’s Souls delivers a true next-gen game at a smooth 60 fps. One of the strongest visual features of Demon’s Souls comes from its immaculate lighting techniques. All the game’s lighting sources illuminate and diffuse realistically across the environment and interact with the world in ways that make the moody color palette and somber tone of Demon’s Souls all the more pungent. While it’s not using the coveted ray-traced lighting or shadows that the PS5 is capable of, Demon’s Souls’ real-time techniques are still head and shoulders above recent titles.

Even more impressive are the particle effects and volumetric fog featured throughout the game’s locations. Typically, something like fog is extremely graphically intensive, requiring tons of rendering power to display the particles and have them interact with the surrounding light. Demon’s Souls is still one of the few games that can really take advantage of the PS5 to render these elements. For example, the iconic FromSoftware fog walls shift and move in real-time, filling their doorways with an illusive glow that makes them feel alive. Other elements like fire and embers are still unmatched in particle quality even two years later.

Demon’s Souls Uses Every PS5 Next-Gen Feature to the Fullest

Compute power, teraflops, gigahertz and graphics are all great, but it's in how the PS5 connects players to action where the console finds some of its most distinctive next-gen elements. Demon's Souls takes full advantage of the DualSense controller and still has better mastery over the finer features of the controller than more recent games. Players can feel minor details like the churn of an elevator moving up floors in their controllers or even the soft pitter-patter of rain as they traverse Island’s Edge. Even two years in, many other developers are still mostly taking advantage of the DualSense’s adaptive triggers and using the haptic feedback motors like a more premium feeling controller rumble. PS5 exclusives like Demon’s Souls and Death Stranding are two of the few games that feel more creative in their approach.

Of course, a defining feature of this console generation is the SSD capabilities of the PS5. So far, Demon’s Souls is still one of the few games where the SSD advantage is felt. Past the initial loading screen, Demon’s Souls is almost an entirely loading screen-free experience. For example, respawning after dying is nothing more than a second or two of waiting. Fast travel is also practically instantaneous and makes moving between the various worlds very snappy. Two years into the PS5’s lifecycle, the only games where the SSD seems to work as fast as it does in Demon’s Souls are Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, both featuring near-instant fast-travel. Perhaps soon, Demon’s Souls’ next-gen feel will be the standard in all games.

Demon’s Souls is available now for PS5.

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