'Demon's Souls' Going Offline Lets Me Justify Why I Haven't Played It Yet


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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/zmw7qw/demons-souls-offline-never-play


Would love to play this, but the thought of having to hook up a PS3 again and use its pretty awful controller, kills that temptation outright. I tried getting my copy running on the PS3 emulator, but even on my pretty modern machine, the performance is just not there yet.

I keep wishing the PS4 could get as good of backwards compatibility implementation as The 'Bone has at this point, particularly for Demon’s Souls.


I think that as soon as the extent of the mechanics started to be understood and any translation issues were ameliorated by community FAQs and discussion, Demon’s Souls stopped being the thing everyone initially talked about. The messages and online stuff was certainly a component (and it’s a shame that is now gone, especially as the game in this lineage that probably did the most with that stuff and how it slightly tweaked every instance of the world) but now you can play the game with a comprehensive FAQ open then you can receive non-troll messages as you play, just not inside of the actual game.

When thinking about things we can’t go back to, I generally lean on MMOs. Yes, Blizzard are working to bring back classic servers (and the legally dubious private servers have kinda filled that gap) but you can’t truly go back to WoW classic or even those early expansions. The game now has gone through so many overhauls that have completely changed the mechanics, visuals, and (after Cataclysm) even that original world and quests that launched with the game. Clearly that isn’t the original game.

But, in the way I talked about being unable to go back to the early Demon’s Souls even when the servers were still online, you also would not be able to go back to WoW or any other MMO as they were in the initial stages because the games have been tapped by theorycrafters - they are now understood and there no longer is that mystery. Even if you don’t seek it out, through osmosis you have been slowly absorbing bits of that mechanical understanding (sometimes even from games that have refined those ideas but added a better tutorial for onboarding you - so teaching you the details that were obscured in the first game to do it) so that, going back now, you cannot go to that unexplored land - it no longer exists.


I would had thought that Demon’s souls would be the game Rob would totally play. Now he may not get the chance to experience the weird multiplayer that started it all.


No multiplayer means that Old Monk just won’t be the same.

I prefer the game mostly without online multiplayer and would actively avoid online multiplayer in Dark Souls around the Undead Church because of the many overpowered lightning enchanted low level characters.

Saying that I do enjoy the humor of the messages left behind such as the many Fine work, Skeleton! messages I found in the Dark Souls 2 Earthen Peak. The messaging system allowed for a level of crudeness and humor through creative use that was not the slur filled mess that it would have been unfiltered.


Demon’s Souls will never be the same, if only for the old monk boss fight, and the dynamic elements like world tendency, invasions, summoning and so forth, but I think it’s a game with a fantastic atmosphere and creepy locations that is still worth going back to.

To @miscu’s point about the controller, yeah the ps3 controller doesn’t really hold up, but I’ve found it a welcome experience to hook it up with a DS4, although to be fair you might want to use it wired as my experiences with the wireless implementation gave me a lot of input lag.

There’s really few other games for me that I’ve felt the same way about re: the open thread; I’m just not that precious about multiplayer modes, and often I’ll ignore them entirely if they’re not built into the singleplayer game in the way the SoulsBorne games are, or multiplayer games in their own right, like PUBG or Counter Strike.


And I continue to be the only person on earth that likes the DS3 a whole bunch, though even for me mushy triggers do Souls schemes no favours.

I finally got a hold of DeS a few months ago, after my partner got me into Souls, and I kept saying i’d play it before the servers go down and… am not super upset I didn’t. For one, I played Dark on PC, so I’ve never been willing to try flipping on any of the no-anti-cheat online shit. Souls is already an offline game for me in my head, and recently playing Bloodborne without PS Plus is just further solidifying that idea in my head (though I still wish BB didn’t forcibly segment online/offline the way it does).

For another, I dunno, I feel like all the Souls games have smartly-integrated multiplayer, thematically speaking, but the themes don’t need it. It’s super neat and ambitious, i appreciate it, but the fictional layer between me and the game’s communication of anxiety breaks down when actual real-ass people are existing in varying forms of hostility. Abstracted & fictionalized anxieties can be good catalysts for dealing with those emotions outside the text, I have a penchant for that fictional anxiety, not so much when it’s my real-ass actually-existing anxiety. Doesn’t help that the Souls crowd has the reputation that it does.

I still hope people find a way to preserve it someday, though, because it’s still a part of the art and still one of the more artful integrations of multi- into single-player out there.


For me it’s that effluvial grime that the joysticks on the DS2 and DS3 controllers secreted if you left them out for at least a week. I’m still not sure what that stuff is, but wow it’s gross.

I don’t think direct PvP in the Souls games has ever been very good. The Old Monk fight is cool because your opponent might be totally unaware of what’s even happening, I love seeing really goofy stuff like the old video of the guy pretending to be a level enemy, but otherwise I never understood what people saw in just the basic fight mechanics from a competitive level.


For me the DS3 is hard to use because of its incredibly loose analogue sticks.
Anyway, I wonder what Rob’s process through the levels looked.

I bailed out after a long morning and afternoon clawing my way to about halfway through the Boletarian Palace, where I once again died unceremoniously, and could not face the prospect of restarting once again.

This looks to me like he went 1-1 to 1-2 which is not really the ideal path, as the difficulty ramps up dramatically per level of each world, you’ll want to at least clear X-1 on each stage and then X-2 and so forth if you want the most balanced route.

Idk, can’t really fault anyone for bouncing off the game though, being the more punishing and weirdly structured game in the series.


Actually, and somewhat predictably, there is work being done on server emulation. Apparently you can already see bloodstains, messages, phantoms, and get invaded!

Demon’s Souls will never die!


I don’t know where the process for building server emulation even begins without internal documentation available, but I’m happy it tends to happen with games like this.

I mean, there’s user-made servers running for Resident Evil Outbreak operating right now, so I’m not super surprised DeS got this stuff developing almost immediately.


Yeah Demon’s Souls is a game best played after you have gone through a Dark Souls game but I do think it holds up pretty well on the whole if you have. Aside from the world tendency stuff which makes no damn sense but also dosn’t matter that much


I think the actual PvP / Co-op in DeS is all P2P, i.e. it happens on someone’s console. All the server is really doing is matchmaking and hosting the data files for the bloodstains / phantoms. I bet there were loads of peeps dumping traffic before the official servers went offline so they could emulate it.

Hopefully there are lots of good servers running within a few months. Didn’t have time to do a playthrough before servers went offline, but I should have plenty of time later this year!


I tried Demon’s Souls for a few hours and I know there’s quite a few people who love that game; but it never really gripped me. Dark Souls 1 was a struggle as well, although I enjoyed that game once I got the hang of it. The main souls game I go back to though is Bloodborne. It’s the only one I feel that has an incredible combat system.

As for games I wish I could have experienced…nothing specific comes to mind but I do wish I got into fighting games as a child. I see these fighting games coming out, used to have fighting games friends that would talk about this and that, and I desperately want to enjoy it. But I just can’t. I’ve tried so many fighting games that are meant to be “the best first fighting game” and yet nothing. I really wish I did though, because I think they’re an incredibly interesting genre and community. At this point I believe I’ll never get into fighting games and that’s that. It’s somewhat the same with MOBAs but I don’t think there’s enough variety in MOBAs for me to actually care about missing a genre of games.


Whaaaaaaa? That’s what that’s from?! I dug up a couple of my DS2 controllers the other day and and they were covered with some weird slimy…stuff. Thought maybe someone spilled something on it or something.

As far as multiplayer games that I miss, they’re not particularly games I “missed out on”, but games that I enjoyed and can’t go back to anymore. Taking the top spot for me is DJ Hero 2. Didn’t think playing a rhythm game online would be anything too revolutionary, but I loved the crap out of it and sunk so many hours into it! I think the servers are still technically up, but it’s near impossible to find a game now.


I was initially sad about the servers going down, but it’s lead to me actually wanting to play it. I always summon people in Souls games, every single one. I almost never beat a boss on my own. It’s easy to justify summoning people when it’s in the game, but now that Demon’s Souls doesn’t have it, I’m curious how good I will actually be since I can’t have much help.


For what it’s worth (and it’s still totally cool if Rob doesn’t go back to this!), Demon’s Souls is still a fantastic game in offline mode and doesn’t lose too much. I only got an actual online Old Monk once in my four playthroughs and the vast majority of bosses don’t benefit as much from summoning as some of the later bosses in the series.

I will miss the ghosts and goofy messages, but the level design and mechanics of Demon’s Souls totally hold up without servers.


Doesn’t Tendency stuff actually become more sensible (and… cooler, from what I’ve read?) in offline mode, since it’s based more directly on your actions and not a nebulous global variable?


Multiplayer in a Souls game didn’t get good for me until DS3 let me easily and accurately play with my friend, especially since I was super late on the Bloodborne train and was the only person in my friend group with a PS4. Not to mention that you need to pay real-ass money to PS+ to get online functionality.

The idea of going back to other Souls games and working with those multiplayer systems makes me want to chew glass.


It does but it’s still a mess. Even I won’t argue that a game should get harder as you fail more and that’s the way it tends to go if you don’t Know what you are doing.