Demon’s Souls is Still Shaping the Way Some Think About Games

To help celebrate the seventh anniversary since its release, one of the editors at VG247 has penned a lengthy editorial to elaborate on why From Software's Demon's Souls continues to have a profound influence on them and how they've approached other role-playing games in the years following its availability.  A few paragraphs:

Demon's Souls is seven years old today; it first launched on February 5 2009. A spiritual successor to the King's Field series, the brutally punishing RPG spoke to a very specific kind of Japanese gamer: those who'd grown up playing baffling, badly-translated (or unlocalised!) western RPGs. It was the sort of situation that gave rise to the great Wizardry schism; the humour of the parody RPG was lost in translation, and the series has a long, po-faced legacy in Japan that seems bizarre to those involved with the original seed.

Nothing ever feels as awe-inspiring, as challenging, as enigmatic, as surprising, as different or as beautifully satisfying as that first run through the terrifying and beautiful Demon's Souls. In the early days of RPGs traveling west to east, fans would gather on bulletin boards to share tips and advice on how to unpack pages of incomprehensible text and leverage unfamiliar, unexplained gameplay systems. To recreate this feeling, From Software implemented its now famous asynchronous notes system, emulating the collaborative problem solving and regular trolling of those early RPG fans.

The way Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne refuse to explain themselves to you, peppered as they are with items of dubious use, mysterious references and esoteric synergies, gives you a shadow of the experience of what it was like for Japanese RPG fans before local developers took up the now ubiquitous systems of levelling, inventory, customisation whatever it is that makes an RPG, as passed down to us by Gary Gygax.