The Monumental Awaits Thee, Above

Bitmob has whipped up an editorial entitled "The Monumental Awaits Thee, Above", which is more-or-less a retrospective for Atlus' Demon's Souls. The game's absurd difficulty is once again the primary topic:
The reason I say Demon's Souls is more of an adventure than an RPG is because the focus of the game has more to do with staying alive than simply leveling up in hopes of eventually plowing through low-level enemies. There are no real weak enemies in the game; things just don't work that way in Demon's Souls. You can play for 20-30 hours, increase the soul level of your character, go back to the first area (known as 1-1), and you'll still take huge amounts of damage from many of the guards and dreglings if not careful when engaging them. The bottom line? Boletaria is always a dangerous place?

Does this mean the game is solely meant for the (hardcore) crowd or folks who revel in masochism? In this gamer's humble opinion, no. What it does mean is that the game is designed to give players a very specific type of experience, one that is engaging, rewarding, and completely immersive.

If I had to point at one particular element of Demon's Souls, though, and say, (this is its defining quality,) I'd probably have to go with attrition. It's in almost every fiber of the game, and it is, without a doubt, that which forces the player to pay attention at all times to respect the severity of their situation, regardless of how powerful they may think they have built up their character to be.