What's Going On With Demon's Souls On PlayStation 5?
The Demon's Souls remake launches in less than two months. Players will soon be traveling back in time to the first incarnation of the modern "Souls-like," playing the game that would go on to create an entire subgenre of challenging dark fantasy titles. This time, it's Bluepoint Games' take on From Software's classic – an entry many Souls enthusiasts haven't even played since it is only available on PlayStation 3. In many ways, Demon's Souls was the evolution of concepts and ideas that had been present in From Software's King's Field series for many years. Now, the entire experience is back, exclusively on PlayStation 5.
Despite its release being incredibly soon as a PlayStation 5 launch title, there are many questions surrounding the game. Let's take a look at some of the misshaps and mysteries that could be interesting as we inch ever closer to stepping into the Boletarian Palace again.
What is Fractured Mode and why did they hide it?
During the initial remake reveal, Sony included messaging about a "Fractured Mode" in the text description of the trailer. This messaging was swiftly removed. Does that mean Fractured Mode doesn't exist? Are we to believe this was some ethereal thing meant for some other game? If it's real, what is it and why haven't we heard about it yet? Was it a concept that was going to be in the game and pulled so it could make the PlayStation 5 launch window?
If it is in fact a real thing, I'm guessing that Bluepoint has tapped into the Dark Souls PC community hivemind over the last five years and that the mode is similar in fashion to a mod that randomizes encounters, enemy placements, item placements, and more. That would certainly be a fresh way to experience things even for the most seasoned of Demon's Souls veterans, again and again. Maybe it's just a boss rush mode. Maybe it doesn't exist at all anymore. We shall see.
Is Demon's Souls actually coming to PC?
Well, Sony says no. Of course, that misplaced card stuck at the end of the new trailer says fairly explicitly that it's coming to PC, with the Demon's Souls logo clearly in plain sight [Read more about this here]. Perhaps it was absolutely human error that included the card, but why did the card exist? Is this, in fact, some misplaced templating mistake that simply was overlooked? It's possible. Anything's possible. My own current theory states that these trailers are the subject of such unbelievable scrutiny that such an oversight is generally impossible, except for the fact that work-from-home procedures may have resulted in an errant upload.
Perhaps "Demon's Souls Trailer54" instead of "Demon's Souls Trailer55" was uploaded to some FTP server and the wrong one was grabbed and uploaded. Here's the point of this speculation: I believe that this new version of Demon's Souls is, in fact, going to come to PC somewhere down the line — but if Sony reveals that now, it risks losing sales on the PlayStation 5 version as some fans wait for the PC iteration.
Update 9/21/2020 5:35 CST: It should be noted that the card also mentioned that Demon's Souls would be console exclusive for a limited time, suggesting that it may in fact arrive on other platforms. Perhaps this was one of the things that caused it to be pulled or excluded. No one can really say!
Will we finally get to traverse the sixth Archstone?
Probably not. But some fans say that there's a hint of those vast frozen northern lands in the original reveal trailer, stating that there's no snow in the base game. It's more likely (to me) that the vision of those winterscapes were eventually repurposed and revisioned to give us The Painted World of Ariamis, Frozen Eleum Loyce, Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, and even Cainhurst Castle.
From Software does love snow, and they should, because you can almost feel the biting cold beauty in every one of those levels. There's speculation that perhaps Bluepoint could be giving players these "lost levels" from the original game, and as much as I think that would be incredible, I also think it's incredibly unlikely. Let's hope I'm wrong.
All that said, let's get hype! We haven't seen anything from Elden Ring for ages, so anything Souls is ready for a warm welcome. Let's hope the Bluepoint incarnation of the From Software classic is as amazing as the legacy the original created.