Demon’s Souls PS5: How Bluepoint Is Remaking a Classic

Demon’s Souls PS5: How Bluepoint Is Remaking a Classic

October 29, 2020 Off By tracy
Demon’s Souls, the latest remake from Shadow of the Colossus (PS4) developer Bluepoint Games, is hitting the PS5 launch day, and with it reviving the start of the modern Soulsborne genre. But in bringing the PS3 classic to life after so many games in the genre, both developed by original devs FromSoftware and others, Bluepoint had an interesting task ahead of it: maintaining what many loved while making it feel fresh and modern. And that’s on top of optimizing it to showcase what the PS5’s SSD, DualSense controller, and more can add to the experience.IGN spoke with creative director Gavin Moore about the project, and came away with new info on the game’s visuals, haptics integration, and much more. Here are some of our biggest takeaways, which you can hear alongside seeing new footage in the video above.

PS5 Cinematic and Performance Modes

As a launch game for PS5, Demon’s Souls is aiming to showcase the technical prowess of the PS5, and to allow players some choice of how they want to play, Bluepoint is offering to visual modes for players to pick: Cinematic and Performance modes.

Cinematic mode runs at native 4K at 30 FPS, and as Moore described it “It means we can up the resolution of every single tiny pebble in the game, right? The tessellation is incredible and it’s all real-time, and it all casts real-time shadows. It’s so immersive.

Demon’s Souls PS5 Screenshots

Additionally, Demon’s Souls will offer Performance mode, which runs at 60 FPS – “That’s a crisp 60, so it doesn’t drop,” Moore explained – with dynamic 4K resolution.

“You’ll be able to react faster to those attacks and roll and dodge out of the way and feel like you’re a little bit more powerful if you’ve been having a hard time on the 30,” he said.

Demon’s Souls’ Use of PS5’s SSD, 3D Audio

And, of course., in addition to its visual performance, Bluepoint is hoping to bring Demon’s Souls’ world to life via the 3D Tempest audio built into the PS5.

“We literally added thousands upon thousands of new sounds into this game, obviously paying close attention to what the original has done,” he said of just how intricate the audio detail work for the game is.”

But he also noted how the 3D audio can actually change the way you play, alerting you to more precisely the location enemies or projectiles may be coming from.

PS5 Console First Look, Size Comparison

“You can feel the Imperial spies creep up behind you in the Palace of Boleteria. You can feel the creatures crawling out of the slime, he said. “I can hear the arrows go past my head.

“When you tread on a track in the Shrine of Storms and a dart will fire out of the wall at you…most unfairly, because you don’t know it’s coming because it’s just a sound. But now you can hear it. And it gives you that split second to react and roll for instance, or turn and guard.”

Bluepoint has also recorded a new version of the original’s classic score, with an ambitious live-recording plan.

“We’ve done a re-imagining of the original score by Shunsuke Kida’s and it’s absolutely stunning. We recorded the whole thing at Air Studios in London with a world-class orchestra, a full choir. We even recorded a world famous pipe organ at Temple Church in London,” he said, noting 120 musicians play on the new, reimagined score.However you choose to experience Demon’s Souls, Bluepoint is also aiming to make good use of PS5’s SSD in removing one of the greatest frustrations that can come with any Soulsborne – the time between death and getting back into the game.

“If you think about the superfast loading, the frustration of the original game is not [necessarily] the challenge or the dying. It’s the, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to wait two minutes before I can get back into the game and take revenge and get my souls back.’ And now, you’re straight back into the game, and that’s incredible,” he explained.

“[We’re] using the SSD to improve the loading, but also using the SSD to create environments which are absolutely stunning. There are limitations to what the PlayStation 3 could do both visually and audi- wise. We created environments now, for instance, which are so intricate and detailed, every room or corridor tells a story.”

World Tendency and Online Support

Getting a bit more into the detail of Demon’s Souls, Moore confirmed that World Tendency is back from the original game and is largely true to the experience players had on PS3.

When you’re playing offline, you can swing the tendency toward black or white, the former offering more difficult enemies and greater loot, while the latter has enemies that are easier but don’t offer as great rewards.

While playing online, the larger player base affects the state of the world, but Moore did explain that the team is hoping to make World Tendency a bit more evident so players know what they’re contending with.“I think the original game’s problem was that [World Tendency] wasn’t shown, right? You couldn’t really understand where the tendency was. What we have done is try to improve World Tendency through the UI. So, you should be able to understand which state the world your tendency is in for playing the game,” he said, which will hopefully make the experience more understandable for newcomers.

And on the subject of the game’s online servers, the original Demon’s Souls’ lasted for a famously long time before shutting down. While Moore explained there’s no specific timeline in mind, the plan is to support the game so long as the players are there.

“We plan on, as long as there are people who are willing to keep playing Demon Souls and love the game, then the service will remain.”

Modern Improvements

Demon’s Souls is also in the unique position of being a remake to the start of a genre that has been iterated and improved upon since the original’s debut. Bluepoint had to balance both being reverential to the original experience but also making something that would be fun and rewarding to play by modern standards.

“This is the game that gave birth to this genre of gaming. And so we have to pay great respect to the original vision, ut at the same time, we have to make a lot of modern-day life improvements. But none of those were taken lightly,” Moore said. “When we decided to have a look at the camera, for instance…we changed the camera position slightly, and we made sure that it doesn’t run through the walls and get stuck on collision and all those sorts of things. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have an option in the game so you can turn on the old camera if you want to. You can do that. We preserve all of that. It all exists there for the user to switch on and off as they wish.The thing for us is you have to remember that the way you played the game 11 years ago is not the way you imagined the game. You imagine it completely different,” continued. “We had to basically create the game as the way that the players of the original PlayStation 3 version imagined it to be. And then, at the same time, make sure that we created a game the new generation of gamers could enjoy and love as well.”

Moore made it clear that team wants to do right by the original developers and fans with the remake while providing something fresh and exciting for anyone jumping into the PS5.

There’s plenty to look forward to for both new and returning players to the world of Demon’s Souls when it launches alongside the PS5 on Nov. 12, including a new photo mode, robust character customization, and much more.

But as you wait to play, be sure to check out our PS5 unboxing, our hands-on experience of PS5 pack-in Astro’s Playroom (not a Soulsborne), and the latest details on PS5 launch game Sackboy: A Big Adventure (does Sackboy have a soul?)

And be sure to check out the full PS5 launch lineup to know what you can expect to play on day one.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and PlayStation lead. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.