Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses have caused quite a stir. Some of the complaints seem directed at the price of the Deluxe Edition, while others single out the content itself - and what it represents.
The price of the Demon’s Souls Digital Deluxe edition stands at $90. While this could be considered expensive, it’s a price we'd generally expect for a PS5 deluxe edition game.
The vanilla, none deluxe game’s price is a lower $70, which is in line with other launch titles. So the question is; what's included that justifies an additional $20?
Will The Demon’s Souls Digital Pre-Order Bonuses Be Worth It?
Here’s what the Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses include and what each does:
- The base game
- Red-Eye Knight Amor - Powerful armour
- Boletarian Royalty Armor - Powerful armour
- The Ritual Blade - Levelled weapon
- The Hoplite Shield - Levelled shield
- Reaper Sythe - Levelled weapon
- Ring of Longevity - Ring that grants buffs
And a collection of consumable items including:
- Legendary Hero Soul - Allows early level up
- Renowned Warrior Soul - Allows early level up
- Storied Warrior Soul - Allows early level up
- Preservation Grains - Health/Buff
- Phosphorescent Grains - Health/Buff
- Bearbug Grains - Health/Buff
- Large Hardstone Shard - Health/Buff
- Moonlightstone Shard - Health Buff
From a value point of view, we actually think the price is justified. It’s normal in this era of gaming for a deluxe edition to feature some extra gear and items.
Each designed to help players navigate the early hours of a game.
The Real Reason For The Demon’s Souls Digital Pre-Order Bonus Controversy
Some fans are opposed to Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses even existing - and we understand why.
It does in some ways, go against the culture of the Souls games.
In an era of pay-to-win (PTW), quest markers and general handholding in games, the Souls series has been a breath of fresh air.
Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses could be the closest thing the series has ever come to offering a PTW option.
This is what has fans frustrated far more than the price of admission. The idea of players having an early advantage in a Souls game is unheard of.
The original Demon’s Souls, and its Dark Souls/Bloodborne brethren, had no need for such things. Every player was equally a lamb to the slaughter.
Now many players will be starting the game with powerful gear, as well as possessing consumable items which contain a high amount of ‘souls’. The games main resource.
These items will allow players to level up considerably at the very start. Players will then be able to breeze through the early portions of the game – skipping valuable learning opportunities as they do.
Enemies will feel like hack and slash fodder, which will put new players in difficultly later when the difficulty spikes.
Relying on items in Souls games to keep you alive is no substitute for skill and practice. Players who think they can pay to win throughout the game will be sorely mistaken.
The Difficult And Rewarding Culture Of The 'Souls' Series
The Souls series is synonymous with its punishing difficulty, trial and error moments and brutal – but always fair – combat. It’s about learning and developing, not simply hacking your way through hordes of enemies.
The series’ philosophy has always been; that those who work the hardest to overcome the toughest of obstacles, will ultimately feel the most satisfaction when they do.
Finally defeating a boss, who's crushed you twelve times, on your own merit, skill and guile is infinitely more rewarding than doing it first time. As frustrating as Souls games can be at times, they also offer a feeling of elation that other games struggle to match.
There’s always been something decidedly old school about each title. The developers have also had a ‘zero Fs given’ mentality to player comfort. There will be many Souls players who simply gave up when it became too hard – and this pleases FROMSOFTWARE and the fans who did stick around.
They care nothing for inclusivity. Yes, they want to sell copies, but if these games aren’t for you; then that’s fine, you won’t be missed.
There’s a superiority to the Souls community, and to be fair to them – they’ve earned the right. The series owes everything to its reputation.
Therefore, the frustration caused by Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses is somewhat understandable.
The simple fact is, it could lead the series down a path in which Souls games become the same as every other franchise. This also threatens to undermine their feelings of superiority too.
Gamers who've complained about the difficulty of Demon’s or Dark Souls in the the past have been told to ‘git gud’. The deliberate misspelling of ‘get good’ itself has become a meme designed to poke fun at casual gamers.
Player Choice Is Most Important
The Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonus controversy is understandable, but we suspect fans may be getting carried away.
It’s up to each player how they choose to spend their money and enjoy their games. It’s not one fan’s place to tell another fan how to enjoy it.
Competitive online play is a major aspect of Demon’s Souls. Players invade each other’s worlds and battle to the death, either for supremacy and fun, or to steal another player's ‘Soul’ so they can continue to progress.
Based on this, we can see why some players will be frustrated that others will have an unfair advantage. And in order for them to have the same advantage they’ll need to spend another $20 dollars.
But if Demon’s Souls is all about skill, and if items ultimately are merely crutches offering only minor benefits – does it even matter? Let them do what they need to do while they ‘git gud’.
Experienced Souls fans should have no problem dealing with ‘noobs’ anyway right? We don’t think the PS5 Demon’s Souls digital pre-order bonuses will do much to throw the series off its axis.
What we think it will do however is attract a new group of players. After all, we’ve already explained why the PS5 is giving Demon’s Souls the second chance it always deserved.
To learn more about its multiplayer and other features, here’s what we can expect from Demon’s Souls when it releases on the 12th – 19th November on PS5.