I'm still in disbelief that the Soulsborne franchise is old enough for entries to qualify for remasters and remakes. There were rumors of a remastered Demon's Souls coming for years, one that softened the blue of the PS3 original's servers going offline in February 2018. I never saw a full-blown remake by Bluepoint Games coming, and I'm glad, because that pleasant surprise added to the experience of revisiting the PS3's sleeper hit.
Remember: Demon's Souls was exclusive to PS3 during a time when Xbox 360 was running away with its hardware generation. Many players weren't bit by the Soulsborne bug until 2011's Dark Souls on 360 and PS3, or until the PC release in 2012. Fresh off its remake of Shadow of the Colossus, Bluepoint Games turned to Demon's Souls and remade the game the way I remembered it, rather than the way it was: drab, floaty, and bloated with loading times.
Bluepoint's philosophy for remakes is to rebuild games rather than reimagine them. That works for Demon's Souls. The attention to detail is incredible, from the materials from which armor is fashioned, to using Photo Mode to drift off an area's main path and explore locations like the interior of homes and fortresses, to the tighter feel of controls and the quality-of-life changes that bring Demon's Souls up to modern standards--mostly.
Bluepoint decided to leave most of the game's systems intact, for better or worse. While there's more I would have liked to have seen changed as a super fan of Demon's Souls, I also agree with the studio's philosophy, and feel the game holds up on its own merit. Demon's Souls is where the franchise began, and for some (including my wife and me), its blend of lore and gameplay remains unmatched. New and returning players can experience all that and more in the Shacknews Best PS5 Game of 2020.
Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.