hey snap i just beat it too, thought i'd drop in
it's very good. it might have been my favourite if it weren't for the idiotic vials/bullets system. just fucking refresh them, you assholes! the only consequence of this system is if my storage runs out i have to grind for a bit to buy a shitload of them from the hub. what's the point of that? it never even came to that after the early game, but the threat of it was a constant frustration since deaths frequently meant wasted combat flow items.
also how come they figured out how to bring summons through without load screens but you still gotta sit through a load after death? i bet a good technical reason but still those load times made me real salty sometimes
i hate to say it but i'm starting to feel like i'm over the format of souls games—running back to the boss door has begun to feel like a nonsense design artefact. managing your route was a major structural element in demon's, but at this point there's nothing meaningful going on once you've made it to the boss door once. without exception you can just run past everything. it's a waste of time.
that's all my salt. on the upside, while the lows are pretty low, the highs are the highest. so many of my favourite moments of the souls lineage are in this game. it's monstrously beautiful, practically every area and boss encounter is memorable, and the dreadful sensation of tumbling ever-deeper into a nightmare is masterful. what impressed me the most was the boss variety—they're almost all visually and mechanically unique, and even the easier ones like
are pretty interesting encounters. in that regard it's easily the most consistently strong game from have ever made.
and what a brilliant final battle. i ended with
too—i still want to do a second playthrough to get the 'true' finale, but it was such a perfect balance of relentless pressure without being cheap or frustrating.
re: lore, it's an extremely impressive piece of straight lovecraftian horror in an era where lovecraft is usually mishandled. i find myself more into post-lovecraftian than lovecraftian these days—i like my cosmic horror to exist in implications and fleeting glimpses rather than the full-blown eldritch apocalypses of worlds like bloodborne—but it's an inspired take. it does a incredible job turning things to eleven while maintaining the things so often lost in modern lovecraftia: it's unrelentingly nihilistic, existentially humbling, and grants you only incomplete visions of a baffling, contradictory cosmology.