Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to Demon Souls.
(I love that sentence.)
And it is a brutal, brutal game. I spent an hour getting my tail handed to me because I attacked a guy I was not ready to face, and kept respawning and could not undue the bad decision I had made, and I hadn't mastered the early-in-the-game battle mechanics needed to hold my own. And I didn't get my shield (which I was told to pick up). And almost nothing is explained.
This is not bad game design -- this is designed consequence.
I love how hard Demon Souls is. I love how much harder Dark Souls is. It's hard to explain, because it's not exactly masochism (not exactly). For me, it's wanting to improve in a game that feels so immersive because it does not hold my hand, and failure to pay attention and keep my wits about me is hours-upon-hours costly.
I have to play so many games that I don't want to play. I should be upset at how long this game it going to take me, but I'm not upset that I'm forced to spend time with such a caliber, sleeper offering.