Top Critic Average
Between the new enemy placements, greater challenge, the improved visuals and all the additional bonus content, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin is absolutely worth a first look if you're a newcomer to the series - and in the case of returning players, almost certainly worth a second.
From Software once raised the bar for game design; now, they've done the same for HD remakes. Rest assured, this isn't just a lazy repackaging of old content. Even if you know the Kingdom of Drangleic like the back of your hand, you're in for many new surprises. And if you've never played Dark Souls II before, your patience has paid off: This is simply the best version of it you'll ever play.
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is a phenomenal game, taking the spectacular original and giving it fresh lease of life. Creator Hidetaka Miyazaki's grim and beautiful world is truly a wonder to behold, and this new journey into that world is filled with fresh challenges that will test even the most experienced Souls players. You will die over and over and over again, but the key thing is that you will love every minute of it.
For people who enjoy getting into the multiplayer side of the Souls experience, it's worth nothing that Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin ups the number of players that can join in to six – up from four in the original game. I've never got on with the online component of these games because I find that the idea of having company helping me out defeated the melancholic, lonely tone that I look for in these games, but that aside I'm well aware of how popular Souls is in multiplayer, and this is something notable.
With the enemy placement changed, it really does offer a newer challenge to veteran players, and while the double weapon degradation is really, really annoying, it can be managed. It's just going to take a lot of backtracking.
Whether you're new to Dark Souls II or played it on older consoles, Scholar of the First Sin is worth revisiting. This PlayStation 4 collection features the original game, along with the three expansion packs. The result is as rewarding as it is frustrating. And thanks to substantial tweaks made to the world and enemy AI, there's more than enough incentive to suck series veterans back into one of the best adventure games of all time.
Overall, Scholar of the First Sin is a fantastic upgrade and worth the purchase if you never had the chance to play Dark Souls 2 on PC or current gen consoles. Even if you did play through it before, the DLC alone is worth checking out. The visual upgrades are rather stunning if you haven't played on PC, and the new enemy positions offer veteran players a nice surprise.
Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin is the definitive version of a masterpiece. Surprising for veterans yet deceptively welcoming to newcomers, this rebalanced remaster proves as deeply impressive as it is brutally compelling.
Overall, Scholar of First Sin can be a hard sell for folks who played the original Dark Souls 2 to death already (pun so totally intended). If you've never played its predecessor before, however, or are a rabid fan who wants to re-experience everything again on the newer consoles, this is one game you'll want to prepare to take a stab at.
Not quite content with improving the graphics and lumping in the downloadable content and calling it a day, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin feels like From Software's definitive vision for the game.
Dark Souls 2on the PS4 is as close to perfect as any game I've played this year. The game is beautiful and the mechanics are easy. The only thing that ever got to me was when I'd end up wandering around, trying to find the way to move forward. But I'm pretty sure that was intentional on From Software's part.
Going backwards from Bloodborne feels almost archaic, and it takes some time to settle into that once familiar gameplay. However Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin offers the chance to revisit that still fantastic and familiar world with a slight twist to proceedings and a respectable face lift. The addition of the DLC makes this package more than worthwhile for any fan of From Software's catalogue, but those that already own the content on another platform may find the investment too high.
For newcomers Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is a superb package, with the wonderful DLC thrown in and the visuals at the best they have ever been. However, it's also tough going thanks to the remixed enemy placements and new random encounters. For veterans this is a welcome return to Drangleic but not one that is mandatory, as the changes feel all too insubstantial at times. So while Scholar of the First Sin is the definitive package, it isn't one that is required for repeat visitors.
It's hard not to recommend Scholar of the First Sin to newcomers and veterans alike. For newcomers, this latest version provides hours and hours of fantastic content for a great price. Meanwhile, the remixed encounters and items, the ramped up challenge, and the much-needed improvements to the multiplayer ensure that veterans also have plenty of reasons to pick this up.
Players who have played Dark Souls II for an extended period, as well as all of the DLC may find that the rearranged enemy and item placement enough to get them fighting for their soul once again, but only if they are die-hard fans. If you haven't played the original or you were stopped a bit short the first time around, Scholar of the First Sin is the perfect excuse to come back and try your hand at the experience again. The new additions and visual upgrades make this the best version to play the game on.
Paradoxically, it's a version seemingly made for people that have already played through the original Dark Souls 2, rather than new players, who might actually have a harder time with the new, tougher enemy placements.
If you're returning to Dark Souls II, you'll either come away pleased that you're on the same page as the designers, or annoyed by the seemingly perfunctory remix of enemy and item placement. On the other hand, brand new players may find Scholar of the First Sin to be an ideal, more guided tour of the world of Drangleic.
Scholar of the First Sin is a noble attempt to right the perceived wrongs of Dark Souls II, but while some tweaks are welcome, others -such as certain enemy placements- are less so. Whatever way you cut it though, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is still a great game.
The best, most complete version of a great game that offers compelling reasons for current owners and newcomers to invest in. It's not for everyone, but if you can "get into it," you're likely going to be hooked on not only the game, but the franchise.
Is Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin worthy of a second purchase? If you loved the original release and want to experience the game with no major technical issues, a smooth frame-rate, enhanced graphics, and repositioned enemies, then it is well worth the price of admission. Those new to Dark Souls II will want Scholar of the First Sin to be their welcoming as it is the best way to play this glorious game.
Even if it's only been a year, time has not been kind to Dark Souls' sequel and this remaster does little to help the situation – even if it 's a hugely engrossing game in its own right.
I enjoyed every minute of it. I would have like to see the price drop a little bit over the course of the past two years but you are still getting a game that is a joy to play from start to finish here.
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin offers only minor tweaks to serious gameplay issues of the original game. Nonetheless, it still remains a wholly enjoyable online experience, just don't expect much from the singleplayer experience.
While it's a hard sale for those that have already played the game to death, even with all the changes, but if you've never played it before, it's an easy recommendation. Pick this game up as it's chocked full of content that is still well worth your money. It's no Bloodborne though.