Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

April 07, 2015

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


In Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, players can take on the Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King expansions, each offering new areas to explore, new items to acquire, and new enemies and bosses to battle. The game also offers more NPCs, expanded item descriptions, improved game balance and online matchmaking, upgraded visuals and sound, and online multiplayer sessions for up to six. Dark Souls II offers improved graphics and sound and places a greater focus on Covenants and online interactions. Players create a character and allocate stats into a variety of base skills, then head off into a dark and incredibly dangerous world in hopes of ending the suffering of their cursed protagonist.

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Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 12GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Sound Engine:
    • DTS Digital Surround
    • Dolby Digital
  • Engine:
    • Havok
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 75 Hours
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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on the PS4 is a compendium of the three prior released DLC packs for Dark Souls II. Combining Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King creates the backbone for what is a deep and expansive piece of DLC. With new features in tow the team at Bandai Namco Games really went above and beyond the call to duty. The expanded port was released for all the major systems and we picked up a copy for our Xbox One. Dark Souls II holds a special place in our heart and having more content for the Xbox One version of the game is a golden egg we couldn’t wait to crack open. Keep on reading to find out just why this title works so well.

Dark Souls II initially dropped for the Xbox 360 even though the Xbox One was available and ready for it. We loved the title so much that we pulled our 360 out of its resting place in order to burn through the game. Now the developers at From Software are making up for missing the XB1 on the first go around and releasing an expanded HD port of the title for current gen systems. Typically we roll our eyes at HD Remastered Ports because they feel so much like gimmicks and cash grabs. Fortunately for us, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than that. We’ve already pointed out that the import comes with all of the old DLC but there is even more at play here. We’ll get into that in a little bit.

Dark Souls is a deep and complex game with a story that is sometimes hard to follow. What it boils down to, in the barest of bones, is that there is an army of undead creatures filling the world and you need to kill them, collecting their souls as you go. The souls you collect help you beef up your character (you’ll need to beef up, trust us) so that you can fight even bigger, badder and meaner things. The franchise has primarily risen to popularity on the PC and it is known for having some of the most difficult gameplay in the entire world of action RPGs. This is a game that was made to make sure you die plenty of times during your play through. In fact, death happens so often that you soon just become accustomed to getting kicked down and restarting.

Every time that you die you start to hollow out which causes you to lose some viability when you attack creatures. You do less damage, have a lower HP capacity, and thus have a harder time. In short, you don’t want to ever die because you will start to fall apart in the game but death is unavoidable. So you have to have a hard nose for confrontation and a firm grip on your temper when you play this title. With that being said, Dark Souls II is never unfair with how it treats players. It very obviously caters to the hardcore crowd and that is the experience you end up pulling in. Accordingly when you succeed you feel such a sense of accomplishment that we wouldn’t have it any other way. But we digress, let’s talk about the actual changes that appear in this new title.

The game looks almost completely revamped when compared to the PS3 & 360 crowd and it even keeps up with those super powered PCs that everybody likes to game on. Extra textures available only to the XB1 version of the game increase the visual quality above that of the PC version and the 60FPS frame rate makes the action smooth and beautiful in a gritty way. The animations are smooth, the colors even more nuanced on screen, and the open world feel of the game completely developed upon. With that being said, the graphics still fall a bit short when compared to some other current gen RPGs. But then again Dark Souls has never been about looking like the prettiest game on the block, it’s all about the meat of the title.

Veterans of the 360 version of Dark Souls II shouldn’t get too comfortable with their knowledge of the game. Enemy locations, items, and difficulty has been swapped and changed throughout the entire title. You won’t know what is coming even if you logged 80 hours on the old version of the game. There are even new opponents to deal with where there were none to begin with. Traps make appearances in new places and the difficulty is significantly ramped up. The difficulty of the game is ramped even higher for those that think they know what they are doing. Thus is the trap that Dark Souls offers its gamers: fun and fury all at once.

'The Pursuer' will likely become a fan favorite addition to Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. The Pursuer is a spirit who hunts down the player as you play through the game. He can show up anywhere at anytime and whenever he does you are guaranteed to receive a deadly fight. He has side kicks that apparate alongside of him and he is capable of popping up even in zones that you already cleared. There is also the Scholar of the First Sin. Killing him gives you an alternate ending to the game.

While single player will rule the day in Dark Souls II there is multiplayer that has been improved upon from the initial release. You can now play alongside up to five of your buddies all at once. You can cooperate or head straight to the PVP modes for some bloody action.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is a wonderful port of an already amazing game. If you like action RPGs you need to buy this title, full stop.

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Bandai Namco Games

Release Date:

April 07, 2015

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