‘Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin’ Review: A Refined Return to Many Deaths

Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin

Game: Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Consoles: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 (Reviewed), PS3
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: From Software

From Software released one of the best action RPG’s in the last few years with the much-anticipated sequel to Dark Souls. The seep learning curve, punishing difficulty and intense boss encounters have led to the notorious stature of this series. Learning the in’s and out’s of this difficult title is certainly a headache for most gamers, but the rewarding feeling fans get after retrieving a bunch of souls after vanquishing a massive creature is 2nd to none. A true definitive edition of Dark Souls 2 has been released and it adds several changes that even veteran fans will get caught off guard by. It’s time to take a rough trip into Scholar of the First Sin.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

Hopping into the down trodden world of Drangleic will introduce everyone to much cleaner visuals. The Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of this release trumps it’s past-gen console brethren due to its upgrade to 1080P and 60FPS. The game already look good enough before, but now it looks even more amazing. The character models, environmental textures and much cleaner textures do a great job of refining a classic. The same tight audio cues are still intact, so you’ll get to die countless times in a much better looking world backed by a powerful soundtrack.

One of the bigger changes to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the Fist Sin is the change in enemy placement in some areas. From Software did a great job of freshening up the experience for returning players. Before, there may have just been a group of weaker undead soldiers marching near a river. With this retooled edition of the game, you’ll now encounter a lumbering beast pacing near that very same river. This option keeps the gameplay fresh by introducing new challenges in the place of the ones past players may have already fought through. The full suite of DLC missions (Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King and Crown of the Ivory King) are also a part of this upgraded version of the game, so this edition provides the complete experience.

Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin

For those who jumped into the 1st release of Dark Souls 2, this version is just a bit more harder to handle. Not only is the game’s familiar difficulty still intact, but now you’ll be caught off guard with the new enemy placement. The online Forlone invader is an even bigger threat that will give less patient players a bigger headache than before. Returning fans will know how to deal with Dark Souls 2 by now. As for newbies, the punishing difficulty is still the biggest barrier of entry in the overall series.

Bottom Line

Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin

If you can manage to pry yourself away from Bloodborne for a while, returning to Dark Souls 2 on the Xbox One and PS4 is something you should consider. The visuals have been refined, the placement of enemies/items have changed to freshen up the campaign and the full offering of DLC is present. Newcomers and veteran fans who know what to expect will have a good time with the definitive edition. But for those who didn’t like the game once before, you won’t have your mind changed with this retooled iteration.

Score: 9/10


  • The visuals are much improved thanks to crisper textures and the bump to 1080P/60FPS
  • Comes with the full suite of DLC missions
  • New enemy placement and plenty of other game updates make this experience even more approachable for veterans


  • Notorious difficulty for the series can still be hard to overcome for newcomers

Buy Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin here.

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