Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Image
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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 330 Ratings

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  • Summary: Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin includes the 3 previously released DLC packs - Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the ivory King - along with additional features. All versions of the game include the following features (Existing Dark Souls II ownersDark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin includes the 3 previously released DLC packs - Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the ivory King - along with additional features. All versions of the game include the following features (Existing Dark Souls II owners will receive a patch to implement these elements): Additional NPCs added for an enhanced story experience. Parameter adjustments for improved game balance. Augmented item descriptions. Improved online matchmaking functionality. [Bandai Namco] Expand

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Dark Souls II - The Lost Crowns Trilogy DLC
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. CD-Action
    Jun 29, 2015
    95
    It’s a freaking masterpiece! Do yourself a favor and experience it if you haven’t done it yet. [06/2015, p.68]
  2. Apr 7, 2015
    90
    If you have yet to experience Dark Souls II, Scholar of the First Sin is the best way to do it.
  3. Apr 8, 2015
    90
    It's a hard-won love that Dark Souls II has you earn, a love that took a second, enhanced port to truly find. It is a demanding and seemingly interminable game that puts up its most beautiful and its most evil machinations right at the outset.
  4. Apr 6, 2015
    80
    Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin targets two audiences: newcomers and veterans. In both cases it succeeds.
  5. May 4, 2015
    80
    A pleasant combination of revised version of Dark Souls II with excellent DLCs offers a brutal difficulty and a fantastic atmosphere - even more intense than ever. Although the Scholar of the First Sin is not a purchase for everyone, if you try you will not be disappointed.
  6. Feb 20, 2017
    72
    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.
  7. Apr 14, 2015
    50
    Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is both a continuation of the series’ escalating skill thresholds and a sign that some limit has been reached. It’s a game in which the fantasy of self-improvement depends on a vast system of artificial trickery, and one that confuses simple variation for genuine discovery.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 56
  2. Negative: 14 out of 56
  1. Apr 3, 2015
    10
    There are a few things that need to be cleared up.

    First, this game does not cost $50 to owners of Dark Souls 2, like some poorly informed
    There are a few things that need to be cleared up.

    First, this game does not cost $50 to owners of Dark Souls 2, like some poorly informed people say. If you already own Dark Souls II, you can upgrade for $30 and then you also get the DLC included in that price. If you already have Dark Souls 2 plus all the DLC, then you can upgrade for just $20. This DOES include all the DLC. This is actually a better deal than the console gamers are getting, oddly enough, probably because FromSoft knows how PC gamers tend to complain if they don't get special treatment. (Note: I'm a PC gamer and do not own a console)

    Second, the enemy placement is not random like some people say. The enemies are placed in lore-friendly locations, and the only time they're placed in new regions is when there's a sensible reason (like a couple Royal Swordsmen outside the Pursuer Arena, because the hawk carries people back and forth from the Lost Bastille.)

    Third, the game is not just brighter. It has more contrast than before. That means the dark areas are darker and the light areas are lighter. Additionally, the graphics improvement is very noticeable, and the only people dissatisfied with it seem to be complaining for the sake of complaining. No, it's not the best looking game in the world. However, it is one of the best optimized games in the world. It won't stress your GTX 970, but it will look beautiful and run great on your GTX 650 or equivalent, and it's not often that developers put in so much work to make their game run well on a variety of PCs, while still maintaining good graphics. For reference, this game runs flawlessly on ultra settings/1080p/45+ fps on my laptop with a GTX 860M. Yes, it's so well optimized that my mid-range laptop is matching Xbone/PS4 performance.

    Graphical changes I've noticed:
    -Improved sampling quality on ambient occlusion.
    -Light now acts upon textures based on the alpha channel (more realistic shading). This also means that the worst looking textures in normal Dark Souls II (the ones where the normal and diffuse are different) now react to lighting more realistically and look much better. This is probably how they intended the game to look to begin with.
    -More water reflections, including sky reflections.
    -More contrast (light areas can be truly white instead of light gray, and dark areas can be truly black instead of dark gray).
    -Certain areas of the game now have custom "pitch black" lighting templates, making torches actually necessary like the skull lantern from DKS1.
    -The antialiasing has been updated to FXAA3, so it now looks less blurry and does an even better job of reducing jaggies.
    -Object motion blur makes quick actions look more fluid, especially things like rolling.
    -Bokeh DoF is now used to make embers and other similar things look prettier.
    -Bloom has been increased around light sources like fires or the sun, adding that great "bright" look that light sources had in DKS1.
    -Large shadows have been added to the landscape, around things like pillars, mountains, etc. This gives the landscape more depth overall.
    -All spells now have light sources.
    -All light sources now actually cast light.
    -Texture filtering has been improved.

    General Gameplay Improvements that I've personally noticed.
    -A few hitboxes seem more precise, especially noticeable during dodges.
    -Enemies have been set up in places that complement their abilities (ie, turtle knights are now sometimes found in narrow spaces where their crushing attacks are most effective).
    -Skeletons like dark places.
    -Lore has been expanded in subtle ways, especially around boss fights which previously had little or no explanation.
    -Some sound effects that previously sounded muffled have been dramatically improved, making it easier to identify certain nearby objects and enemies, if you have decent ears and decent speakers/headphones.

    Overall, graphically and in terms of gameplay, this is a serious improvement over Dark Souls 2. I liked Dark Souls 2 at launch, but thought Dark Souls 1 was a little better. Scholar of the First Sin has made me decide that I like Dark Souls 2 more than Dark Souls 1.

    Many of the people criticizing it haven't even played the game, but rather are simply upset because of the rumors surrounding the launch (like the incorrect rumor that people would have to pay $50 to upgrade). It's like Dark Souls 1 all over again, where **** and random elitist forums rallied to rate this game a 0 just because they didn't play it and didn't even properly research it, but just wanted a scapegoat to hate.

    Keep in mind, however, this is a bigger upgrade for the PS4 owners and Xbone owners than PC owners. Mostly this upgrade was aimed at them, we simply get it because it'd be stupid if we didn't.
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  2. Mar 2, 2016
    10
    The weapon durability bug at 60fps has been fixed in a patch. It was indeed an issue for a while when the game came out but this is no longerThe weapon durability bug at 60fps has been fixed in a patch. It was indeed an issue for a while when the game came out but this is no longer the case.
    Enemies seeming to attack faster at 60 fps was a perception option.

    This is a fantastic game with a steep learning curve that levels out quite fast too. Some people just want a "press A to win" game.
    Expand
  3. Mar 14, 2016
    9
    For me this game takes you to places that everyone needs to discover, and i dont speak about how visually the game is great but emotionally itFor me this game takes you to places that everyone needs to discover, and i dont speak about how visually the game is great but emotionally it feels amaaaaazing, i had fun every nanosecond spent in a world full of fantasy, i got to the point that i wanted not to finish it.
    TBH i played it a bit late but it was worth it because i didnt encounter any problem on my PC , raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarely the FPS dropped but it was not a big deal it didnt affect my immersion. i was a happy child the whole playthrough ( im not a child though).
    9/10
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  4. Apr 12, 2015
    7
    I've always been a huge fan of the souls series but this "add on" is not really what i expected.

    For me Demon Souls was great, Dark Souls
    I've always been a huge fan of the souls series but this "add on" is not really what i expected.

    For me Demon Souls was great, Dark Souls as well and the prepare to die addition was ok.
    When finally dark souls 2 came out I played through it in around 30h but I rushed through the very end because I messed up a side quest-line.
    Anyways, the game took away the need, my need, to play it again and to start all over because they included an item called "Soul Vessel". It allows you the relocate all your skillpoints!
    In the end, that was the reason why I did not purchase any dlc.

    Now i decided to upgrade my version to the "Scholar of the First sin" one.
    They changed the graphics, the mechanics and the environment.
    I like the design of the game but I am not going to judge the graphics because I just don't care.
    To the mechanics: They changed the backstab and the counter attack. Not the way they are executed but the way they work.You used to be invulnerable while the backstabbing animation is running. Now you take dmg! For me that completely destroys the flow of the game.
    My starting class is always the naked man... So my attributes just allow me to use a dagger at the beginning if im not lvling up. In dark souls 2 the normal version this weapon is enough make your way to the first boss and to kill him. After that I would normally lvl up with a decent amount of souls ( you need souls to lvl your character up).
    But now that i constantly take dmg when i parry and backstab enemies I can't do that anymore.

    To the environment:
    They decided to relocate half of the enemies... I have no idea why, it doesn't make the game harder, it doesn't make the game easier, they just did it.

    To conclude: Its still a good game eventhough you cant backstab and parry your way through it that easily anymore.. :( There is no way in a million years its as good as its prequel.
    The characters are still unique and the voiceacting is gorgeous. But I am not 100% convinced about upgrading when you already own ds2 + dlcs.

    Im well aware that my English lacks but since Im not a native I don't give a *** ;)
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  5. Apr 4, 2015
    6
    The game is still a buggy mess when the framerate goes over 30 FPS. I don't understand how dare they charge anything from this update. TheyThe game is still a buggy mess when the framerate goes over 30 FPS. I don't understand how dare they charge anything from this update. They basically just added more mobs to f#!k you over and sweetfx. Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2015
    4
    I was initially quite excited by the game until I found out the game is basically broken.

    If you do not run it on 30 fps, many things will
    I was initially quite excited by the game until I found out the game is basically broken.

    If you do not run it on 30 fps, many things will be broken because the developers tie gameplay mechanics to frames, not to real time. Therefore:

    - weapons degrade faster
    - enemies move faster
    - some controls (guardbreak) do not work

    The only solution is to cap the game to the unaccpetable 30fps. Hello, developers, I am not buying the game on PC only to cripple it afterwards.

    In its current state, the game cannot be recommended for purchase.
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  7. Sep 18, 2017
    0
    Плохое управление и геймплей в целом, сложность игры зависит не от проворности и силы противника, а от тупняков главного героя и плохогоПлохое управление и геймплей в целом, сложность игры зависит не от проворности и силы противника, а от тупняков главного героя и плохого управления - это бред. Expand

See all 56 User Reviews