Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 450 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
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: 39 out of 76
  2. Negative: 19 out of 76
  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.
    Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2017
    10
    Waaay better than slashy Dark Borne 3. I didn't enjoy original DkS2 that much, but SotFS improves the gameplay on every level. The dlc areasWaaay better than slashy Dark Borne 3. I didn't enjoy original DkS2 that much, but SotFS improves the gameplay on every level. The dlc areas are so good... They are incredibly difficult too. Honestly can recommend this game to any Souls fan. Way better than DkS3 (in my opinion), the amount of weapons and detailed setting makes this game as good as DkS1. Expand
  3. Oct 19, 2016
    9
    I didn't play the original game as it first came out, so I rate scholar of the first sin as what it is and not as what I expected it to beI didn't play the original game as it first came out, so I rate scholar of the first sin as what it is and not as what I expected it to be compared to the original version. After nearly 30 hours I can say that I like it a lot! In comparison to DS1 it seems more self-contained and accessible without losing all of its complexity, what I think is a good thing. Expand
  4. Dec 9, 2016
    8
    Egy legendát nagyon nehéz felülmúlni. A folytatás esetében még inkább érvényes ez a tétel, de szerintem a Dark Souls II nem okozott csalódást.Egy legendát nagyon nehéz felülmúlni. A folytatás esetében még inkább érvényes ez a tétel, de szerintem a Dark Souls II nem okozott csalódást. Jó, nem olyan katartikus érzést kiváltó, mint az első rész, de ott van a legjobb játékok között. Expand
  5. Apr 7, 2015
    6
    By far the worst game From Software has produced in the "demons,souls,blood" games.

    After playing through the other games this one just
    By far the worst game From Software has produced in the "demons,souls,blood" games.

    After playing through the other games this one just feels awful and mediocre at best.

    The environments lack detail, the geography has no connection (area transitions are terrible).

    The story is even more vague than previous games and incredibly generic and lame once you understand it.

    Bosses are probably the biggest let down, very few are original and are mostly just reposts/reskins of previous bosses.
    for some reason in this game they are no more complex or difficult than strafing around them in circles and blocking, the hit boxes on many attacks are very strange so rolling is usually riskier, but even then the bosses can mostly be beaten on the first try with ease. The only idea of difficulty they add is by just adding mobs to the fights which really doesn't fix the fact that none of the bosses on their own are even remotely tough.

    Mobs are tougher than the bosses.

    to cut it short it blows my mind that people think this is a good souls game, let alone a good game.
    Expand
  6. Jun 13, 2018
    5
    This is a game about learning your environment and the enemies (patterns) within. Having a horrible hit detection is unacceptable, period.This is a game about learning your environment and the enemies (patterns) within. Having a horrible hit detection is unacceptable, period. Also due to the change to the enemies spawn the maps feel much more crowded and in a bad way. Expand
  7. Aug 2, 2019
    0
    DS 2 is not even a true "DARK" game, in order to have the title of DARK SOULS in it, the 2013 DEMO of the same is, but the final version isDS 2 is not even a true "DARK" game, in order to have the title of DARK SOULS in it, the 2013 DEMO of the same is, but the final version is definitely not. It has texture with a very poor quality in all its versions, including the one of PC, especially considering that it is a game of 2014, & in 2015 there were already games like The Witcher 3, which makes DS 2 to look like a game of a half a decade before the 2014, because of the difference with regard to the quality of textures between the two, something that it is really pathetic & embarrassing for the DS 2 piece of work. It allows the player to warp between Bonfires from the beginning, which literally murder in cold blood a great deal of immersion & exploration in it. The enemies are very badly misplaced in the levels. The animation of the sequences in the attacks are just terrible with respect to the lack of inmercion that it causes, to a player. Its system focuses on punishing the player when the same dies, at resurrect it with less life, instead of encouraging it to self-overcome, which is one of the main philosophies of the DARK SOULS series, Hidetaka Miyazaki himself confirmed that philosophy for the series. The writing level of the game is very poor. The NPCs are extremely depressing, & constantly encourage the player to surrender during the dialogues, instead of encouraging the player not to become Hollow, as they generally should with indifference responses like on DS 3 & ESPECIALLY in DS 1! Expand

See all 76 User Reviews