REVIEW – From Software is double-dipping – there’s definitely some of you readers out there who are still killing some time with Bloodborne (where enemies kill the player in return), but now here’s Dark Souls II’s Extended Edition. On the PS3, only the three DLCs are the new addons, but the PS4 version is a brand new edition that contains several major overhauls.
At first glance, Scholar of the First Sin seems nothing more than a simple port, but under the hood, there are quite a few changes – changes that make Dark Souls 2 even better. One example is, the enemy locations have been changed compared to the original game. This resulted in the game with a tougher difficulty – do not be surprised to see some of the enemy types earlier in the game.
The result is that Scholar of the First Sin needs to be played differently than the original Dark Souls 2. The usual tactics might not result in success, which in turn can make you addicted to the challenge the game has to offer and in the end, while tearing up from anger and success, THOU SHALL PASS. So you won’t put the Blu-ray disc back in its case after five minutes, it’ll be at least five hours (and even then I underestimated the length, you can expect twice of that time at least).
Another update is for the multiplayer; now up to six players can play together, which really adds to the fun and despair for Dark Souls 2 – with a few friends, this can really be a new experience.
I can’t stress this enough for Scholar of the First Sin- it looks terrific on PlayStation 4, compared to the PS3 version it looks night and day. The 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second are amazing, although the framerate does tend to drop to the forties here and there, but at least it’s not diving under 30. This extra speed allows better timing for dodges and blocking – finally, there is a good looking Dark Souls on consoles.
The lighting received a major upgrade from the previous generation’s version. Sure, it’s not a The Order 1886-level (that game is most likely the best looking console game at the current time!), but the game isn’t an ugly effort from From Software, let’s put it that way…
Does it have issues?
Somehow, there is a bug that is present here that was seen earlier in the PC version of the vanilla game. It can cause a problem in the first hours into the game, making that death count climb a bit higher. I noticed that somehow my weapons’ durability is very short-lived. I’d like to know why this wasn’t fixed after the PC port – this affects everyone, not just those who are new to the genre. After all, veterans have to grab weapons as well…
Just try to get through the early hours of the game, so if you’ll have a different weapon in the inventory as a plan B, then you can ignore most likely the single somewhat serious issue of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin.
What can be another issue for new players is the disappearance of enemies after killing them a few times. Killing them in an a area enough times will make them die for real and not even those bonfires will help respawning them. There is no simple grinding as seen in Bloodborne, you have to keep going.
Compared to let’s say, Sleeping Dogs’ current-gen version, I don’t think it’s okay to say that it’s simply a cashgrab, lazy effort port from PS3 to PS4. Especially in technical aspects, it can be put on the same shelf of the PS4-exclusive Bloodborne(mainly for the framerate, and this is a multiplatform title to boot!), which can raise a few eyebrows. If I had to compare the two games, I’d say that BB would finish just by an inch compared to DS2, no more!
So I’d say Dark Souls II is a good purchase on PS4. If you had it on PS3 and skipped the DLCs, then I’d still say get it. If you liked Bloodborne, get it. If you skipped DS2 previously altogether, then totally get it. Be glad that there’s no two versions like on PC, which got a DX9 and a DX11 version – that’s really a disappointing move. So you won’t be disappointed: the challenge’s result is quite tasty…
+ Dark Souls II, now on PlayStation 4
+ extended and updatedport, it got
+ Technically impressive
– Weapons with low durability
– Enemies disappear, you can’t grind easily
– If you had it on PC, then you can skip this one
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: From Software
Release: 2015 April