‘Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin’ — From Software
Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
9.5 out of 10
By Jace Riley ’16
If you’ve heard anything about a “Souls” game, it’s most likely about its difficulty.
The original “Dark Souls 2” offered easier gameplay to help curb new player’s fears, but in doing so made fans angry by offering a slightly easier experience.
“Scholar of the First Sin,” the HD update and next-generation port of “Dark Souls 2,” looks to remedy that and other faults from the original.
“Scholar,” and other games in the series, are what you make of them.
You can rush through the story in 20 hours or so, or it can be an intense 60 hour game.
It can be a mindless quest with no story to it, or it can be a rich, dark world filled with story. It all depends on what the player does.
Wandering around will cause you to run into many extra, optional bosses that are some of the coolest concepts I’ve seen.
A fight with a headless, Medusa-like creature can be grueling if you didn’t go out of your way to drain the poison in the arena.
Exploration will often be the key to success and the story.
Unlike most games, “Scholar” isn’t a role-playing game with quests.
You have one general goal, but how and when you get to it is up to you.
The story doesn’t show itself except through infrequent characters and their dialogue. The rest of the story is through item descriptions, and even then it’s in fragments.
This leaves the story open to interpretation and it works very well.
While I can’t say this game is worth getting if you have played the original, I can say it is worth getting if you missed it the first time around.
The world of Drangleic is beautiful and brutal.
Enemies of varying types crawl around every corner.
Your first few hours will be probably be the hardest, but once you get the controls and combat down it is much easier but still difficult. Weapons consist of swords, bows and magic.
Your starting class will affect what type of weapons you’ll start with, but are by no means limited to that.
You can choose to two-hand a sword for more damage, or you can one-hand and have a shield.
The game’s combat offers a lot of variety and caters to many styles of play.
That difficulty makes the “Souls” series so great.
Beating a boss after two hours of defeat gives a great sense of reward.
If you still can’t beat it, you can summon phantoms for some jolly cooperation.
These phantoms are humans or non-player controlled characters.
While it takes a small sense of reward away, it’s a great time wailing on the boss that gave you so much trouble.
Probably the biggest parts to “Scholar” are the actual scholar of the first sin, a new NPC, and the fact that it includes all three downloadable content packs of the original.
This adds more areas to search and bosses to fight without having to pay extra for them.
If you are looking for a deep RPG for the new generation of platforms, I can’t recommend this enough.
It’s a game you can sink many hours into just by going out of your way.
“Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin” earns a 9.5 out of 10.