Bursting onto the gaming scene with blast of fresh air (tinged with the blood of many a fallen player), Demon’s Souls was released at the right place and at the right time. The cult of the inflated ego was taking over gaming and this brutal title allowed for the skilful and patient to bask in that rare feeling of accomplishment that only comes with besting the most insurmountable of odds. Even though many rejoiced in the old school features, such as coming packed with a detailed guide, that’s not to say that the game didn’t have its own revolutionary features as well, such as an untried way of play online.
It wasn’t until the release of the spiritual successor though, Dark Souls, that the game and its premise really took hold of the player psyche. And along with it came a paradox. Some players relished the challenge of being thrown into the deepest of deep ends with nary an explanation on the game systems and with just about every single enemy capable of tearing you limb-from-limb. Others shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t for love or money comprehend why anyone would want to put themselves through such an experience. And that’s what it was – an experience.
Set in the same world but not a direct sequel, Dark Souls II certainly has been explored to the fullest by From Software, with 3 DLC episodes being released following the early 2014 release. Given that the newest console generation had already started upon the game’s release, From Software has seen it fit to remaster the game for the PS4, Xbox One and PC, while bringing some of the updates to existing versions. Hence, the upcoming release of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin.
Where Dark Souls II played on the vague premise that your character has wandered into this forsaken world in search of finding a cure for their affliction – the curse of the undead – Scholar of the First Sin does not stray away from this at all. In fact, those who are playing the existing PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will mainly be treated to a bunch of updates from a free patch. These updates include balance tweaks, changes in item descriptions and additional NPCs to further mess your head with what actually happened in this world. Or we can only assume so, given what the series has offered so far. There have been no indications yet of his role, but the titular Scholar of the First Sin will be appearing the game.
Those who purchase the PS4 or Xbox One version will be treated to a lot more. Firstly, all three of the DLC episodes (The Lost Crowns) will be included on the one disc. Secondly, all the above mentioned game fixes will be included in the package. And most pertinently, will come a graphical upgrade worthy of viewing. Spruced up to 1080p, playing at 60 frames per second and now supporting up to six players online at a time, this will definitely best looking death simulator around (until Bloodbourne is released…).
Oh and the game will still be a massive challenge, just in case you were wondering. Playing through the first couple of hours, the seemingly friendly old ladies that you meet early in the game eventually mock your inevitably impressive death tally. The graphical upgrades are immediately noticeable – this is a much better looking game than its predecessor and the frame rate is especially impressive. However, it will be a wonder to see how many technical hang ups there will be, such as garments clipping into fixed objects and completely immovable grass.
In any case, get ready to die again all over. If you liked what you saw with these games but had already moved to the new consoles, welcome back to the masochism! Until Bloodbourne is released, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will be definitive death simulator and ultimate purveyor of morbidly dark fantasy.