Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin review – a director’s cut of the dark fantasy

Dark Souls 2 DLC 8

Return to Drangleic and you will find the haunted land not entirely as you left it.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than a graphically updated or DLC-bundled version of the dark fantasy RPG. All three of the “lost crowns” areas come on the disc, along with a higher frame rate and the choking darkness that the original game lacked. Now there really is a need to agonise over whether to carry a shield or a torch – should you prepare for an attack or see it coming more clearly?

Scholar of the First Sin shows developer From Software at its best, with lots of tweaks to the mechanics and storytelling. Familiar levels are populated with familiar enemies, but in new patterns that drastically change the experience. Relying on memory from the previous game will not work – a favourite farming ground may now be a death trap. Think of Scholar like a remastered audio track or the director’s cut to a beloved film; expert hands have pushed something already great to the next level.

Between this and Bloodborne, there’s never been a better time to be a masochist. Even veteran Souls players will find something to love here.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Patrick Harkin, for The Observer on Monday 13th April 2015 07.30 Europe/London

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