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Thread: Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

  1. #26
    Even with the features list I still don't know whether to buy it or not. I loved DS1, but I hate the "safe sequel" approach (e.g. loved Batman: Arkham Asylum, was bored to death with Arkham City). My friend with similar attitude said DS2 is a letdown in such regard, and I don't know anyone else who played both DS games. What should I do?

  2. #27
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Just get it. It's awesome, and you'll probably love it.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It's a great game, but it definitely suffers from a combination of "more of the same" (though how often do you get to play games such as this on PC?) and being less inventive (especially in terms of enemy design) as well as presenting you with a less coherent world. I'd say that if you're a Thief fan, Dark Souls corresponds to your favourite Thief and DS2 to your second favourite - both in terms of quality and of the extent to which it's a "safe sequel".

  4. #29
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    All the Souls games after Demon's (including Bloodborne) have more or less been "safe sequels". They're very fun if you enjoy the style of gameplay, but unlikely to have the same impact as the first one you played(whichever that one was).

    As much as I'm enjoying Bloodborne, it's also a bit of a bummer how safe it is, and it makes me think the Souls series has become "critically irrelevant", the way RPS Graham Smith wrote about Assassin's Creed being a while back. Not necessarily bad, just predictable. You know what you're getting. No point in even reviewing it. At this point everyone knows what it is and they either like it or they don't.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I don't entirely agree on that one, henke. It may sound like a small change, but removing shields (except for that one joke item) does make a difference. It's not an entirely changed game, it's still recognisably Soulsy, but being forced to be aggressive and always attacking is likely to have pissed off a substantial number of fans, namely all the ones who - like me - were quite happy to hide behind their shields.

  6. #31
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    I haven't played Demon Souls but the general impression that I get from most people who have played all of the Soul's games is that Dark Souls is the best in the "series" to date. Certainly from my perspective DS sits right up there on the top shelf of the best games of all time, and I guess that in itself makes the sequel pale somewhat in comparison by way of contrast. That being said, while it is more an evolution of the franchise rather than a revolutionary next step, it's an amazing ride and one that will undoubtedly suck hours of your life (hundreds of them in fact) if you get drawn into its spell. I feel that the comparison that Thirith made between T1 & T2 is fairly apt in that regard.

  7. #32
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Dark Souls is my fave in the series as well, but that one having been the first one I played has got to factor into that.

    As for Bloodborne, yeah it plays differently, but I still believe it doesn't play differently enough that it would turn off a significant amount of Souls fans, or turn around players who were previously cold to the franchise.

  8. #33
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    What Twisty said. I personally feel the original Dark Souls is the better game of the two, but that didn't stop me from clocking in well over a hundred hours with DS2, and loving every second of it. It's far from being a lazy cash in that does nothing new with the formula.

    It's like comparing platinum to gold in a way. One might be a more precious metal, but that doesn't make other a pale alternative in comparison.
    Last edited by Renzatic; 16th Apr 2015 at 12:09.

  9. #34
    I can't say I like FromSoft taking notes from other developers, who make the same game over and over again. Still, Bloodborne won't be released on PC, so I might get DS2 instead.

  10. #35
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    DS2 isn't just a Dark Souls expansion pack sold as a sequel. They tweaked the formula by quite a bit, to the point that from a pure gameplay perspective, I'd say it's the better of the two. Everything feels a little more fluid and precise in comparison. It's just a smoother playing game.

    The major reason why I put DS a bit ahead of it is that I like it's more cosmic horror atmosphere a little better compared to DS2's dark fantasy, and the world is more interestingly convoluted, with everything connecting together in surprising ways. It felt like a little city. Drangleic is more like a couple of spoked wheels connected together, with a bunch of standalone paths coming off from their central hubs.

    To get to the point, I wasn't disappointed with DS2. I just didn't think it surpassed the original. But then again, nothing much does.

  11. #36
    It's exactly as Renzatic said.

    I also didn't find enemies, bosses, the lore or the NPCs as interesting, but they improved some of it with the Scholar of the First Sin by changing some descriptions and adding a new, awesome character.

    Oh, and for some reason, Dark Souls 2's graphics are somewhat lacking compared to the previous games. The texture repetition is worse than in many PS1 games. They cut out the whole real-time lightning thing that was suppose to play an important role in the game, and the result is that it looks like the game is running on medium or low settings. Some levels are also very blocky and empty (this actually kind of reminds me of old From Software games like King's Field or Eternal Ring).

    Still, it's a good game, with moments of pure awesomeness.

  12. #37
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Severian_Silk View Post
    Oh, and for some reason, Dark Souls 2's graphics are somewhat lacking compared to the previous games. The texture repetition is worse than in many PS1 games. They cut out the whole real-time lightning thing that was suppose to play an important role in the game, and the result is that it looks like the game is running on medium or low settings. Some levels are also very blocky and empty (this actually kind of reminds me of old From Software games like King's Field or Eternal Ring).
    It depends on where you're at. I thought the game look great, save for the wide open outdoor areas, like The Forest of Fallen Giants, and Tseldora. It's very obvious they had grander plans, and had to scale them back late in production so the game would run smoothly on the 360 and PS3.

    Though there are some places that actually look better and grander than some of the things you'd see in the original. The 3 expansions would be the prime example of this. They offer up some of the best Dark Soulsin' money can buy.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    from a pure gameplay perspective, I'd say it's the better of the two.
    This, so much. I'm actually baffled how people can shrug off the myriad of improvements DS2 made just because the lore was weaker and it had worse level design. I guess the gameplay improvements are more important to me because I play these games extensively - it's not the lore and level design that kept me playing for 500+ hours, after all.

    Btw, the game had a troubled development with the lead director changing halfway through development, having to re-think and re-do nearly the entire game, because what they originally had in mind wasn't working out.
    Tanimura: Due to a number of factors we were actually forced to re-think the entire game midway into development. We really had to go back to the drawing board and think once more about what a Dark Souls game should be. It was at that point that I took on my current role, overseeing the entirety of the game including the art direction. To ensure we created the game both we and the fans wanted it was completely necessary, but it did of course create a problem. We had to decide what to do with the designs and maps that had been created up to that point.Ideally we’d start again from scratch but of course we were under time constraints so instead we had to figure out how to repurpose the designs in our newly reimagined game. This meant everything from deciding new roles for characters to finding ways to slot locations into the world map.
    ( Source: http://peterbarnard1984.tumblr.com/p...ks-translation )

    The DLCs were created from scratch, under the new director, which is why they're awesome. That's what the team can do with enough time and proper focus.

    Incidentally, they also did Scholar of the First Sin, which I almost finished. Since the internet says the DLCs don't have significant changes, and I only have the final boss left, I think I can say some incoherent things about it. The short version is that it's awesome, and it's definitely the better version. I've said somewhere else that the game ended up being harder - that's not always the case. There are many areas that are more difficult, but the new enemy and item placements usually just make more sense than before, other times it's just more stylish and sometimes an area has an entirely new concept, which I loved. Not sure how effective these will be for newcomers, but I liked being surprised by the changes. Sometimes it was almost as tense as when I played it for the first time, when I didn't know what I'll find around the next corner.

    The graphics are okay - I think darker areas look better, especially when lit with torchlight, but for example I think Majula looks worse. There are some new gameplay mechanics regarding torches btw - some areas are genuinely dark, and some areas has certain extra events if you light all sconces, among other things. The graphics changes aren't that significant all in all, though there are noticably more light sources this time. Even your estus flask is shining now. The other big news is 6 player multiplayer, which I only experienced in the belfry areas so far, where it can turn into mad 3v3 fights. You can summon 3 whites now and there are new NPCs to summon too, with some nice AI. I think it was in one of the previews, but there's one shade for example that gestures you to come closer if you're hurt and then casts heal.

    I still have the DLCs to go, and I'll have to check out NG+ too, of course, but I had lots of fun with it so far. I think for someone who have been waiting for a "GOTY" edition or don't have the DLCs for DS2, this is highly recommended. Those who played DS2 and all DLCs have to decide for themselves whether it's worth it. It was for me.

  14. #39
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Malleus View Post
    This, so much. I'm actually baffled how people can shrug off the myriad of improvements DS2 made just because the lore was weaker and it had worse level design. I guess the gameplay improvements are more important to me because I play these games extensively - it's not the lore and level design that kept me playing for 500+ hours, after all.

    Btw, the game had a troubled development with the lead director changing halfway through development, having to re-think and re-do nearly the entire game, because what they originally had in mind wasn't working out.
    The lore and level design make things more interesting all around. Though as far as the latter goes, I wouldn't say the level design is worse exactly, just not as connected. There are plenty of places in DS2 that are awesome to explore, but you miss out on finding those little back doors into places you didn't know you were anywhere near.

    Though one thing I really missed was that feeling of verticality. I think this is the one thing that made DS feel so novel, because only a rare few games go that route. You're almost always climbing upwards, or delving deeper in somewhere. Save for the first two expansions, DS2 tends to be a little more of a traditionally flat game world.

    Incidentally, they also did Scholar of the First Sin, which I almost finished. Since the internet says the DLCs don't have significant changes, and I only have the final boss left, I think I can say some incoherent things about it. The short version is that it's awesome, and it's definitely the better version.
    I'm saving it for the maiden voyage of my new computer. I can't wait.

  15. #40
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    I'm also waiting until I upgrade my current rig as well around June-Julyish to coincide with semester holidays and the release of Windows 10 and DX12 cards (which will hopefully drive down the prices of top end DX11 cards as they are at least compatible with DX12). At some stage soon after that I definitely want to pick it up and will have a try at a magic user this time round.

    I agree that the gameplay in DS2 is a definite improvement on DS however I do find swordfighting a little more responsive in DS1 for some reason. While guard break is a welcome addition, I have never been able to get the hang of parrying in DS2.

  16. #41
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I'm slapping the Win10 tech preview on it, since my experiences with it have shown it to be rock solid, minus a few niggling UI issues here and there as they move things around. Since it's built around a rolling release type perpetual update system, I don't expect to have to reformat when it goes RTM.

  17. #42
    I just got the new, second ending and, well, uh, yeah, I think I like this game much more then I want to admit for some reason :P . I totally agree with Renzatic. It's pretty damn good, not really worse than DS1, just very different (like the level design). So it's not at all like Arkham City - not really more of the same thing. It is kind of similar to previous Souls games, but different in style.

    And man, the new NPC is the Astraea/Solaire/Gwyn level of goodness. Really liked the new character and I only wish he was present since the first version of the game

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Wait, there's a new ending? Did they change the previous ending or is it an additional one?

  19. #44
    Yup, there's a new ending to choose, so there's two now, like in DS1.

  20. #45
    Ok, installing now. I accidentally found it today in a retail store for 27 euros – spring sale I guess. It's been long since I installed a game from DVDs, and it's quite funny that the time required isn't that much shorter from download time these days.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    I'm with Malleus. It's frustrating to see the Souls community heap so much negativity on an otherwise excellent game. Flaws aside, I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to fans of Demons or Dark Souls if they were craving more.

    Judith, enjoy the game for what it is on it's own terms and savor the experience - you'll have a blast!
    Last edited by TannisRoot; 22nd Apr 2015 at 18:25.

  22. #47
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    DVDs? Wozzat? I haven't had one of those loud, spinny things in my computer for nearly two years now.

    ...well, I do have a little external DVD reader, but I've used it all twice since I got it. It's hard to believe we've come to the point where we don't need to slap any media into our computers to install stuff.

    To get on topic, it's about damn Judith. About. Damn. Time.

  23. #48
    Played it for 1,5 h yesterday. It's definitely something different, which doesn't mean bad. IMO it was kinda off that game speaks about dying a lot in the first sequence. I mean DUH, everyone knows that, and those who don't, will - just like in the first game. The performance is a pleasant surprise, I'm guessing it's 60 FPS all the time. Streamlined menus are great too. The camera feels more twitchy though, I'll probably lower the right stick sensitivity a bit.

  24. #49
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    One thing I feel I should add is that DS2 has a much gentler learning curve than DS1 did. It's a much more forgiving game starting out. Though don't fret too much. Its kinder beginnings are offset by its nastier mid-late game.

    And of course there are the 3 expansion areas, which are the videogame equivalent of being kicked in the nads with a steel-toed boot by a drill instruction who expects you to stand there and take it.

  25. #50
    That can also be misleading: at first I thought, well, this is DS easy mode, right? Before I knew I was around Cardinal Tower, overwhelmed by undead spear men and TurtleKnights, and I paid dearly for being overconfident

    But, it is a bit easier start for classes other than heavy melee. I started my first DS playthrough as sorcerer which, as we all know by now, equals masochist level 1000. In DS 2 you actually have a chance to survive as mage. Your spells have decent range and damage output. You even can take a hit or two, thanks to "no strength requirement" armor sold in Majula. I'm a bit worried about initial strength and dexterity though. It's like 3 or 5, meaning you can't even lift a short sword or bow. Guess it's better to raise those stats sooner than later.

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