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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is a remastered version of last year's action/role-playing game (RPG). The game is heavily focused around combat, with your character using melee and projectile weapons to destroy beasts big and small. There is ample blood in the game, but not that much gore – other than some non-interactive scenes that feature a beheaded creature and a pile of dead corpses. The game also has some partial nudity shown from a female boss creature, and occasional profanity such as "ass" and "bastard." The game is quite difficult, and focuses on trial and error gameplay before progress is made, which could frustrate players.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
A massive update to Dark Souls II, DARK SOULS II: SCHOLAR OF THE FIRST SIN has you return as an undead warrior who roams the dangerous lands of Drangleic to fight all kinds of challenging foes. Compared to its predecessor, this game features improved graphics and performance, new enemy and item placement, smarter artificial intelligence (A.I.), a new Forlorn invader, expanded online multiplayer, and other gameplay enhancements. The single-player campaign is retained from last year’s hit game but all three downloadable content (DLC) packs are included in the price -- Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King – along with new story elements and characters found in the latest Dark Souls II update.
Is it any good?
Still challenging and even more engaging, Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin is an even better version of 2014’s stellar game. The updated visuals are just the start, but it's the first thing players of the previous game will notice. More importantly, the intense and challenging gameplay has been refined, including better balancing and A.I., new characters and locations, three DLC packs with even more missions and content, and expanded multiplayer options.
Whether it's applying tactics to defeat a fire-breathing dragon king, exchanging arrows with undead knights on a mountain, or hacking and slashing beasts in a cave as you search for better items and avoid pools of lava, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is a huge, frustrating yet deeply gratifying third-person action game. Multiplayer now supports up to six people, competing in four-on-two matches to the death. Plus, several NPCs (non-playable characters) will surface -- including the relentless Forlorn, a newly-added warrior that can destroy you with a few mighty blows. While the game might be too tough for some, this remixed game is a fantastic title for any game collection.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. Is violence in this game more acceptable because it’s clearly fantasy-based? Are players then less likely to be desensitized to the violence, or does it not matter at all?
Is it hard to deal with the constant dying of your character? Why or why not?
Do you wish the game saved automatically more often or do you like the challenge of getting to the end of the level and fighting the boss without save points?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99 to $59.99 (depending on version)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Namco Bandai
- Release date: April 9, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.