Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
An impressive upgrade to the notoriously tough action RPG.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While you're destroying evil, you're doing it through combat. Whatever good you're doing is nullified by brutal violence.
Positive Role Models
You are an undead warrior who kills many thousands of creatures. Though they're the "enemy" and "evil," you're basically a killer.
Ease of Play
As with last year's Dark Souls II, this is tough. Younger or novice gamers will likely have trouble defeating enemies. Only after plenty of trial and error will players learn how to progress through the game.
Violence & Scariness
You will use melee, range weapons (giant swords, knives and arrows) to defeat many creatures. Enemies cry in pain, bleed, fall to the ground. Some non-interactive scenes also violent, including images of decapitation, dismemberment, piles of corpses, instruments of torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One female boss partially nude, but her hair covers privates.
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Occasional profanity in game, including words such as "prick," bastard," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
Includes all three downloadable content (DLC) packs from last year's game, but there isn't any other purchasable content.
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.
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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Based on 1 parent review
This game exceeds in all aspects.
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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
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: 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
- Last updated: May 26, 2021
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