Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Game Poster Image
An impressive upgrade to the notoriously tough action RPG.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While you're destroying evil, you're doing it through combat. Whatever good you're doing is nullified by brutal violence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.


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.


One female boss partially nude, but her hair covers privates.


Occasional profanity in game, including words such as "prick," bastard," and "ass."


Includes all three downloadable content (DLC) packs from last year's game, but there isn't any other purchasable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGalahad D. November 27, 2016

This game exceeds in all aspects.

This game, though very challenging, is a great way to introduce kids into the world of fantasy video games. This game is medieval so it has no guns, just swords... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhaydenaa July 2, 2015

Real Review by a Real Player

I have completed Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin over four times now. My first run took me close to fifty hours to complete. This game is in no way somet... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byThatoneanimefan May 26, 2015

This game will teach you how not to rage

This is a review from an actual player of the game. I have completed dark souls 2, even though it took me 76 hours. This game has taught me how to be less angry... Continue reading

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?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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