Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Re-release Announced for Next and Old Gen Consoles, Free Patch Planned for Owners
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Namco Bandai has announced an updated re-release of Dark Souls II and its three DLC packs, subtitled Scholar of the First Sin, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. This new version of the game will include revamped matchmaking, tweaked balance, new NPCs and enemies, expanded item descriptions, updated graphics and more. There are quite a lot of things to cover, so let's get the trailer (which, disappointingly, seems to show that the upgraded graphics are still in the same ballpark of the original game) out of the way first:
And here's the full press release:
DEATH BECKONS ONCE AGAIN WITH DARK SOULS II: SCHOLAR OF THE FIRST SIN FOR THE PLAYSTATION®4 SYSTEM, XBOX ONE, PLAYSTATION®3 SYSTEM, XBOX 360 AND PC
New Challenges and Deeper Lore Await New and Returning DARK SOULS II Players
PARIS, FRANCE November 25, 2014 The undead curse continues to spread across the kingdom of Drangleic with DARK SOULSâ„¢ II: Scholar of the First Sin, available on April 3rd 2015, across Europe, Middle-East and Australasia for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC/STEAM.
Developed by renowned Japanese video game development studio FROMSOFTWARE and published by BANDAI NAMCO Games Europe S.A.S, DARK SOULSâ„¢ II: Scholar of the First Sin is the ultimate Dark Souls II experience, adding to the 2014's critically acclaimed title, DARK SOULSTM II not only its three DLC chapters; Crown Of The Sunken King, Crown Of The Old Iron King, and Crown Of The Ivory King but as well an array of all-new content.
DARK SOULSTM II: Scholar of the First Sin will add brand new game content including an expanded story featuring additional in-game events and NPC character along with new deadlier enemies and gameplay improvements. It will also take advantage of the power of the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and DirectX11 capable PCs to provide enhanced graphics for those specific platforms on top of several additional exclusive enhancements.
(DARK SOULSTM II launched in March 2014 to critical acclaim garnering a MetaCritic.com rating of 91%. With DARK SOULSTM II: Scholar of the First Sin, FROMSOFTWARE is inviting players back to a whole new undertaking of the kingdom of Drangleic! Thanks to its improved gameplay mechanics, gorgeous next-gen graphics, and new unknown dangers and lore; Scholar of the First Sin takes the meaning of its (Game of the Year) award from the Golden Joysticks Ceremony to a whole new level!) Herve Hoerdt, Vice President of IP Strategy, Marketing & PR at BANDAI NAMCO Games Europe.
DARK SOULSTM II: Scholar of the First Sin will also be available for the PlayStation®3 system, Xbox 360, and DirectX 9PCs. This version will include all three DLC missions (Crown Of The Sunken King, Crown Of The Old Iron King, and Crown Of The Ivory King) as well as a large-scale update (ver.1.10) which will add new features including an additional NPC to seek out along the treacherous quest through Drangleic as well as expanded story, in-game events, improved balance, and online matchmaking functionality.
Gamers who already own DARK SOULSTM II on PC, Xbox 360 or PlayStation®3 will receive the ver.1.10 update free of charge.
Now, it's worth noting that, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will get a free update that will implement most of the new additions, they won't get the additional graphical and online improvements (including a bump of the overall player cap for a single session to 6 people). As for the PC version, the best way I can put is that we don't really know what exactly is going on right now. All the press releases mention that the original DirectX 9-based version will essentially get the same treatment as the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 versions of the game, while another DirectX11-based version of the game will also get additional graphical and online matchmaking improvements, but won't support save games for the older version and will get its own separate online servers.
Whether owners of the original PC port of the title will also get the DirectX11 version free of charge (unlikely, as it includes all the DLC right off the bat), a discount, or neither (meaning they'd have to purchase the new version full price) is unclear at this point. Namco Bandai has promised an update on the situation soon on Twitter, so we can hope that they will clarify the situation in a timely manner. I personally think it would be incredibly disappointing if early adopters of the title weren't rewarded in some way but rather strongly encouraged to repurchase the title.
Either way, this re-release of the title is coming out in 2015, April 3rd in Europe, Middle East and Australasia, and April 7 in the Americas. The timing is frankly confusing, considering that From Software's other action-RPG in the same vein, Bloodborne, will be released by the end of March on PlayStation 4 and will probably get most of the public's attention, so it'll be interesting to see how things turn out.