Scholar of the First Sin is a package that contains Dark Souls 2, all three of the game’s content packs plus some other new additions. The game is coming to the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
“We revised the enemy placement completely for all maps in the game,” Dark Souls 2 global producer Atsuo Yoshimura told Polygon. “This new enemy placement completely changes the gameplay experience. All those safe zones that players remember from the original Dark Souls 2 are no longer safe. Players need to come up with a new battle strategy.”
This is much more than a remaster, in other words. If you want the best experience outside of the PC however, you’ll want to buy the game on the PlayStation 4.
Where the Xbox One stumbles
Digital Foundry has a wonderful performance analysis of the game and, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions both run at a perfect 1080p resolution, the frame rate is much steadier on the PlayStation 4.
“Xbox One pays a persistent price for matching the PS4’s visual standard. Both formats target 60fps and engage v-sync at all times, but Microsoft’s platform suffers the greater drops between the two in each scene of our frame-rate analysis,” the article states.
“The Forest of Fallen Giants area is a good example, where a barrage of enemies causes a read-out of between 40-50fps on Xbox One, while PS4 operates within the 50-60fps range. Even while uncontested beneath the giant, arching trees of Things Betwixt, a regular margin of 10fps exists between the two — PS4 operating at a near perfect 60fps, while Xbox stutters along at 50fps.”
This is a problem, especially in a game that demands so much precision from the player. The Xbox One is dropping frames at exactly the times when you need them the most, and this makes the performance difference important to game play. “Sony’s machine does not produce a perfect 60fps of course, but it is a consistently better performer — and in a game that demands pinpoint timing for rolls and ripostes, the smoother frame-rate can make a difference,” the article says.
The entire analysis is really interesting if you want to dig into the similarities and differences between the two versions of the game, but for now it’s clear that the PC or PlayStation 4 versions are going to offer the superior experience for this release.
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin the PC on April 1, and consoles on April 7.