It’s easy to pass on From Software’s Souls franchise, mostly because there’s one thing that dominates all conversation about it: They’re stupid, hard games. But that’s not really fair—they’re not so much hard as they are dense; every encounter is thrilling, every step forward is earned; you have to learn the game, as opposed to just getting through it. That’s why they’re so loved by those who play them—they’re intricate puzzles to play and make sense of, where failure is expected and learned from.
If you’ve never played any of them, now’s the time—publisher Namco Bandai has announced that last year’s Dark Souls II is getting an updated re-release for Spring 2015.
While its place in the series is debated (great, but not as good as Dark Souls, maybe better than Demon’s Souls?), the re-release—officially titled Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will come bundled with the recently-released trilogy of expansion packs (Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King), which, according to freelance writer and Dark Souls aficionado Mike Rougeau, are the pinnacle of the series.
Scholar of the First Sin will also be coming to last-gen consoles, as it includes some tweaked parameters for better balancing, more in-game characters and new item descriptions (for doling out more cryptic bits of backstory, no doubt), and improved online matchmaking. Of course, those who get the game on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC will get to enjoy better graphics, sound, and performance—as well as an increase in the number of players supported in a single online session (six).
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will be available April 17, 2015. For those keeping score, that’s one month after From Software’s next game, the extremely Souls-esque Bloodborne.[youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0GxBZcVmHc&feature=youtu.be]
To borrow a phrase: “Praise the sun!”