While somewhat complicated, there’s a good deal here for some
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is scheduled to launch on Steam this Wednesday, April 1 with current and last-gen counterparts becoming available the following Tuesday, April 7. From Software has described the reissue as a “Director’s Cut” of all the Dark Souls II content that has been released thus far, with new additions and reworks for the DirectX 11, Xbox One, and PS4 versions of the game.
DirectX 11 users and current-gen console owners can look forward to new enemy placement, map shortcuts, and gameplay design, as well as improved graphics and sound. New weapons and armor have been added, as well as NPCs, and the online player cap has been increased from four people to a maximum of six.
DirectX 9 users and last-gen console owners will be getting all of the previously released downloadable content and that’s about it. You can think of it as the GOTY edition of the game.
The DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 versions of the title will have their own separate store pages on Steam in an attempt to cut down on customer confusion and, for those concerned about being stuck with the DirectX 9 version if they decide to eventually upgrade their hardware down the road, From Software has outlined an upgrade path to get you to the DirectX 11 version of Dark Souls II.
It should be stated here that the two DirectX versions, as well as the current and last-gen console versions will be incompatible for online multiplayer and cannot carry over save data.
That is to say, if you decide to upgrade to the DirectX 11 version of the game and your friends plan to stick it out with the DirectX 9 version, you’ll no longer be able to play together online. The same is true for current and last-gen console owners. Also, if you’ve played the original DirectX 9 or last-gen console version of the game and were hoping to import your character data, that’s not going to happen. Save files don’t carry over between the two versions.
From Software has provided this simplified save data compatibility list to clarify:
Dark Souls II to Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on PS3/Xbox 360/DirectX 9 – Yes
Dark Souls II to Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on PS4/Xbox One/DirectX 11 – No
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will set you back $59.99 on Xbox One and PS4, but if you are planning on picking up one of the two Steam versions, these are the pricing and upgrade options:
- Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (DirectX 9): $39.99
- Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (DirectX 11): $49.99
- DirectX 11 upgrade price for existing owners of Dark Souls II on Steam: $29.99
- DirectX 11 upgrade price for existing owners of Dark Souls II and all DLC on Steam: $19.99
Depending on your perspective, $30 isn’t that bad if you own the vanilla game but hadn’t taken the plunge and picked up the Season Pass or purchased the DLC content individually. In my case, I picked up the title at launch, but for whatever reason, never got around to beating it and had the expansions earmarked for purchase, but didn’t end up downloading them.
So, for me at least, getting access to the prettier DirectX 11 version of the game with all the DLC included plus the new content and reworks makes pretty good sense. For everyone else, your mileage will, of course, vary accordingly.