Dark Souls 2 Remaster – is it really that hard?

So it appears that Dark Souls 2: Scholars Of The First Sin is causing a bit of consternation amongst the more sensitive of Souls devotees. The problem is new enemy layouts which make certain areas harder. Particularly the Tower of Flame.

A Eurogamer article (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-04-08-does-scholar-of-the-first-sin-make-dark-souls-2-worth-returning-to) highlights this as an issue in a somewhat hyperbolic way, both failing to mention mitigating factors, and most annoyingly, failing  to realise that these are not random choices.

Any work of creativity, from paintings to games, involves choice. Colour is a choice, enemy placement is a choice. From Software are very smart designers. They don’t do random. It’s high time the writers in this industry, who also claim to be creative, start understanding that.

So with that knowledge. Why would From make it infinitely harder to get to the tower when you start the game, whilst simultaneously making  it easier to go the only other route available? The only answer I can think of, is that they want you to go the other route.

There’s a covenant near the tower which aids people who’ve been invaded. Why would you want a new player come to the aid of a victim of an experienced invader (which was demonstrably a problem in the original)? This way, only people with sufficient skill can get there, and rescue attempts will no longer be quite so pointless.

Having taken my own advice and gone for the Lost Bastille and onwards to the Lost Sinner first. I can attest that this route is really so much easier than the tower. Not only that, but it’s shockingly easier than it was in the first version.

The bonfire at Sinners Rise for example, is much easier, when it was frustrating before. That’s not the only change either. The writer doesn’t mention that while the Pursuer does appear, if you back off he disappears. Leaving you free to explore.

Once I’d punched the Lost Sinner to death, I levelled up and went the tower route. I’ve got a vid online of me punching a tower knight to death in four hits. You can see it above. I’ve not over-levelled. In fact I put most of my souls into consumables and my weapons.

I punched my way to Dragonrider with little issue (you can suck 12 minutes of your life away by watching the run below should you be nuts enough to want to), even with the new knights. Going up to the aforementioned covenant is more difficult because of the previously spoiled ( thanks Eurogamer) change at the top. Given that I’ve already done one of the major bosses, that puts the area at a “dark souls appropriate” level of difficulty for me.

There’s no doubt in my mind they want you to go the other route first, there are important things to find that way. However, souls being souls, if the player wants to bang their head against a knight and dragon infested wall, then they say “go right ahead!”.

As for the other issue that’s causing hissy fits – weapon degradation. I’ve had to repair my Caestii once. Which is presumably why the mechanic exists. And also why you have slots for spare weapons.


* It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me that I got a name switched, although only in the video title. Just got corrected on the YouTube that what I always call a Heide Knight isn’t. The smaller one behind him is. Having just looked it up in my collector’s edition guide (previously unread) the big fella is actually an Old Knight.

I always call them both Heide Knight, because I’m old.

So I’ve renamed the video.

The point still stands. Those hulking great knights that will destroy you if you head there instantly, are nearly trivial if you go the other way first.


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