Saturday, March 21, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 265 - Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin

Dark Souls II is such a freaking polarizing game and I honestly have no idea why. Loads of people love it, but loads of "real" Dark Souls fans hate it and try to make sure everyone else hates it. I always thought it was fine. Is it lesser than Dark Souls 1? Absolutely. Is it bad. Absolutely not. Read more and watch gameplay here.

Dark Souls II was a really confusing game for me. I didn't really "get" Dark Souls 1 for a long time, but for some reason I picked up Dark Souls II and was immediately hooked and played through it a bunch of times and was looking forward to finally joining the community discussing the game. Too bad all of the "real" fans hated it and the only discussion was about everything it did wrong while I was just sitting there not understanding why any of it was taking place. I have some theories.

I think the Dark Souls II hate is an attempt at gatekeeping by the hardcore (douchebags) fanbase. It all goes back to that tired gamer trope where "if one thing is good, other things have to be bad", so fans couldn't believe anyone could have any fun at all with Dark Souls II when the superior Dark Souls 1 existed. Or something. I dunno. This whole thing is confusing and dumb to me.

I also think, and this will sound crazy, that Dark Souls II vanilla might actually be better than Scholar of the First Sin. Scholar of the First Sin is actually a pretty massive overhaul of the game with tons of changes to not just enemy placement, but how some areas work entirely. It also runs at 60FPS instead of 30FPS and all that jazz and does look better. I think SotFS might be worse, though. The 60FPS makes the game feel too fast and different and it introduced problems with hit detection (not to mention weapon durability ...) that makes the game worse to play. The enemy placements are also generally terrible, which made annoying areas even worse. It's much more difficult because of all of this.

Because SotFS is current gen and pretty looking and all that, it's the one that people want to try to play first. But that is a terrible mistake. It was a game directed squarely at the people that loved Dark Souls II from the start and wanted more. Newbies that try to play it will just get frustrated because it's kind of an unfair piece of shit. And people that didn't like DSII to begin with just found all sorts of new things to complain about. 

So, in conclusion, the Dark Souls II hate is equal parts fanbase idiocy mixed with the self-inflicted wound of Scholar of the First Sin. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.