Want to know a really good way to get players of your game, even those who love it, to give it poor reviews? Announce a new version with updated graphics and features that previous customers won't get!
Dark Souls 2 is to be re-released on April 2nd on new-gen consoles and PCs under the name Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, which will include all previous DLC content. The move seems to be console-focused, giving new-gen owners access to 2014's game of the year (that's right, I said it, come at me). A press release for the game says:
DARK SOULSTM II: Scholar of the First Sin will add brand new game content including an expanded story featuring additional in-game events and NPC characters along with new deadlier enemies and gameplay improvements.
It will also take advantage of the power of the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and DirectX11 PCs to provide enhanced graphics for those specific platforms on top of several additional exclusive enhancements.
But despite Bandai Namco's positioning of the new version as "taking advantage of DirectX 11 PCs", Steam users aren't fooled. Their machine was capable of running this new version the first time they bought it, so this "paid upgrade" kind of stings. We reached out to Bandai Namco for information on whether there would be any new boss fights or areas, but none was available.
This has led more than a few people on Steam to vent their frustration through the service's review function, and although the overall score of the game is still "Very Positive", anyone visiting the store page would hopefully come across the many people saying they'd might as well wait until April.
It appears that the last-gen and new-gen versions won't be compatible across save games or online matchmaking, due to them using different servers. Dark Souls 2 owners will receive some of the extra content for free as a large 1.10 update, but PC owners will still have to pay to get the performance their machine was capable of from the beginning.
So sayeth the Steam community:
From a translation of Japanese documents on NeoGaf, the following looks like the most detailed cataloging we have so far of exactly what is which version:
New Features: - New characters and events (Included in all versions of SoFS, will be added in the 1.10 Patch for existing users) - Story and world additions (Included in all versions of SoFS, will be added in the 1.10 Patch for existing users) - Graphics and performance upgrades (Only included in next-gen versions of SoFS) - Improved online multiplayer (Only included in next-gen versions of SoFS) - Enemy and game design adjustments (Only included in next-gen versions of SoFS) - Various balancing tweaks (Included in all versions of SoFS, will be added in the 1.10 Patch for existing users)
Included DLC: - DLC1 (Included in all versions of SoFS, not included in the 1.10 Patch) - DLC2 (Included in all versions of SoFS, not included in the 1.10 Patch) - DLC3 (Included in all versions of SoFS, not included in the 1.10 Patch)
So it looks like if there are extra areas and/or bosses - meaningful content, in other words - we'll be able to play it without paying for an upgrade. We just won't be able to play it with superior graphics and sound, or with our new-gen friends. Where's Durante when you need him?