Scholar of the First Sin is a Director’s Cut of all Dark Souls II content that includes new enemy placement, map shortcuts, and gameplay design; various performance upgrades; and new weapons, armour, and NPCs.
It also contains all three of the game’s DLC chapters (Crown Of The Sunken King, Crown Of The Old Iron King, and Crown Of The Ivory King), and increases the maximum number of simultaneous online players from four to six.
However, it runs on DirectX 11 rather than DirectX 9, and therein lies the problem: saves are unable to be transferred between versions, and multiplayer doesn’t work between them either.
"The difference in the DirectX11, Xbox One, and PS4 versions of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin pertaining to where enemies spawn, items are located, and other environmental differences will not allow players running newer hardware versions to connect and interact with players experiencing the game on older hardware running DirectX9, Xbox 360, and PS3," wrote Bandai Namco in an extensive FAQ.
“We wanted to give the fans an opportunity to participate again, this time in an even deeper experience in the Dark Souls II universe. With that goal in mind, in Scholar of the First Sin, we created not just a mere all-in-one package, but a completely new Dark Souls II experience,” it added.
“We also wanted an opportunity to implement a multitude of features made possible now with the new generation of hardware on the market. We want users on these new platforms to be able to experience Dark Souls II, as well as all the advanced features we are now able to implement.”
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin launches on new-gen consoles on April 8, and on Steam on April 2.
If you already own Dark Souls II on PC, upgrading to Scholar will cost you US$30 (or US$20 if you own all three DLC packs as well).