It was a good idea for Bandai Namco and From Software to release Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin across multiple consoles two weeks after Bloodborne arrived on PlayStation 4. The incredible buzz surrounding Bloodborne will result in newcomers to the Souls series taking interest in the game.
While Bloodborne and Dark Souls 2 have quite a lot in common, they’re also different. Many Souls fans refer to Bloodborne an easy version of Dark Souls 2 and that’s no understatement. With that in mind, if you had trouble getting through Bloodborne, we’ll help you make the transition to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin.
Stats are Different
You cannot treat stats the same way in Scholar of the First Sin compared to Bloodborne. You still level up the same way (using Souls instead of Blood Echoes), but what you level up will be different. Vitality no longer controls your health. Instead, it increases the amount of equipment you carry. Skill is replaced by Dexterity, while Bloodtinge and Arcane essentially become Faith and Intelligence.
There are quite a few different builds in Dark Souls compared to Bloodborne. If you want to play a hack and slash build so the game feels more like Bloodborne, increase your Adaptability so you have a better roll (dodge). Even with high Adaptability level, the roll in Dark Souls 2 is nowhere near as effective as the one in Bloodborne, so keep that in mind.
Don’t Waste Health
While you can play Dark Souls 2 with a build that is both quick and agile, dodging enemy attacks and then striking with your own weapon, you can’t run up to groups of enemies and start swinging like you can in Bloodborne. You need to have more patience if you want to get through the game.
You no longer have a limit of 20 Blood Vials with up to 99 in your storage. Instead you have Lifegems that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and serve as your primary form of health replenishment. However, they’re harder to come by compared to Blood Vials (unless you want to spend all of your Souls on them) so you can’t use these as frequently as you would Blood Vials.
There’s also an Estus Flask with a limited number of uses that will replenish a good chunk of your health. You can refill a Estus Flask at a bonfire (the Dark Souls equivalent of a lamp), but throughout most of the game you’ll have less than 10 uses of your Flask between refills. It should also be noted that sitting down at a bonfire will re-spawn most enemies, unlike Bloodborne where you travel back to Hunter’s Dream to re-spawn monsters.
Basically, you must take your time in Dark Souls and try to avoid getting hit. This can be done by equipping a shield that absorbs 100 percent physical damage and then blocking a lot of attacks, or you can take your time and fight one or two enemies to ensure you don’t absorb too much damage.
Learn to Block
There’s only one shield in Bloodborne. In Dark Souls 2 there are a large number of shields and gear in general. Shields with a 100 percent absorption rate are extremely powerful in Dark Souls. While there are quite a few ways to enjoy the game, using a shield and blocking all incoming attacks is a popular play style.
Blocking drains you stamina, which isn’t quite as abundant as it is in Bloodborne. To help compensate for this, do not hold your shield up until you’re ready to block an attack. As long as your shield is up, you will not be able to quickly recovery stamina. Without stamina you can’t attack or dodge, which means it’s important to keep your shield down until you’re ready to use it.
Summon NPC Helpers
The bosses in Dark Souls 2 share similarities to those found in Bloodborne. It takes more effort to bring many of them down, but the overall strategies remain the same. In most cases you want to circle strafe around the boss and attack from behind in both games. However, in Dark Souls you can summon NPC assistants to help during most boss battles.
In order to summon an NPC helper, you need to be human. In Dark Souls, the first time you die you turn into a Hollow. When this happens, your maximum health drops a bit. Every time you die from that point forward you lose more of your maximum health bar. The only way to reclaim this health is to use a Human Effigy item to regain your humanity.
Most of the time you can’t summon an NPC helper unless you’re human. Once human, you’ll see markings on the ground near a boss battle. Click on the marking to summon the NPC assistant, then head into the boss battle.
Although some enemy locations changed in Scholar of the First Sin, read Prima’s free Dark Souls 2 walkthrough to figure out where to go. In addition, make sure you avoid the following mistakes new players make.