Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PC) – Review
Follow Genre: ARPG, Sandbox
Developer: Square Enix, Omega Force
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, Switch, PC
Tested on: PC

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PC) – Review

Site Score
9.1
Good: Much fun while playing, Great mix of styles
Bad: Progress is really slow
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Making videogames is like cooking; to create a new recipe, you will throw in some special elements to make a new and unique dish. With this in mind, you could state that the gameplay elements of Dragon Quest Builders 2 are a hodgepodge of the adventure / RPG elements from Dragon Quest and the building/survival parts from Minecraft. We reviewed the PlayStation 4 version a while ago and were very impressed with the overall quality. Now, as the game got ported over to the PC, there are a few interesting changes done so that people, when comparing, will say that this is a port done right.

Story

It all starts in the prison cell of an old boat that is roaming the rural sea. You wake up and get scared of the skeleton that stands in front of you. As it turns out, this monster isn’t hostile. He instructs you to come out of the cell and this is when your tutorial starts. The folks on the boat are part of the ‘Children of Hargon’ and as destruction is their religion, this means that capturing a builder like you is the ultimate trophy. As you have the ability to make new things and fix what is broken and that is blasphemy for them, yet sometimes you need someone to repair that what breaks. The monsters make it clear that you won’t die as long as they see a purpose in your life. Sadly, after a short while, the boat sees an early demise and the wild sea takes what belongs to it.

You get washed up on a shore and this is where the real story starts for Dragon Quest Builders 2. As you look around on the beach, you will quickly meet Malroth, a strong-looking man that has lost his recollection of how he got there and his memory is quite foggy. Thinking that this is the start of a beautiful friendship, there is a third survivor on the island. Lulu the loud and obnoxious woman that likes to boss people around and ends up doing the same to you, she was also a captive on your ship.  Malroth thinks that he also came from your boat, but that story seems unlikely, so his origins remain unknown. There isn’t much to think about just yet, as you get to explore the first island, you will find out that in order to be the ultimate builder you must travel far and wide to find enough resources. During your quest for the needed building blocks, you will slowly uncover the story about the Children of Hargon, how to stop them and especially that not every monster is bad. Story progression is really slow as you must complete many quests to build up and repair all the damage that has been done by the Children of Hargon, so you will sink many hours into this title. If you like to build and explore, while not caring too much about the story, than the flow is ideal for you.

Graphics

The graphics are an amazing blend of the blocky parts from Minecraft, retro 8-bit inspiration from older Dragon Quest games and beautifully crafted characters. The world is very colorful and slowly goes from dark purple to lively green as you help people and fix problems. The original game already looked very good on consoles, which could have raised some speculation of how a PC port would fare. In all honesty, the game looks amazing, you can adjust graphics settings to make it look even more astonishing but as a PC user there is only one little small ‘annoyance’. The fact that the game has been made for console limits frame rates between the options of 30 and 60 FPS. However, optimization has been done very well and the game doesn’t suffer from any frame drops or instability issues. It would have been cool to see the game at 144hz but it is great that they allow the game to run at 60 FPS, unlike other (bad) ports of some games.

Sound

The music in Dragon Quest Builders 2 has been done very well. The normal music that is playing in the background will make building fun and you will know that there is something big going down with the music changing to something more dramatic. Good sound effects let you know what is happening and the more people there are, the louder it will get in towns. People love to talk and while they are not voiced, it doesn’t really influence gameplay.

Gameplay

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a sandbox game that mixes survival and building elements from Minecraft with the adventure and RPG aspect of the Dragon Quest games. As both worlds nicely come together and blend in, you will find the whole experience quite joyful. The game controls very fluently, button positioning while using a controller might take a bit of time to get used to, but even when using the mouse and keyboard setup it plays very smoothly. The game can also instantly switch between both input methods and does so smoothly and you are not forced to do certain tasks with the keyboard or vice-versa. The only small annoyance is that placing items can be a bit difficult but this can be fixed by switching camera mode to the first-person view to have more control. The game starts with a short tutorial of how you can interact with the world, pick up items, fight and build stuff. This seems very interesting as you will need every skill later in the game when you start exploring the islands.

In its essence, you must build structures for inhabitants of camps. By doing so, you will make the people happier and they will start doing work for you. As a wise man once said, “give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he will have food forever”. The same goes for the people you meet and when you build accommodations such as kitchens, storages, bathings, toilets, etc for them and they will start to behave autonomously. To get there, you must accept quests and there is a good variety between building and adventure. When you help fill the people’s needs, they will drop hearts, which are appreciation points. With enough points, the town will level up and inhabitants will be more likely to do even more work thanks to the improved morale.

While traversing the large islands, you will meet many creatures, many hostile and some friendly. When fighting hostiles it is important to have your gear ready, your health high and to time your strikes. Unlike Dragon Quest games where you have cool moves to help you out, you are now limited to a simple strike. Fortunately, Malroth will teach you a few tricks to be more efficient in combat, and getting inspired by him, you will draw up new weapons and armors.

The only part where Dragon Quest Builders 2 really differs from Minecraft is the fact that you don’t have full control of the world. In Minecraft, you can freely destroy or build as you please, while in DQB2 you are still limited by some other factors. This makes the game much more realistic as you now need to find means to get around obstacles or cannot just cheese your way out of situations. Luckily, the further you progress, the more items and skills you unlock to destroy even better and stronger materials, so you can carve out that rock for an easy passage once you are worthy to do so.

Conclusion

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a very fun game where you can explore, build, help other inhabitants of the islands, fight with monsters and discover the story behind the Children of Hargon. Come to aid and see the towns grow as you build houses, utilities and learn new recipes for crafting and weapons. While you don’t get carte-blanche, you do get a lot of freedom and the PC port has some cool new features up its sleeve. Hence, if you like to play in 60hz and wish to enjoy the beautiful graphics, this game is definitely a title to spend your last holiday money on.

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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PC) – Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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