Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the sequel to one of 2016’s surprise hits, Dragon Quest Builders. Developed by Square Enix and Omega Force, Dragon Quest Builders 2 combines the creative gameplay of Minecraft with the popular JRPG Dragon Quest franchise. Dragon Quest Builders 2 introduces online multiplayer fun along with a long list of upgrades including the ability to build bigger structures, a first-person mode, and farming crops to name a few.
As addicting and fun as Dragon Quest Builders was, could the new features and updates included in Dragon Quest Builders 2 make the sequel even better? Let’s take a look and find out!
Dragon Quest Builders 2 Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Developer(s): Square Enix and Omega Force
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Action role-playing, sandbox
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
A stratifying narrative for long-time fans and newcomers alike
Dragon Quest Builders 2 takes place shortly after the events of the first game. The story is centered around a horrific group known as the Children of Hargon. This group is seeking revenge for the defeat of Hargon and Malroth by the descendants of Erdrick. As a result, no one is allowed to create anything and all builders are banned.
You assume the role of a young builder who narrowly escapes the clutches of the Children of Hargon and washes up on the shore of the Isle of Awakening. To your surprise, washed up beside you is Malroth—who has a serious case of amnesia. It’s not long before you and Malroth discover that the Isle of Awakening was once home to a legendary builder. Set on uncovering the secrets of the island and restoring it to its former glory, you and Malroth set off to gather materials and other builders from surrounding islands.
However, you aren’t welcomed with open arms. The Children of Hargon have convinced the island inhabitants that all builders are evil. As a result, all creations are evil and must be destroyed. With no other choice, the two set out to rebuild each island from the ground up proving their good intentions. The game’s story is full of humour and Dragon Quest 2 fans will recognize lore references to the classic iconic game.
Block-building role-playing gameplay with new additions
If you haven’t played the first game, it’s easy to write off Dragon Quest Builders 2 as a Minecraft clone. Quite possibly the biggest difference that sets series apart from Minecraft is its inclusion of a story. As a result, the game’s narrative gives you a purpose for your actions.
Building, learning to create objects and placing them feel like they have a purpose. And, certain gameplay elements are only unlocked when you make it to a certain point in the story. Your progression in the game is directly related to your ability to collect resources and build the structures you’ve been asked to build. What I liked about this is that, I felt that every quest not only increased my knowledge of the world around me but also was an exercise in creativity. There is always something to learn that is beneficial to gameplay.
New to Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the addition of AI characters in various villages. What’s great about this is that they help you complete certain tasks such as building and farming. Additional changes to gameplay include the ability to travel under water, fly, and fast travel between locations. These new additions give you a sense of freedom not found in the previous game and enhance your overall experience, making it more enjoyable than the first game.
If there was one gripe about gameplay I have, it would be battles against enemies. Battle is rather simplistic and revolves around one button. Additionally, there are only a handful of attacks that you can unlock.
Visually pleasing aesthetic
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is full of bright colourful graphics and has some amazing lighting. I really like the art style and feel it’s a perfect fit for the game. Visually, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a step up from the first game. On the Switch, the game looks good in both docked and handheld modes. While not as sharp as the visuals on the PlayStation 4 Pro, it’s pretty impressive.
The game includes vintage orchestral melodies that long-time Dragon Quest fans will appreciate and recognize. There is lots of dialogue to read in the game and humour is sprinkled through out that will have you chuckling.
Four-player multiplayer co-op fun
One of the best additions to Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the four-player co-op mode. It’s important to mention that you can only play this online multiplayer mode with friends, or friends of friends. Multiplayer is not available from the get go, you’ll need to complete the first island in the game. And, after completing a quest, which involves a stone tablet—you’ll have access to online multiplayer. While you can’t play the entire game in co-op mode, you can build and create to your heart’s content on Explorer’s Island.
In addition to online multiplayer mode, Switch owners can play locally with friends via the systems wireless mode. Everyone will have to be in the same room and have their own copy of the game. Although it is a bit disappointing that you can’t play the entire game with your friends, what is available is extremely fun and entertaining.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 builds upon its predecessor and makes for a worthy sequel
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a fun game that you can spend hundreds of hours playing. It’s an improvement over the first game in the series in virtually every way. The amount of tools that you have available to create is simply amazing. Essentially your imagination is your only limitation. What I like about the Dragon Quest Builders series and especially Dragon Quest Builders 2, is its story.
While the game’s story is nothing to really write home about, it gives you a sense of purpose for your actions. And, it will make you laugh along the way. If enjoy games such as Minecraft, than this a game that will appeal to you. And, if you enjoyed the first Dragon Quest Builders game, there is no doubt you will like the sequel.
+ Easy to learn gameplay mechanics
+ Improvements to gameplay enhance your overall experience
+ Expansive world that is fun to explore
+ Multiplayer mode is fun and adds extra hours of gameplay
+ Nods to classic Dragon Quest games through out the story
– Battles are too simplistic
– Pace of the game is slow to start out
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5