Check out a half hour of footage of the upcoming Square Enix summer game.
I remember being wowed by Dragon Quest Builders when it was first shown. Minecraft but with Dragon Quest seemed like a solid hook and when the game hit PlayStation 4 and later and more relevantly, Nintendo Switch, it was nice to see the novel concept come to life. Later this year, Dragon Quest Builders 2 will come stateside and after playing a sizable demo at PAX East, I’m reminded of why I dug the first game. Builders is charming and chill, as you complete quests while building up civilizations in different places. There’s a delightful optimism on display.
The sequel furthers the story. While it doesn't have the great intro of the first entry by being an alternate ending of the first Dragon Quest, it does add more to the lore of Builders, referencing the first game in less overt ways. Obviously I can't make the distinction if it would be fine for newcomers after a brief demo, but my feeling is it will be. Other than a new world and story, the other apparent addition is a run button, which quickens the pace just enough to feel faster. While I didn't get to check it out, the free play option can be played in co-op online and local wireless.
After poring through our footage of the 40 minutes of gameplay, I realized how boring Dragon Quest Builders 2 looks to play. That’s not really an indictment; I have a memory of a friend seeing me play the original game and ask me if I was having fun because visually, it didn’t look like anything all that wowing. But there is a joy in the rhythm of Builders. Explore, find quests, help people, solve quests, level up, make the world a better place. That’s a loose summary of what you can do.
So even if Dragon Quest Builders 2 might look a little slow and even if maybe some aspects of it are a little clumsy (fine-tuning your exact placement of an item is still mildly frustrating), this is still a game I want to get lost in. I want to journey to nostalgic-feeling world and help the world become a nicer place by way of building, crafting, and expanding.