Dragon Quest Builders 2 PlayStation 4 Review

Dragon Quest Builders 2 maintains some elements in common with the original title, but it also saves many other surprises.

By itsamurray, Posted 25 Jul 2019

Released three years ago, Dragon Quest Builders combined the resource collection and building from Minecraft with a JRPG-style story and game elements. This was an attractive combination and I played the game with great pleasure, although there were a few things I missed such as a long story mode, more content, a co-op mode and the ability to build your creations online with friends. With Dragon Quest Builders 2 now out, is the sequel more of the same, have the missed elements from the first part now been added and can it surpass the original?

The world is in trouble again. The children of Hargon have forbidden humanity from building, cooking or creating things. They even told people that the current state of the world is the fault of the legendary builders. According to them, they are the cause of all problems and anyone who tries to build something is stopped by the children of Hargon. Because of this, people have lost their will to create and try to survive with the minimum that they have. Some people still talk about the legendary builders who once provided peace, but they are now convinced of the opposite.

Dragon Quest Builders 2, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Characters, Building

As a builder yourself, you start your adventure as a prisoner of the children of Hargon, being seen as a threat to their rule. You escape when the ship is attacked by a storm, waking up on the Isle of Awakening, where you are trying to find other shipwrecked people. There you meet Lulu and Malroth, a mysterious warrior with memory loss. Together you will try to survive and rebuild the world as an apprentice builder, despite the potential threat from the children of Hargon.

The gameplay is similar to that in the first part but also much more extensive. As in all Minecraft-like games, you have to collect materials, in this case using your hammer and sword. The collected materials can be combined on your workbench, anvil or forge to create new items. Aside from the Isle of Awakening, there are several themed islands where there might be other people who can help you rebuild your new home. Each island has its own living environment and materials that you can use. By building and solving the residents’ problems they gain trust in you and your abilities. This means that more people come to your new place of residence with their own requests.

To rebuild the Isle of Awakening you not only need enough materials but also people who want to help build your paradise. Completing work on the themed islands means you can return with new enthusiasm to use the learned skills to restore your island. Of course, every island has its secrets and this of course also applies to your home base, the Isle of Awakening. So you are not only building your new home or fighting against the children of Hargon, but also discovering much more. Each island has different puzzle temples, and solving them earns a medal that you can then exchange for extra rewards. Some are easy to solve, and some may be confusing at first, but is really not so difficult. Puzzle 8 of Furrowfield is such an example, seeming deceptively difficult because of the lack of clear instructions, while requiring a simple solution that involves picking up a couple of blue plants and putting them down on the empty grass patches and then the puzzle is completed. If you fail to complete the puzzle, don’t worry, they’ll stay on your task list so you don't have to search for them again. You’ll also face extra-strong enemies who provide a lot of experience and special materials. Fortunately, you have Malroth who likes to lend a hand in fighting the monsters.

Dragon Quest Builders 2, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Characters, Building

One big difference from the original is that you have a partner this time around. Malroth may not help with building, but stands by the main character, collecting materials and, perhaps more importantly, fighting exceptionally well. The brief interactions between them –when they achieve an important goal they give each other a high five–, make the adventure much better. When you are busy collecting materials or exploring the environment, Malroth acts as a guardian, flying at the monsters like a madman and destroying them. Better yet, you also earn experience from his kills. It is also handy that Malroth can take many more hits than the main character, making it easier for you to attack the enemy. He is your living shield but can also serve opponents hard blows.

The combat in Dragon Quest Builders 2 is real-time and rather straightforward. You can perform an attack with the press of a button, and if you don't have a weapon equipped, you can punch the enemy with your fists. It is possible to carry more than one weapon and change between them when you are in a combat situation. Aside from that, you do not have to equip weapons to hurt the enemies. You hammer can also get the job done, but using your sword will definitely hurt the enemy even more. You can also make a combination attack with Malroth. This is easy to implement because your hammer and sword are bound to different buttons. This helps with fighting monsters, but also building and demolishing, because having them assigned to the same button meant that you could break off what you were trying to build and vice versa. In addition to your hammer as a sub-weapon, you can use other items with this button, as well. With your cape, you can cover larger parts of the islands. You get this fairly early in the game and that saves you a lot of running.

You are sent out to perform tasks such as collecting materials, finding other people or building something for them. This sometimes leads to a handful of funny situations. For a time, I had forgotten to make a toilet because it was not requested (weak excuse, I know). So when I did end up building one, seeing a long line of people in front of my newly built toilet made me chuckle. Of course, you can build something to your interpretation at any time if you just want to show off your creative spirit. There is an extensive list of blueprints and cream recipes, many of which you have to invent. Fortunately, you will receive a magic bag fairly early in the game where you can store everything from tools, blueprints, and recipes.

Dragon Quest Builders 2, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Characters, Building

To meet the residents' requests, you must explore each island. In the beginning, you do a lot of it on foot, but later you get more means by which you can explore the world. That's a good thing because the islands are quite large and it takes a lot of time to explore each island in its entirety. Even the optional small islands are fairly sizeable. Fortunately, you can use your sub-items, to make traveling quicker, and on the themed islands, you have access to warp points after you activate them.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 also comes with a much-awaited multiplayer mode. While it supports co-op with up to four players, the mode is not accessible from the beginning of the adventure. You will need to progress the story a bit, until after the second island, in order to be able to join your friends. You’ll need to put in around 10 hours of play before you can access the multiplayer mode. This may seem quite long, but it still remains very relevant since the first hours of play will allow you to get used to the gameplay, before impressing your friends with your construction techniques.

The music of the game should be very recognizable for fans of Dragon Quest, as it is the same tune that you hear with all Dragon Quest games. While there’s nothing wrong with that, simply copying and pasting the standard melodies, samples or sound effects from the first Dragon Quest Builders is a tad lazy. Don’t expect a remix or new version as you know from the Final Fantasy series. This also applies to the monsters that you encounter. If you have ever played a Dragon Quest game before, you’ll meet your fair share of familiar faces, including Atlas, Madusa, Hargon and other foes from previous Dragon Quest games.

Dragon Quest Builders 2, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Characters, Building

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a very entertaining game that combines the good things from Minecraft and JRPGs. I enjoyed collecting materials, exploring the world and building functional (and not-so-functional creations) for my residents. You can spend a good number of hours simply going around the game’s large world. The co-op part is more limited than expected, but it is a nice addition to build your island together with your friends. The game emphasizes its story mode which happens to be enormously addictive. It doesn't happen often, but Dragon Quest Builders 2 is considerably larger and much more fun than the original, which clearly makes it one to look out for.

Andrew Murray, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Fantasy, Real-Time Strategy
Release Date: 2019-07-12

View All

Popular Articles