Dragon Quest Builders 2
From Square Enix: Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a block-building role-playing game with a charming single player campaign and a robust multiplayer building mode that supports up to four players online. Create your customized character, team-up with your fearless friend Malroth, gather the skills required to become a full-fledged builder, and combat the Children of Hargon, a vile cult that worships destruction!
World We Love
The world is teeming with life and personality thanks in no part to the franchise the series is a part of. Those new to Dragon Quest need not worry about losing yourself in the lore, but fans will be rewarded with references to the franchise throughout with nods to iconic enemies, locations and more. The storyline takes place in an alternate realm of Dragon Quest II.
Builders are shunned by the Children of Hargon in this harsh world, punctuated by slime so disgusting that it ruins the integrity of the world beneath it. Inspire those fortunate enough to cross your path to learn to build and to restore the world to its former glory.
Adapt and improve
Quality of life changes were a major key in what felt so fresh about Dragon Quest Builders 2. If you read my first impressions of the game from E3, you’ll know that I picked up the first game when I got home from the expo after having such a great time with 2, so I really appreciated quite a few of the changes that they made to simple mechanics.
First and foremost was the improvement in camera control. In the first title, I could only get a first person view if I reset the camera in an enclosed building, and even then the view afforded to me was shoddy at best. In the latest title, the ability to seamlessly swap between third and first person mode really improved the overall gameplay and world immersion.
Added world physics for features like the addition of waterfalls, the ability to actually swim in bodies of water, and using the glider to fly in between islands are great additions as well.
My favorite gameplay tweak has to be the removal of tool durability bar, the separation of your weapon and your hammer (and other tools) on your toolbar and the the replacement of the in-base stash with a huge inventory. Although I generally have no issue with durability meters on tools and weapons in games, it can be a drag to continually have to be worrying about having the necessary tools to repair your items or breaking an item mid-quest.
The implementation of four-player multiplayer is an exciting addition to the game, but unfortunately I have not had a chance to play around with it, so I am not going to comment on its quality.
The combat overall is simple hack and slash and the story progression forces the player into various battle situations that require some simple base-management to help keep out waves of enemies as you grow more prosperous across the world. As you grow your settlements, you will recruit villagers that will do their best to assist in battle when under attack.
In the over-world, you come across various -- and many iconic -- enemies that a ready to go to battle if you wander into their territory and having Malroth as a battle companion (his amnesia does not affect his skill in combat, apparently) out in the wilderness helped the over world feel a little less lonely.
The blooming narrative and enigmatic cast of characters breathes life into the world in spite of the relatively small size of the world. The required story progression kept the relatively geographically small world feeling much larger, with quests to keep you running around (and fast traveling to) diverse areas of the map to complete a long list of tasks that you are sure is never going to end. In my opinion it had a rewarding pace and a strongly structured linear story, with creativity granted in the building process as you move through the world. I can understand that the some may not enjoy this pacing though, which is why I wanted to emphasize that this is where Dragon Quest Builders 2 diverges from the game it seems to be compared to the most: Minecraft.
The amount of time I lost in designing and building my farms and irrigation systems and re-designing them to get the most efficiency out of my lovely (and willing to work) villagers is frankly countless. I am a huge fan of farming and management simulators generally and I really enjoyed the overall system that Square Enix and Omega Force built and implemented.
As a fan of games that incorporate crafting, building and management mechanics, I really felt as though Dragon Quest Builders 2 was a great sequel to the original, building on a fun and fresh framework while also making improvements to key areas and providing new features (hello multiplayer!).
It doesn’t out-do or include all of the mechanics in the games that Dragon Quest Builders 2 resembles, but it is a nice combination of Minecraft, Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon-esque games, alongside Dragon Quest and JRPGs in general.