E3 First Impressions: Dragon Quest Builders 2

I got my hands on a short demo with Square Enix’s Dragon Quest Builders 2 during E3 and I’m here to share my first impressions.

“[In Dragon Quest Builders 2,] the evil Children of Hargon are determined to eradicate all creators and have outlawed the building, cooking, and creation of all things. In an attempt to spread their destructive dogma, the calamitous cult captures the builders of the world. All hope seems to be lost until you, a young apprentice builder, manage to escape from the clutches of evil.
After washing up on the shores of the deserted Isle of Awakening, you encounter the spirited Malroth, a mysterious youth with no memory of his past. With the help of your fearless new friend, you embark on a grand adventure to gather the skills required to become a full-fledged builder, but the road you build is paved with peril. Only you can defeat the Children of Hargon, uncover the secrets of Malroth’s past, and unravel the riddles of this mysterious land.”

I was given the chance to explore only one island in my demo of Dragon Quest Builders 2, but I had the opportunity to dabble in most of the mechanics in some fashion. There was a bit of combat, assisted by young Malroth before we meet some NPCs that put us to the task of building an irrigation system by manipulating a small cliffside stream and setting up a small tilled field.

Some changes coming to the core gameplay from the previous title include tools and weapons no longer having a durability meter.  There’s also a separation of tools (hammer, glove, etc.) from your sword. Dragon Quest Builders 2 introduces a minimap to better explore the expanded and more visually detailed world, where you and your allies will fight to level up across the map and unlock crafting recipes.

The game can be played in both third-person and first-person, both of which were comfortable and enjoyable. It can also be played with up to four play in online cooperative play to explore, build, befriend and defend.

Overall,  I enjoyed the gameplay and the game gave me a taste of what I have always been looking for in mods for Minecraft, adding depth and narrative to a beautiful open world that is open to my whims. Aesthetic ones, that is.

Full disclosure (and I’m ashamed to admit this): This demo was my first gameplay experience with the Dragon Quest series. I’ve been meaning to jump in at some point and here we are. I bought Dragon Quest Builders on my Switch after E3 but haven’t had a chance to play since I’ve been back from LA.


Dragon Quest Builders 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch (mine, specifically) on July 12. Follow the link for more information on special editions and pre-order bonuses.