Review: Dragon Quest Builders 2

The first part of this game was already fantastic, but also came with its minorities. Now it's time for a sequel that, according to the developers, takes all the fun from the predecessor and then takes it one step further. Then we are of course talking about the one and only: Dragon Quest Builders 2!

Just a moment of honesty; The first part of this building game didn't hit me like that in 2016. Not because the game was bad, but the level of interest was not that high for me as a gamer at the time. Still, after watching some gameplay videos, I gave the game a chance. What was then discovered was what a therapeutic pleasure the game was. You can do everything at your own pace, you have specific goals that are set for you and that you can make yourself. Besides that, the game looked great, but it kept the 'block' aspect in terms of graphics. Slowly but surely I fell in love with this first volume in the hope that a second would one day appear. At the end of last year, this second part finally came out, in Japan. But, after a few months of patient waiting, the game was released last week in the beautiful West.How did we find this title? Read it in our review!


Foundation

The ground for this Builders sequel was already laid in the first part. Your beach somewhere where building is not so desirable, and then let your own creative spark shiver through your body like a woodpecker hammering against a tree. The idea is that you will find resources, discover recipes, follow quests and so on. At first glance, the game seems to be a combination of Minecraft with the Dragon Quest world. You soon find out that this game goes much, much deeper. The building/recipe system is already ten layers deeper and the combat is also great this time. You will discover islands, find friends and defeat enemies. All this while also building your way to the top.You can make it as crazy as you want and the online aspect will come back to this later. This foundation for the game is what sets Dragon Quest Builders 2 apart from other construction games.

In the beginning

The game starts with a small character customization. Then the game starts on a ship full of skeletons and other weird monsters. You're trapped here, trapped. After that, you'll play an obvious introduction to the game, where you'll learn to pick up and move things around, for example to use the environment to solve problems in your path. This way you learn how to craft, fight and grow. After you and the captain try to save this ship from a lot of water, you drown and you are stranded on a desert island. On this island you will find your new buddy, Malroth. This guy soon wants a stronger weapon to help you with any 'little problems' that get in your way. Malroth fights, protects and helps you find new materials.All this with the aim of recovering his memory and Children of Hargon  to drive out all evil from the world. Other than that, there isn't much I'm going to tell you. You do meet many people, crush many enemies and stack an infinite number of blocks on your way to a peaceful world.

Under construction

This time the building has been taken a few steps higher. Your first real task is to build a farm from scratch, where you have to plant seeds and then keep track of them. You get more and more help from the villagers you recruit for your team. As you perform tasks for these villagers, your base will level up. Eventually, you'll be given the option to even have villagers help build, rather than keeping seeds and doing simple tasks. Villagers feel more simulation-like than ever and now have to queue to take a bath or empty their bowels, for example. The user interface has remained pretty much the same in essence.However, your building tools are a lot broader oriented and the crafting has remained more to the foundation so that you only build what you actually need. You are always guided by assignments and you unlock more blueprints to gradually build better and wider. After maintaining the farm you can travel to more and more islands and you will end up in many different areas, each with its own charm and mystery. This all makes for a great experience.After maintaining the farm you can travel to more and more islands and you will end up in many different areas, each with its own charm and mystery. This all makes for a great experience.After maintaining the farm you can travel to more and more islands and you will end up in many different areas, each with its own charm and mystery. This all makes for a great experience.

What Else is New?

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is unique in many more ways than its predecessor. From now on you can stack 64 blocks high, instead of 61. This of course makes for higher castles. Just like in Super Mario Maker 2, you can finally make ramps here too. More animals are available, your weapon and hammer are now on separate buttons, you can now float better with your Windbreaker Cape and jump into the water from higher heights. The biggest addition is the multiplayer that you can experience with yourself and three other friends.
One nice multiplayer aspect is that you can view snapshots of other players on a Billboard to get inspiration for your own buildings and themes, here you see the craziest things and the most beautiful worlds or buildings. Besides that, after completing the first island, you can embark on the adventure together with three other friends. Once you've finished Furrowfield, you can search for a quest with a  Stone Tablet. You have to build four objectives here and then you unlock the Explorer's Shores. Here is a portal to the multiplayer. The game has cross-play between the Playstation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. You can't play everything in co-op, but a large part of the game is open to your group of friends. This way you can visit each other's worlds and much more! This online aspect makes the game a lot more fun and more in-depth and is certainly not a loss.

Graphics and Sound

Dragon Quest Builders 2 looks beyond good. The game retains the warm Dragon Quest style but has incorporated those well-known Minecraft block elements. The environments vary quite well in terms of atmosphere and thematically this is also perfectly fine. The map works smoothly and has a beautiful design with 2.5D animations, characters all look nice and the interactive possibilities have also been improved compared to the first part. The only hiccup is the conversations. The story is nice but constantly scrolling through conversations that are sometimes present way too often can lead to mild irritation. Sound-wise, the game is more than fine. All ambient sounds are what you hope they are and the music is a joy in its time. When you address people, you hear, just like in Zelda, for example,a characteristic sound. This sound creates a nicer atmosphere while talking with your villagers and patrons.

Verdict

Dragon Quest Builders 2 takes the foundation of its predecessor and builds quite a few floors of content and depth on top of it. The game looks better, runs better and is much broader in scope. Apart from a few minor hiccups, it is impossible not to end up in a therapeutic state while playing this game. The price is a bit on the high side, but it is compensated by hours of enjoyable content and a simple but cool story. Anyone who likes building games should try this game. I'm going to continue building soon, since I still have quite a few hours to go!


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