Dragon Quest might be over three decades old, but you wouldn't know it looking at Steam. In all that time, only one mainline entry in the cult JRPG series has hit PC. That's not about to change anytime soon. Fortunately, Square Enix have announced that peculiar spin-off Dragon Quest Builders 2 will arrive on PC in just under a month. As a multiplayer, voxel-bashing open-world sandbox, Builders is a real odd'un, taking a hint of Minecraft to create something that's as much a traditional hack n' slash as it is a creative toolbox.
Gosh, though. I wish I was as excited about anything as this trailer lad is over Dragon Quest Builders Twooooooooooo...
Dragon Quest Builders is an utterly bizarre hybrid of a 33-year-old JRPG and Minecraft, with a bit of The Sims' lifestyle management thrown in for good measure. The first game launched on Switch and PlayStation 4 back in 2016 and, from what I hear, that odd mashup worked really well.
Adding an RPG structure to a voxel sandbox seemed to really gel with people who found Minecraft's freeform sandbox utterly paralyzing. If you can build everything, how do you build anything? Like any RPG, there'd be quests to complete and characters to meet, driving the sorts of things you're expected to build, fight and explore. A story mode follows an innocent young adventurer as he embarks on a quest to become a Master Builder, killing skeletons and erecting towns on top of their bones. Think The Lego Movie, but well anime.
Building itself was given a bit more structure (hah), with blueprints and NPC needs giving less experienced builders a crash course in architecture. It was a nice middle ground, letting creative sorts create without completely overwhelming folks who just wanted to build a nice house.
It's certainly got an odd look, though. I could easily see someone bouncing off its mishmashed style, contrasting sharp blocky landscapes with po-faced chibi characters who haven't quite been given a voxel makeover. A slime is still a slime, even if they're probably more prosperous here than our slime-deprived Shrek hell of a Minecraft server.
A sequel came out on consoles back in July, offering largely the same as its predecessor, but more. This December's PC release includes all previously-released DLC - new areas, new recipes, new stuff to build with, that sort of thing.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 hits Steam on December 10th for £50/€60/$60.