If it’s broke, fix it!
Dragon Quest (Also known as Dragon Warrior) is a series predominantly known for it’s Role Playing games, however it’s always been a series that’s been willing to take risks and explore. In 2012, Dragon Quest X was the first MMO for the Wii. And in 2016, Dragon Quest enters the building & resource gathering market with Dragon Quest Builders for the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.
It should be said now that it’s going to be near impossible to go through this review without making some sort of comparison to Minecraft. Mojang’s monolithic game about building and resource gathering laid the foundations for games like DQB, and so be prepared for small comparisons between the two.
DQB story mode has you set out in a preset world in which you must build a base and create homes for travelers in hopes that they will become part of your homestead. It seems all fine and dandy breaking and collecting items, but it all changes at night when suddenly enemies will attack your base. It quickly becomes a game of home defense as you must build a strong and powerful fort in order to fight back against the coming tides of enemies.
As you venture further into the world, you unlock teleport gates that allow you to visit new lands that feature different environments. You get to explore lavish forests, dry deserts, erupting volcanoes, and poisonous swamps all on your quest to find more items.
Along the way you can make friends that can join your base, and will help fend off the evil that attempts to destroy the land you call home.
It’s highly addictive to venture out and mine for minerals that will allow you to create barriers and defenses for your ever expanding base of operations. There’s something so satisfying about spending an hour building a wall, to then stand back and admire your hard work as you watch enemies fail to breach your defenses.
It’s like Minecraft but with a pre set goal in mind. And somehow that makes it a thousand times more engaging.
Starting from nothing more than a small dirt house, and ending up having a miniature medieval village is by far one of the most exhilarating experiences of the year.
Which is why it’s heartbreaking when the game suddenly up and throws you into a new chapter after you defeat a boss. All of a sudden you’re thrown into a new location and have to start all over again. Granted, it’s with all the knowledge and skills you’ve gained, but you lose the base that you worked so hard on making your own.
Once that sour taste is in your mouth, the game becomes less about building a new home, and more about building the most effective monster slaying pit in order to advance to the next chapter.
Luckily the game does feature a free build mode, but you have to finish Chapter 1 to unlock it, and at that point you’ll have to say goodbye to at least one base you’ve spent hours creating.
However, if you can look past that single troublesome aspect, what you’ll find in DQB is nothing but pure fun. It’s an addictive and relaxing game that lets you live out all your wildest base building fantasies, all with a cutesy anime art style to boot. If you ever get the craving to play something similar to Minecraft, but with an actual story and goals, then Dragon Quest Builders is most certainly worth your time.