Dragon Quest Builders 2 – A First Time Builder’s Perspective

I’ve never been one for building games. Minecraft, City Builders, etc. have never really appealed to me, but I absolutely love Dragon Quest. The Dragon Quest Builders series is one that always had my attention but seemed to be quite the undertaking. I didn’t know if the building mechanics were really for me. After having a friend recommend Dragon Quest Builders 2 to me after becoming absolutely obsessed with it, I decided to give it a shot. And I haven’t been this hooked on a game since Stardew Valley

The hook is very similar, but there’s a little bit of everything in Dragon Quest Builders 2. Do you like open world games, city/town builders, exploration and dungeon crawlers, or all of the above? This game might just be for you. Plenty of games introduce a plethora of mechanics only to have a couple of them shine through. This game manages to hit on so many different mechanics in a surprisingly polished way. I’m absolutely addicted to this game. Lunch breaks at work, train rides to and from work, at night before bed, I am living and breathing Dragon Quest Builders 2 at the moment. There’s nothing like it, and I have to say that I’m surprised at how much I find myself playing it. There’s a ton to do and the experience overall just feels so polished. 

You start out with a long and somewhat slow-moving tutorial. However, I found it super useful as I had never played the first game before. There are a ton of mechanics at play here so there is a lot to get your head around but once you do, it all comes second nature. I had a hard time gathering resources and managing my inventory at first. The inventory management is complex but intuitive, and easy to get the hang of after a bit of time and practice. Traversing the open world is a bit overwhelming as well. Everything is movable or destructible in some way shape or form, so getting to certain areas or figuring out the best place to gather the right resources can take some time. This game has everything from crafting weapons, building blueprints, RPG leveling, and questing that moves the story forward. I would personally recommend getting through the tutorial before putting the game down for too long, as forgetting how all these mechanics work together to create a cohesive experience is crucial to understanding how the gameplay loop works. 

As a Builder, you start out building small and easy to accomplish blueprints and before you know it you’re building an entire town with restaurants, bathhouses, and homes. Each island I’ve traveled to so far has had a vastly different feel to it. In all honesty, each one could serve as its own game. Each area adds new resources, blueprints, and skills to your repertoire, making the feel of the game vastly different the more time you put in.

Sometimes I found myself wanting to progress the story and then other times I sat down for two and a half hours only to build one house. I’ve become a bit obsessive about which materials I use for what purpose, tearing down and building everything back up the way I want, and going out and collecting the best food and items to bring back. It’s quite incredible when the realization of how big this game actually really comes around. If I had not done any research on Dragon Quest Builders 2, I would’ve thought that it was quite confined at first glance, but when things finally start to open up it can get a bit overwhelming. The game does do a great job of keeping you on track and focusing the player on the best through-line to progression. 

I’m not too far in yet, maybe 10 hours or so. Progression feels nice and the quests and objectives do feel varied enough to keep me interested. I’m excited to progress further and see the true potential of the creation toolkit as I have seen some very intricate builds that have been completed in this game and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to stretch my creative wings down the line. 

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