Gamescom 2016: Dragon Quest Builders is More Than Just Minecraft for RPG Nuts

Gamescom 2016: Dragon Quest Builders is More Than Just Minecraft for RPG Nuts

Richard Walker

Beginning a story with a world that's been completely destroyed sounds like a bit of a downer for such a vibrant and colourful game. But that's exactly how Dragon Quest Builders begins and it's your job to completely rebuild the whole thing, starting with houses, before creating fortresses, villages and towns that you'll have to protect from invading monsters. Pursuing the game's story, you'll then enter a final showdown with the evil king, and save the whole realm. Hooray!

From the off, the Minecraft comparisons in Dragon Quest Builders are inescapable. The game uses a similar block-based system for constructing walls and structures, although adding furniture and other accoutrements to your buildings is headache free, allowing you to simply drop in beds, chairs, dressers and so on. Furniture isn't just for show, however. It has real functions and bonus side effects, like a mirror prompting the residents of your town or village to smarten up, trading their vagabond rags for cleaner, posher duds.

Construction in Dragon Quest Builders is remarkably simple, offering complete freedom to build almost whatever you like. Fabricating a quick, multi-storey house is a breeze, as you simply lay the outer walls to set its boundaries then simply start adding your own touch as it takes shape. The game adopts a third-person isometric 3D viewpoint, so it diverges from Minecraft in that respect, but gives you the perfect perspective to build and then admire your handiwork.

Starting with basic mud huts you'll build to keep your villagers happy, you'll soon graduate to more elaborate creations, like ornate mansions with fancy designs that will attract the attention of some large and fearsome monsters keen to smash your intricately built bricks and mortar to rubble. Merely making a bunch of buildings isn't really enough then; you'll need to assemble fences, walls and battlements to keep your settlement safe, placing traps to keep marauding monsters at bay.

Spikes slow attacking enemies down while fire-breathing statues soften them up before you charge in swinging your sword and throwing bombs. You'll need to lure monsters like the hulking stone Golem – who also likes hurling boulders - into your traps and try and minimise the damage they dole out to your buildings, although you can scoop up the component materials as monsters punch and stomp your creations to bits, so you can set about rebuilding once the attacking beastie has been dealt with.

Each of Dragon Quest Builders' levels will end with a multi-stage monster battle like this, so preparation is all part of the game. Taking the Golem as an example, you'll have to wait for him to unleash his spinning tornado attack, leaving him dizzy and susceptible to your bombs. The Golem is but one of the many threats you'll face in DQB, so in addition to the usual RPG mechanics of levelling up, you'll need to bolster your range of buildable objects and tools to be in with a chance of surviving and preserving your creations.

Boasting a Free Build mode in addition to its story mode, Dragon Quest Builders also enables you to share your creations and download content from fellow builders. In Japan, recently, developer Bird Studio held a contest to build a theme park using the game, and the results are truly amazing, with rollercoasters and other attractions built from scratch. It shows the level of scope that Dragon Quest Builders has already delivered, and will be bringing to western audiences next month. If the idea of a Dragon Quest and Minecraft hybrid sounds appealing, then this should already be on your list. It has slimes too!

Dragon Quest Builders is out on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita on 11th October in North America and 13th October in Europe.

  • Definitely keeping an eye on this one myself. Minecraft doesn't keep my attention for long periods but I think the DQ aspects could help with that
  • @Comment #1 by Glitch12 You can try the demo. I know there is more to the game but I didn't overly enjoy the demo but will probably still get the game.
  • Wasn't aware that there was a demo. I'll take a look later
  • My kids are minecraft addicts so I think they'll really enjoy the added content to this one. Plus I'm liking the look of the game myself
  • As long as it comes with some sort of feature to "save" your buildings and villages prior to an attack so you can quickly/easily rebuild afterwards (like appearing as a blueprint, showing 'place ____ here'), I'm highly interested.
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