Welcome back Builder! Wait... I am not from Builders 1.... wait... I am on a boat? I'm a prisoner? Sure, I will help you build that... uhhh... I am helping the enemy like a happy little prisoner. Won't be the last time I am sure....
You awake aboard a ship sailing in the ocean, sailed by a skeleton Captain who is astonished at how helpful you are, especially being labeled a "heretic" for building. This is a crime under the Children of Hargon, punishable by death (the monsters of the realm). You will build and repair as your tutorial aboard the ship until you are delivered upon a shore by a higher power. A disembodied voice who knows a lot about you and the companion you are about to encounter, Malroth.
Your ship does not make the sea voyage and you awaken on, well, the Isle of Awakening! Here you will meet up with an ex-prisoner aboard the same ship you were on, Lulu. You will also encounter your companion for most of the game, Malroth. The three of you set up camp on the Isle as you await some sort of rescue, and hope for one quickly as you are ready to watch Malroth stab Lulu, even if that means handing him the knife.
You will soon encounter the Old Hermit who tells you all about being a Builder and has a way for you to escape the Island via Captain Brownbeard. Wait... where did the ship come from? Anyway, you will have your quest to learn Building from the world around you and what it is like to be a natural enemy of the Children of Hargon and their human followers.
Your first island venture takes you to Furrowfield. A dangerous, yet quaint island that has inhabitants that want to rebuild the beauty of the land. This whole island is at your disposal during the DEMO you can download. It has numerous quests and items that you will need to progress further in the game, yet gives enough to satisfy your taste, even if you do not purchase the full version. I will not go into this Furrowfield as everything is pretty much straight forward as a giant tutorial island. Just know that you can return to the island later if you do not like your design of the town you make. Also know that by the end of the final deitree quest, you will have all of your town's borders grassy, so do not waste time farming Worm Food as the whole town becomes lush.... unless you want to. I did, just to have things unlocked earlier.
From here on out, you need the full version to continue!
After successfully completing Furrowfield, you will have brought back some villagers to help build the Isle of Awakening. There will be quests to complete for those lush Mini Medals that DQ is known for... yes unlockables! Mini Medals will earn you some of the best equipment in the game for the puzzles you complete on each island, or doing the Optional Quests will earn you better tools for your trade. Speak to old Hairy to turn in your loose ones, he will automatically keep track of your Optional Quest ones as you earn them.
Now it is off to Khrumble-Dun. Who does not like puns? This is a mountain/crag/old strip mine encampment. More quests will be available and you will see a lot of the rehash, "oh we hate Builders, they are bad! As a follower of Hargon, I refuse to help you!" that becomes a "yay Builder! Friend! Screw Hargon!" You will be introduced to a loving story about 2 old flames that had a reckoning that never really gets resolved. A golem trapped and turned to stone becomes your friend, you help him armor up, and then he offers the biggest sacrifice at the end of the Chapter. I really enjoyed this portion of the story.
The story continues through the adventures of your Builder and then completing the story will make the Isle of Awakening your Post Game. This is pretty much where you will wind up wanting from the moment you start playing. Consider the Story Mode pretty much a way to play with all your Legos before you get to go off on your own and make your own stuff. Minecraft players will be upset having to go through 10+ hours before getting what they "really" want, but it is worth the wait.
The Isle of Awakening has tons of Optional Quests to complete for more Mini Medal rewards and contains all of your recruits to the island. If you want to create from scratch you will have the island on the North of the world map. You create the island's size, theme, and name it. This is not the island friends can come visit and play with you and it will not contain any of the people your brought to the IoA. This is pretty much a gigantic playground under the theme for island you chose. You can save it or make a new one at any time.
Wait... did you say Multiplayer? Yes. Yes, I believe I did! Once you unlock a little of the IoA you will find the Portal that opens online MP up. Unfortunately, MP seems more like an afterthought and does not have a robust setup. You will join with a few friends and build together or just kind of hang out. Also using the Notice Board, you can visit other people's islands and download them to steal ideas from. It is a rather neat option, but there is not an MP piece like Minecraft and you may find yourself disappointed. Perhaps a Builders 3 will address this, but as it is now, it is nice to play with a buddy for a bit.
The game definitely has some serious improvements from Builders 1 and a few setbacks and odd changes. There are a few camera bugs in 3rd Person that people have complained about. The game itself is solid. I have completed the entire Story, have all the islands purchased and unlocked, and almost have all of the IoA Optional Quests completed. As of the time of this writing I have just over 46 hours on just this title and I am still enjoying it. It is highly recommended for Dragon Quest and Minecraft players. The DEMO is available on Steam and that save will allow you to carry over to the full version, so there is just no reason for you not to try this out!
Oh... and once you unlock the Dressing Table, you can customize your look, which is why in a lot of pictures I have the bunny ears and sweet princess outfit!
Now with First Person Mode! You have controller/keyboard or gamepad options that you can customize. Everything is remappable, but there are a few buttons that are not listed.
Little bit of Voxel, little of bit of original Dragon Quest. Some art is a little repetitive, but for the most part everything fits into the DQ universe well.
All the familiar sounds of Dragon Quest with extra support! Unfortunately those not "in" with DQ will always complain about the music sounding MIDI because they do not understand the "joke". So do not expect AMAZING music.
Currently 45 active hour in and I am still enjoying it! There is plenty of post game to keep you interested.
PROS / CONS
- Updated for 1st Person
- A sequel to a best selling game
- Dragon Quest anything!
- DEMO rolls into 1.0!
- Camera issues
- Story is bland
- Multiplayer is an afterthought