Game Info

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Steam) Review

Last year, when Dragon Quest Builders 2 launched on PS4 and Switch in the west, we thought it was a fantastic RPG. It managed to fix a lot of the flaws of the first game in the series, as well as adding some new mechanics and features. Now the game has made its way to PC, but how does the port stack up?

Dragon Quest Builders 2 Requirements and Performance

Dragon Quest Builders 2's minimum and recommended requirements aren't that far off from each other, with the minimum and recommended AMD CPU actually being the same! More on that later, however. Props to Square Enix for giving a performance estimate in the listed specs, even if they might've been a bit conservative on what players should expect on AMD systems.

MINIMUM:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 / 8.1 / 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1300X or above | Intel Core i3-3225 or above
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7750 (2GB) / NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 (2GB)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 12 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Network: Broadband Internet Connection. Expected Framerate: 30 FPS @ 1280x720 / Graphics preset: "Low".

RECOMMENDED:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 / 8.1 / 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1330x or above | Intel Core i7-3770 or above
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 12 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Network: Broadband Internet Connection. Expected Framerate: 60 FPS @ 1920x1080 / Graphics preset: "High". Depending on the monitor and PC graphics card environment and setup used, this title can expand its display resolution to 4K. Please adjust graphics options to match with your PC environments when playing on 4K resolutions.

As you can see, the game's settings menu has a decent selection of options. It *does* commit the cardinal sin of having anti-aliasing included as a simple on/off option with no further details, but whatever it is - in action it seems to get the job done, and I don't think it's FXAA, so there's that going for it. Generally, performance across the board is pretty good! While just a cursory glance, the game seemed to run well enough at 1080p/60 Low Settings on my old 6700HQ/GTX 950m laptop, and with one very minor exception at the end of the game my current 9750H/GTX 1660 ti laptop handed out a locked 1080p/60 at max settings (which should be expected, considering the listed requirements).

Interestingly enough, my Ryzen 9 3900x/OC'd Vega 56 desktop handled 1440p/60 max settings perfectly fine, which one wouldn't expect looking at the game's recommended specs. I had a similar experience with Dragon Quest XI, so I wonder if Square Enix just doesn't test with AMD systems as much? Which I guess is as good as time as any to warn prospective AMD GPU owners that the game currently doesn't work on any AMD driver version later than 12.1.19. Maybe more of an AMD issue than a Square Enix one, but still worth noting! Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, the issue will be sorted out on the latest driver release.

Now, back to actual performance - the game's FPS can either cap itself at 30 or 60, so you won't be able to play the game at high refresh rates. That's a shame, but on the flip side - the game seems to have a CPU bottlenecking issue. The game simply doesn't seem to be multithreaded that well, and only ever used about 13-15% of my 3900x. While that's a 12 core CPU that most players simply won't own, that still says a lot about utilization in general. This might be the reason why one section later in the game, with tons of destruction occurring on the overworld, saw dips down to the mid-50s on my laptop while the game was also forced to deal with loading new areas in quickly while I was on a vehicle. It's a minor inconvenience at worst, but it does make me wonder how the game might perform in more complex player-created worlds. A little disappointing that the game could perform better on the CPU end of things, but it should still easily run better than on consoles on the vast majority of rigs.

Control Options

Controls are one area where Dragon Quest Builders 2 absolutely shines. The default KB/M controls, while mouse sensitivity might be a little low, are surprisingly great. Menus support the mouse, you can click the mouse wheel at any time to switch the bindings for the equipped Builder Tool and Weapon, and the game will switch between controller and KB/M button prompts whenever you switch between the two yourself. Furthermore - the game features full Steam Input API support. Steam Controller has its' own button prompts, and the game even has button prompts for Xbox and PS4 controllers as well. Using a Switch Pro Controller enabled PS4 prompts for whatever reason, but that was probably just a bug. I don't know if it has been fixed yet, but regardless - much better controller implementation and support than most ports, which is to be commended. No complaints here.

PC Specific Content and Bonuses

The game comes with all of the DLC in a bundle pre-packaged, but that's mostly useless unless you're going to be playing the game well past the credits roll. One nice thing is that the game allows you to visit worlds that players on both PS4 and Switch have developed! I assume the same must be true the other way around, and PS4 and Switch players should be able to visit PC players' worlds since the game's launch on Steam. Not exactly a "PC" specific bonus, but still one may be worthy of a shout. Overall, this is a very solid port. While a few things could definitely be improved, it's still by far the best version of the game that you can play now, and I feel confident in giving it our strongest recommendation.

 

9 / 10

Versions tested: PC

Disclaimer: A copy of this game was provided to RPG Site by the publisher.

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