Dragon Quest XI Review Chapter 5 – An Engrossing Story
We’ve been taking a longer approach to our review of Dragon Quest XI, but thanks to great support from our friends at Square Enix, as well as the thousands of you who have been reading each and every part, it’s been a fairly successful endeavour so far. Today we wrap things up with our final review chapter, examining the story you’ll play through in this latest Dragon Quest release. Spoilers, it is one of the best stories I’ve played through in a long while.
Thanks to Square Enix for providing us a copy of the game for this review.
We’ve always championed a spoiler free environment here at GamesReviews.com when it comes to story driven experiences, and that policy will stay for this. That being said, there is a lot of the game we can talk about without ruining the overall arc. From the opening cut scene, through the games most emotional moments, Dragon Quest drops new and exciting story paths on you at a great pace. Early on, the game is definitely slow, and getting out of your hometown and on the road does take a lot longer than it really should. BUt after that lull, I never once asked myself, “Where is this game going?”
And that is a huge compliment to the work of the development team. With an easy 80 hours of content – we are clocking in over 100 at this point – it can be difficult to craft and experience that is always changing and that is always engaging. Somehow, the development team was able to do both. And even if there were times of story lull, it was never apparent to me thanks to the large array of side quests and activities I could engage in. All the small teams working on Dragon Quest XI did a great job of working together to make sure players never felt lost, and to make sure players never felt bored.
Part of the fantastic story goes back to what we talked about in a previous review chapter, the fantastic voice acting. This adds so much to the experience, and while I’m generally a dialogue skipper when playing long RPG titles, I’m not sure I ever skipped through text in Dragon Quest XI, except when I accidentally initiated a dialogue sequence for a second time.
What puts this experience over the top, however, is how the game reminds you where you left off whenever you load a new save. So whether you’d been playing a few hours prior, or perhaps you are coming home from a week long vacation, the game does an excellent job of keeping you up to date on where the story is, what you’ve done so far, and so on. Having this small, yet incredibly beneficial window pop up during the loading sequence is fabulous, and should be a staple in all sprawling RPG titles going forward.
There is so much to discover in Dragon Quest XI, and the story is only one aspect of that. On it’s own, however, it could stand up well even in a poorly created game. That is how good the Dragon Quest story is, partially thanks to the work done on this title, and partially thanks to the lore of the franchise. Don’t worry though, this release is the perfect entry point for those unfamiliar with the Dragon Quest franchise. While a few things might be a bit foreign to new players, the vast majority is explained incredibly well.
This literally is a game built for everyone. RPGs are rarely accessible, but somehow Dragon Quest XI finds a way!