Dragon Quest XI First Look

One of the last remaining turn-based RPGs will see a new addition to the series in 2016.

Dragon Quest 11 is one of the first games announced for Nintendo’s mysterious new platform, NX. It’s also coming to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS, so if you’re a fan of the series or you’re looking for an entry point, Dragon Quest 11 should be widely available when it releases sometime next year. Newcomers to the series may be a bit taken back, especially given the fact that the Dragon Quest series hasn’t evolved in the same way most other modern RPGs have evolved.

One of the biggest draws (or deterrents depending on your viewpoint) of Dragon Quest 11 is the fact that it’s one of the few remaining turn-based role-playing games. Even Square’s remake of Final Fantasy 7, one of the most famous turn-based RPGs, will likely have a more action-oriented battle system when it eventually releases. That’s why it’s refreshing to see Dragon Quest stick to its guns and maintain a turn-based battle system. Some may complain, but there are plenty of action-RPGs out there without Dragon Quest following the herd.

While the 3DS and PlayStation 4 versions of the game will offer the same content, they will have decidedly different visuals. We’re not just talking about the power of the 3DS compared to the power of the PlayStation 4. The Nintendo 3DS version of the game will offer both 2D and 3D visuals throughout the game. The top screen will showcase the 3D visuals 3DS owners are accustomed to, while the bottom screen will offer classic 16-bit visuals. The PlayStation 4 version of the game utilizes Unreal Engine 4 and looks like a current generation version of Dragon Quest. It’s the same playful cartoon style, with a sharper, next-gen look to it.

The PlayStation 4 version will offer a chibi mode for the graphics. When this is active the game will look closer to the 3DS version of the game in terms of art style. This is more of a throwback to the classic Dragon Quest games and will be purely optional. The power of the PlayStation 4 gives the developers a chance to make the world of Dragon Quest 11 feel more real. You’ll be able to see enemies moving about in the distance and the effects on the attacks and magic spells will be greatly enhanced.

Dragon Quest will release in 2016 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the series. That theme of time will also be present in the storyline of the game. Series creator Yuji Horii has shifted from a supervisory role in Dragon Quest 10, to a much more hands-on role in DQ11. If you’ve played or followed the series since the beginning, you’ll find quite a few nostalgic moments as you play through the latest game. Even the logo for Dragon Quest 11 is a throwback to Dragon Quest 3, the last time the number was displayed in the background of the logo.

While no US release date has been confirmed, the PlayStation 4 version will almost certainly make the trip overseas. While the US gets most of the Final Fantasy releases, we’ve missed a good number of Dragon Quest games. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Nintendo 3DS version stay exclusive to Japan, but Square Enix has yet to confirm anything at this time. At the very least, we’ll see the PS4 version and probably the Nintendo NX version.

Stay tuned to Prima Games as we continue to provide updates on Dragon Quest 11 as the 2016 release swiftly approaches. For now, check out how the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is shaping up over at Square Enix!

About the Author

Bryan Dawson

Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.