Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age E3 Impression
My love of Dragon Quest has recently had KaZing cast on it, with the recent remakes of Dragon Quest VII and VIII on 3DS, a game I never finished, and a game I never played respectively, so I knew I had to make time to try out the upcoming Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age while at E3. First was a quick theatre presentation, to give us the skinny on what we’d be getting during our 15-minute demo. We could choose between a save near the start of the game, where we’d learn about the game’s story, the basics of the quest system, and have only one party member; alternatively, we could dive deeper into the game with no story prep but have a full party at a much higher level.
I decided to go with the former and landed in the starting village. The game quickly explained how questing worked: on the mini-map, the main story is marked with a pink dot, and when you walk up to these individuals, they will have a pink bubble over their heads. There will also be purple dots, which denote side quests, and when facing these folks their little speech bubbles will be a matching purple. This is a great way to tell who has something important to impart and who just has some gossip to pass along — everyone else’s speech bubbles will generally be blue.
Side quests aren’t necessary, but they add a lot of flavor to the world and provide interesting rewards. One side quest I did was to jump onto the roof of my shed and retrieve an item; another I took but didn’t finish was to rescue a cat that was on the top of an inn. Jumping is clearly going to be a big deal in Dragon Quest XI.
Once I followed the pink dot to the main quest, I was able to leave my quiet hometown village and was gifted a lovely parting present — a horse! A quick tutorial explained that while mounted, I could dash, knock enemies out of my path, and make my way around at a rapid pace. However, there would be some areas I could not enter while mounted. Luckily, there would be bells placed in areas around the world to call my trusty steed back to me as needed. I also learned about campsites, where I could rest and recover from ailments — but not save. “Think of them as mini-churches” the game explained.
I dashed my horse up the road, running over as many enemies as I could; this didn’t gain me any experience, but it did net me vast amounts of entertainment as they went flying to and fro. I made it all the way up to a nearby castle town, where I entered and learned (by proceeding to the pink dot on my mini-map) that the castle would only be open before the sun set.
Sadly, my demo ended before the king could sneer at my status as the newly discovered Luminary, but thankfully the game is launching shortly on PC and PS4 and come September 4, I will find out whether he believes I’m the reincarnation of an ancient hero or not!