Dragon Quest is one of gaming’s oldest and most beloved series, spanning more than 30 years and multiple consoles. Its latest chapter, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, arrives on PS4 and PC this September (with a Switch version following down the line), and it marks a return of sorts for the long-running series, after its foray into MMO territory with Dragon Quest X.
In grand RPG tradition, Dragon Quest XI puts players in the role of a silent protagonist known as the Luminary, who is sent to jail early on in the story by King Carnelian because he believes Luminaries are conspiring with darkness. Like other mainline installments in the series, the game features a classic turn-based battle system, which is accentuated with the new Zone and Link systems.
With its release quickly approaching, reviews of Dragon Quest XI have begun to appear online. We’ve collected a sample of them below to give you a cross-section of what critics think about the title. For a broader look at the game’s critical reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
- Developer: Square Enix
- Platforms: PS4, PC
- Release date: September 4
- Price: $60 / £45
GameSpot — 9/10
“Innovation in games is talked about a lot, but it’s also great to see traditional gameplay formulas that have been around for decades presented exceptionally well. Dragon Quest XI is one of the best modern examples of this; its beautiful presentation, both visual- and story-wise, combines with a tried-and-true gameplay formula for a journey that’s full of heart and soul. Once you find yourself sucked into the world of Dragon Quest XI, it’s going to be hard to put down until you reach the grand finale.” — Heidi Kemps [Full review]
“[A]fter the boldness of past entries–whether that’s the not-so-recent Dragon Quest 9, or even the perfectly executed Builders spin-offs–Echoes of the Elusive Age ends up feeling like it’s missing a trick. This is a pointed return to a different age of RPGs, a throwback to a golden era that shines brightly in its splendour. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more lavish production this year, or one that’s so generous, though you can’t help but wonder whether it’s too much of a backwards step.” — Martin Robinson [Full review]
US Gamer — 5/5
“Even though Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the 11th installment of the series, it feels like a natural follow-up to Dragon Quest VIII. That makes it a good entry point for Dragon Quest-curious players, too. There’s a lot of RPG here, but it all goes down easy. Enjoy it: Games like this only visit us once in a rare while.” — Nadia Oxford [Full review]
Game Informer — 8.25/10
“Dragon Quest XI stays to true the series’ sense of adventure, and the long journey culminates in something cool for longtime fans (be sure to reload your save after the credits roll). I had my share of fun, especially as someone who grew up with the franchise and could appreciate the callbacks littered throughout. At times, I was glued to my controller as I discovered the next village, plot revelation, or impressive boss. Dragon Quest has stuck around for a reason: It does what it does well, and the formula still works. However, Dragon Quest XI’s lack of evolution is a hindrance. It’s about time the series took some risks.” — Kimberley Wallace [Full review]
“A lot of my complaints are about the core conceits. The graphics and scope, while updated, are grafted onto a frail and aging skeleton. The huge map that amounts to hallways, the NPCs with endlessly frivolous dialogue, and the incessant load screens all point to an update–in hardware and software–rather than an evolution. Dragon Quest 11 is a beautiful example of what a JRPG can be after 30 years of lovingly guided evolution. Its success is irrevocably tethered to those decades of development, though, and that means you probably already know if this is a game for you. If you’re not already one of the faithful, Dragon Quest 11 is unlikely to make you a convert.” — Jeffrey Parkin [Full review]
EGM Now — 8.5/10
“Dragon Quest XI brings the legendary Japanese RPG franchise to consoles (properly) for the first time in 13 years, and it’s a mostly fantastic new chapter of the series. Its story, gameplay, characters, and visuals all work to blend timeless series elements with newer-era genre refinements, and most of the time, the results are great. Unfortunately, there are a few times when honoring tradition is a weakness, not a strength—most specifically in the case of the game’s protagonist.” — Mollie L. Patterson [Full review]