Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time is the eleventh installment of the cult jRPG series. The title was developed cooperatively by Square Enix and Orca, which was involved in Dragon Quest X. The development process was overseen by Hokuto Okamoto. The production was released for, among other things, PC and its launch coincided with the franchise’s thirtieth anniversary.
The action of Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time takes place in a fantastical land of Lotozetasia. The player assumes the role of a inhabitant of Ishi village. On the day of his sixteenth birthday, during the ceremony to celebrate his coming of age, the youngster discovered that he is an incarnation of a hero who saved the world from annihilation many years ago since a shining mark heralding the coming crisis appeared on his arm. From then on, his further fate is uncertain—the hero embarks on a journey that is supposed to seal his destiny. Luckily, he isn’t alone. His loyal friends—the devoted Emma and Camus who acts as a guide—accompany him.
Similarly to Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, the world of Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time is a sandbox one. At the core of gameplay are exploration of the environment, conversing with non-player characters and performing quests given by them as well as combating encountered enemies which lets us gain valuable experience and then develop our character. Battles are played in turns—the key to success is to adequately develop and equip our heroes. Various kinds of opponents stand in our way—both lesser and he most powerful ones who can only be defeated with special tactics.
Compared to the previous installments of the series, the title introduces numerous changes and enhancements to the gameplay formula. The protagonist can climb up environmental objects which gives the available locations a vertical dimension. Places we visit are varied—the adventure takes us not only through flower-dotted, idyllic landscapes but also through deserts or even snow-covered mountaintops.