Is Dreams a game for you?by Stefan L
Today sees the full launch of Media Molecule’s most ambitious project yet. Having worked on it for the better part of a decade, Dreams has finally been made a reality by the team that brought us LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway, putting their most comprehensive and powerful creation tools in the hands of gamers.
But after years of development, it still feels like some people aren’t quite sure what Dreams is really all about. So what is Dreams? And is it a game for you?
Thankfully Media Molecule have got the first part covered for us:
But what about the second part? Well, it depends where you’re coming from.
Is Dreams for LittleBigPlanet fans?
Certainly. Though you won’t find the same kind of side-scrolling platforming at its core, Dreams has much of the same spirit and sense of wonder that LittleBigPlanet could create, taking it to a whole new level. If you enjoyed the more creative side of LittleBigPlanet or diving into the creations of the LBP community, then a lot of that carries over to Dreams as well.
Is Dreams for people who just want to play a game?
Yes… and no. If you’re someone that wants a cohesive experience that’ll keep you hooked for 80 hours, you won’t find it here. If you want to endlessly grind for incrementally better loot, that’s not part of Dreams. If you want a tight 8 hour story, you won’t find that here either.
For the full release of Dreams, Media Molecule have created Art’s Dream, a narrative adventure that shows the real potential of the game. It dives into the psyche of tortured musician Art and sees him rediscover his self-worth, overcoming his inner demons with the help of childhood memories, dreams and his friends. It hops back and forth between genres, showcases different art styles, and features some great musical moments, all of which has been created within Dreams itself.
The only problem is that it only lasts a few hours, leaving you wanting more from Media Molecule themselves. Still, the Creators Early Access ran for the last 10 months, so there’s already plenty of great community created games and experiences to dive into.
So how do I find the good stuff in Dreams?
Head off DreamSurfing and you’ll find there’s much improved curation in this game, with community spotlights, challenges, and an easily browsed Dreamiverse that you can access in-game or over at indreams.me.
It works on several layers. Thanks to the head start the Early Access gave creators, they can show you the all-time top rated creations, the competition winners from the Impy Awards, Media Molecule’s curated highlights, and so on all brought together in playlists for you to sample like you’re on YouTube or Spotify. There’s also the things that your friends have played and given a thumbs up, it will show you creations from others of the same dreamer level as you.
All together, it brings the amazing things you can make, but also shows that it’s fine if you can’t make those things yourself just yet and you’re not alone.
OK, but what if I don’t have an imagination?
Well, that’s kind of the point of Media Molecule’s games. Everyone is creative. Every person has an imagination and they want to let you express yourself however you see fit – well, OK… so long as it’s not rude!
Stepping into Dreams’ creation tools for the first time is going to be daunting, but Media Molecule have tried to make it as intuitive as possible. There’s many more in-game tutorials for the full release, so you can build up your knowledge, and there’s already a wealth of community knowledge to tap into as well.
More than that, Dreams isn’t just about sharing the finished product, it’s about the individual parts as well. You can browse a deep library of objects and items, to just drop them into your game. So if you want to make Rocket League in Dreams, you won’t have to figure out how to make a car, you’ll be able to find one that someone else and include it in your creation.
Is Dreams for non-gamers?
Absolutely! Dreams has the potential to be for anyone and everyone thanks to the almost limitless scope of its creation tools. You don’t have to use it as a game at all, but can instead take the creation tools and turn them to painting or sculpture, for example.
On the other side of things, you can seek out the more experiential side of the Dreamiverse, with plenty of gorgeous dioramas or reinterpretations of well-known works of art to be found in the game.
So can it do music?
Yes! One of the greatest parts of Art’s Dream is how it weaves music into several parts of its runtime. Who’d have thought it from a story about a jazz musician? It showcases how you can create everything from background music to your twee little platformer, to musical mini-games, and all the way up to stunningly produced music videos.
That’s thanks to comprehensive sound and music tools in the game’s creation tools. If you really wanted to, you could rig up sounds and beats to controller inputs and give a live performance, just like Mm did at GDC early last year.
Can it do copyright infringement?
I mean… yes.
Is Dreams for PSVR owners?
Not yet. Though Media Molecule talked about PSVR support in the past, they’ve knuckled down and had to focus on shipping the game for TV first, but PSVR support is coming.
Is Dreams for Trophy hunters?
Oh, you’re one of those gamers, are you? Well, thankfully the trophies for Dreams don’t seem too difficult to knock off. There’s 39 trophies in total, with 9 of them from Art’s Dream, and the rest from working through tutorials, creating in different ways, and basic community interactions. You’ll have that Platinum trophy in no time.
But really, the only person that can answer the main question is you. So, is Dreams for you?
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