With LittleBigPlanet and its sequel, Media Molecule gave players the tools to create their own side-scrolling adventures, but the community did more with the creation suite than anyone expected. With the PS4 exclusive Dreams, Media Molecule gives players the chance to really let their imaginations run wild in ways impossible in LittleBigPlanet, with more advanced creation tools that give the talented enough freedom to develop their own video games from scratch. .
Dreams is an ambitious project, but it’s one that lives up to the hype. While many may be intimidated by the game creation tools, Dreams is full of tutorials that make everything easy to understand for everyone. If someone is willing to take the time to learn how Dreams works, they can make almost any type of game they want. We’ve seen horror games, stealth games, platformers, first-person shooters, and more.
Some of Dreams’ more interesting creations are based on existing IP, although due to copyright issues, they are not all playable. For example, Dreams players won’t find the PS1 Last of Us demake in the game, though they’ll probably be inspired to create their own version of it. In fact, trying to copy one’s favorite games may be one of the better ways for players to learn the tools of Dreams, whether it’s recreating the Super Mario 64 opening, the Resident Evil mansion, or whatever else.
For the most part, Dreams gives creators everything they need to create full-fledged video games or otherwise awesome experiences. However, there are some drawbacks when it comes to using game creation tools, though they aren’t huge deal-breakers. The first is that many creations in Dreams look the same in terms of visual aesthetics. This is inevitable as many players will rely on pre-made characters and assets when putting together their creations, although this can still make playing user-made experiences a bit repetitive. Some of the more ambitious Dreams creators manage to do things like create ultra-realistic breakfast food that doesn’t look like the Dreams art style, but creations like this were lacking in the early days of the game .
The other issue concerns some of the Dreams tutorials – the Imp Quests. Imp Quests are bite-sized tutorials in Dreams that teach players how to do specific things in the game and reward them with prize bubbles. As in Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet games, prize bubbles earn players new pre-made assets that they can use in their own creations. In any case, we found that some of the Imp Quests didn’t work properly, meaning players could do everything asked and not get their reward. However, this is the only technical flaw in what is an incredibly polished and well-made game.
Creators who have put in the time will find that there really isn’t anything that compares to the Dreams creation tools out there. There’s a limit to what can be done with Dreams compared to making an actual video game the old-fashioned way, but it’s safe to say that most users will never reach that limit. It seems that the many times that Dreams was delayed were worth it for Media Molecule to refine the user creation tools and make the entire process of creating content in the game as user-friendly and extensive as possible.
The crafting tools in Dreams will be a big draw for crafters, but those just interested in playing with creations will also find a lot to like about the game. Thanks to Dreams’ extensive early access period, there’s already plenty of content for players to check out, including some awesome creations. Players are free to search for games based on keywords, genre, and more, or they can just play a random game in a row. New content is uploaded to Dreams regularly, so there’s always something new to see in the game.
There really is something for every kind of taste at Dreams. People who like first-person shooters will find a few games that fit the bill, but those who prefer hack-and-slash couch co-op experiences will also find plenty to do. There are few rhythm games that play exactly like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, and these are some of the best, hardest to stop Dreams creations to date.
And there are no signs that Dreams’ content is slowing down anytime soon. Now that the game has had a proper launch, there should be an almost endless stream of new creations in Dreams for fans to check out. Media Molecule itself will be adding new content to the game in the future, with the Dreams PlayStation VR update pending along with some other content.
Media Molecule has some of its own creations using the Dreams creation tools that players can check out if they want professionally crafted experiences. They headline Art’s Dream, which acts as the Dreams story mode. Art’s Dream shows exactly what Dreams are capable of, and is definitely worth checking out.
Art’s Dream is an emotional story about a jazz musician named Art who wishes to reconnect with his estranged bandmates. The voice acting and writing are top-notch, all of which is complimented by a fantastic jazz soundtrack. The gameplay is varied and engaging, with several point-and-click sections, platforming levels, and more. Art’s Dream only lasts a few hours, but it shows that some truly entertaining experiences can be built with Dreams, and if the community creates anything even half as awesome, then the game will worth the investment.
Even at launch, Dreams will provide dozens of hours of quality entertainment for players and creators. The Dreams community is just scratching the surface of the game’s potential, and it will be exciting to see what the community comes up with in the future as they become better versed in the extensive tools it creates.
Dreams is available now, exclusively for PlayStation 4.