What made LittleBigPlanet special wasn’t the idea, as much as the execution. The idea of making a game, or honestly even an experience, built around creating said experience wasn’t new, but the amount of time, effort and charm was unmatched. For this reason players have eagerly been awaiting the release of Dreams, which has a far grander scale than LittleBigPlanet ever did. With more resources, better tools and a more powerful system, will Dreams live up to expectations or were they trying for too much?
Before you can do anything in Dreams you need to complete a brief tutorial. These include, but are not limited to, moving, copying, changing the size of, motion controls and other rudimentary elements in an overly detailed and slow way. Mind you, these details are important to learn and this method ensures anyone can get a solid grasp on the basics, it just won’t offer much for anyone interested in experiencing others dreams over creating their own.
After the tutorial you gain access to a number of challenges, a wide variety of tutorials that have various levels of difficulty, things created by others and a brief story mode. Before seeing what others have accomplished or how to make your own experience, it’s probably in your best interest to finish the brief story mode.
For Dreams, Media Molecule created a series of levels known as Art’s Dream. Similar to LittleBigPlanet, this adventure exists to give you an idea of how to use tools, incorporate various elements and ultimately show you what is possible. Where Art’s Dream stands out isn’t the story, which takes about a little over 2 hours, but the way various elements, mechanics and resources are incorporated. It’s often clever, has plenty to see, interact with and enjoy, which is only furthered by the fascinating story of a man who left his band only to realize he needs to return. Upon finishing it’s time to either make something or see what others are doing.
Since Dreams benefits from having tons of projects from its early access release, it might be better to see what others have came up with. Despite levels ranging wildly in time, effort and thought, it gives you a good idea of how powerful these tools actually are. You can make an action game, shooter, platformer, implement motion controls and so much more. Not only have players already shown that they can create some impressive things, the amount of positivity gives everyone a chance to shine.
For instance, even if you create an amazing stage yourself, those who contributed are credited with what they gave. Levels let you comment and share your thoughts and feelings and depending on your feelings you can even try to make improvements to better the overall experience. This gives everyone an opportunity to do what they love without having to limit themselves to just designing a level or creating whatever is required if they don’t want to.
Where things start to really stand out isn’t just the amazing resources but the ability to mimic a traditional game. There are boot screens, special loading screens, hubs, various stages and mechanics that all lead to a fuller experience. The only real downside is various user created dreams feel a bit rough around the edges. Some are incomplete, others have the look or feel of a rather lacking low budget game, yet if players have come this far since Dreams first released, it’s only a matter of time before we get some truly impressive creations, which is where the tools come into play.
Given all you can see, do and create, there are a lot of tools at your disposal. And, while this might seem intimidating at first glance, Dreams makes things easy regardless of how many tutorials you’ve done. Most tools have a name that immediately tells you the intended purpose. One might start a timer, display text, give health, create an invisible wall and so forth. Many of these will require the tutorial to fully understand the scope of them, yet the presentation is so simple it won’t initially scare anyone. Just keep in mind that Dreams requires an investment and the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.
Just playing with the tools gives you an idea of how simple things can be, though it will take a while before you can make the most of everything. Thankfully, with others support, you can actually get closer to making your own version of a beloved franchise or showing others what lives in your imagination. Just expect to run into plenty of issues and it will take a while before you make an experience that is even vaguely reminiscent of the thing you’re trying to create.
Dreams Review – Verdict
There is only so much you can say about Dreams before you spend hours explaining everything it has to offer. The reality is actually pretty simple. Regardless of whether you want to experience other people’s creations or make one yourself, Dreams does a great job of bringing everyone together. There are tons of rather rough games that are still extremely impressive for both Dreams and the creator themselves. And, even if you don’t have the time to learn a ton of things, everything is presented in such a simple way that the only limit is yourself. So, stop reading and come experience the Dreamscape.