Dreams is a game about creativity and imagination. Much of Dreams, in fact, revolves around playing creations made by others and of course making your own creations. So what does Dreams allow you to create? Well, it allows you to create your own games, music, sculptures, paintings, and more. When I first reviewed the Dreams: Creator Early Access I said much of the game’s potential would be decided by both how much support Sony and Media Molecule put into the game along with the support the players and creators put into their creations and the creations of others. With that being said, after just a few weeks after the game’s release, creators have put a ton of support and creativity into creations. So how does the game stack up when it comes to things like visuals, sound, gameplay, etc? That’s what we’re going to take a look at in our review of Dreams.
The Concept Dreams are Made of
The concept of making a game that lets players make their own games is an ambitious one. The concept of making a game that lets players make their own paintings, music, animations, sculptures and more on top of creating games is even more ambitious. With that being said what Media Molecule has made with Dreams is something truly special as they not only pull off making a game and tool that lets its players turn their dreams into creations. But they pulled off making a game and tool that lets players do so easily. Players are able to turn their dreams into games, sculptures, paintings, etc. with no coding or programming knowledge. As the only thing that is required is a player’s imagination and the player learning the creation tools within Dreams. Some of those tools do have some steep learning tools but for the most part, the tools allow players to easily sculpt and paint their dreams into realization.
Once a player creates something, they are able to then upload it so other players can play it, remix it, or even use it in their own creations. This gives players a huge pool of already created content that they can then search up and use in their own creations. Players can then do the same for their own dreams further increasing the pool of creations to that themselves and others can use in other creations.
Gameplay and Creation
When it comes to the bulk of the gameplay. It’ll either be spent playing the creations of media molecule, the creations of another player or spent making your own creations. The gameplay of other player’s creations can be either be tight and precise or clunky and floaty or anywhere in between. Whether the gameplay of these player’s creations is good or bad is strictly up to the creator’s skill to be able to implement the controls well. So if a player made game has bad controls or gameplay that is to no fault of Media Molecule or Dreams itself.
Where Media Molecule and the game could be found at fault though is during the gameplay of Art’s Dream which serves as the main campaign of Dreams or during the gameplay of the actual creating process itself as Media Molecule built the engine that allows players to make their own creation. Media Molecule though, fortunately, built a very solid game with fun gameplay and easy to understand creation tools. During Art’s Dream, Media Molecule shows just some of the genres of games that can be made in Dreams. One moment, you be playing through a platforming level, the next you’ll be playing through a point and click adventure, followed by driving style level that turns into a retro-style shooter. All of the levels that Media Molecule created have precise and solid gameplay with the style and creativity they bring serving as the cherry on top.
When I reviewed the Creator Early Access of the game last year, at the time the forced motion controls combined with the lack of more specific tutorials left something to be desired. With the release of the full game though, players can now control their imp (which essentially serves as a mouse) with motion controls or the analog stick. I personally prefer to control the imp with the analog stick even though the motion controls do have their advantages.
And as for the tutorials the game now has, they have tutorials for anything you are looking for. Level design, sculpting, painting, character animating, beginner tutorials to advanced tutorials, if there is an idea you have and you don’t know exactly how to do it, chances are Media Molecule has a tutorial that can help you out. These tutorials make the game’s creation tools seem all-around easier to get the hang of and make it that much easier to bring your dreams to life.
Visuals of a Painting
The visuals for Dreams represent that of a painting and that can be seen in most of the creations you’ll run into. This makes it so that even though some of the creations may not play well, they’ll still look really nice. That does not mean that the visual style of the game and its players are restricted to the visual style of a painting, as in both Art’s Dream and various player made creations you’ll stumble upon visuals that look very stylish and hyper-realistic to visuals that are more on the cell-shaded side. In fact, increasingly more and more creators are creating their own visual style for their creations that separate their creations from the rest.
The visuals you come across in the creations you play really just depend on the skill of the creator and what visual style they were going for. The variety of visuals you’ll come across while playing dreams just also goes to show you just how powerful Media Molecule’s creation engine truly is.
Sound Design You Can Design
The sound design of Dreams goes further than the sound design of most other games. Media Molecule not only had to create the sounds and music for their own creations but also all of the sounds and instruments along with a Digital Audio Workstation so that players can come up with their own sound design for their own creations. The Digital Audio Workstation in Dreams can do just about anything an actual Digital Audio Workstation can do on a PC or Mac. So even though Media Molecule’s Digital Audio Workstation is in a video game, it’s no slouch, as it allows you to create your own instruments, put music notes on a piano roll and much much more.
Outside of having a very impressive Digital Audio Workstation that will allow players to make music for their creations. Media Molecule has also done a very impressive job inputting their own sound into the campaign of Dreams, Art’s Dream. Media Molecule wants to have you experience certain emotions at certain points of Art’s Dream and they’re able to easily do this by the music they choose. The music throughout Art’s Dream lets you know when you’re supposed to be sad, happy, or feel a sense of mystery.
A Neverending Amount of Content
Even though Dreams has been out for a short time, it has a lot of user-made content. This is because of the continuous amount of new creations constantly being added to the game thanks to the game’s player base. Players will have no short of creations to play, whether those be platformers, RPGs, or puzzle games. If you can think of something to play, Dreams will probably have something similar to what you’re looking for. Now if the creation is good or not depends mainly on the skill of the creator. With the amount of content being added daily though, it’ll be interesting to see just how much quality content will be available to play on Dreams in a year from now. With Dreams, there will be no shortage of creations to play anytime soon.
A Powerful Tool of Creation For A Low Price
For only $40, Dreams is a powerful tool that can create a diverse amount of things. In fact, if a program that could do similar things to what Dreams could do, was to release for the PC, it could easily cost at least $150. The price combined with the tools and content you get with Dreams makes the game/creation platform an insanely good value that anyone who is wanting to create something should give a try.
Dreams is a wonderful game/creation platform that inspires creativity during every moment you play it. While some of the gameplay especially when it comes to learning the creation tools have some learning curves, the many tutorials the game contains make the learning and creation process much easier. When you start playing creations made by other players you’ll see just how good the game’s sound design and visuals are and just what can be done with them when they are in your hands. It’s only the beginning of Dreams life but there is a ton of creations players have already put out that is available for you to play, remix or use in your own creations and this number of creation will only increase daily. For $40, you really can not go wrong with Dreams, if you’re on the creative side and want to make a game, sculpture, or even just a painting. Media Molecule’s Dreams outshines LittleBigPlanet in every way possible and it will be exciting to see what will be made with Dreams in the future.
Who is Dreams for?
Creatives and Players. If you're a creative person or like checking out other people's creativity, Dreams is worth checking out as there is a lot of creativity and creative tools in Dreams. Not to mention the neverending amount of new content that players make for the game for you to play..