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Game review: Create anything with Dreams on PS4

By Damian Seeto
Fri 21 Feb 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Developer Media Molecule became famous back in the PS3 era when the studio created the fun LittleBigPlanet series. The series were enjoyable platform games, but they also allowed users to create their own levels to share with other players around the world.

A spinoff called LittleBigPlanet Karting was actually my favourite of the franchise as it was easy to create new racing tracks. I especially liked the kart racing aspect because I loved drifting around the long winding tracks.

It’s been many years since we’ve seen a game from Media Molecule and this is for a good reason. For the past several years, the studio has been working very hard on its first ever PS4 game called Dreams. There’s a reason it took so long for this game to come out because this is Media Molecule’s biggest and most ambitious game to date. 

Whereas LittleBigPlanet allowed gamers to create their own platform games and Karting was about racing, Dreams is something more than those two games put together. Dreams is pretty much a game developer’s dream come true because gamers are allowed to create pretty much anything they want.

In Dreams, you can use the game’s tools to create games from any genre you can think of. I was browsing through the online community and I’ve seen racing games, fighting games, first-person shooters, action games, scenes from movies and more!

While I liked playing LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet Karting, you still felt limited to one specific genre. As aforementioned, Dreams takes off all of the restrictions and let’s everyone have the ability to create whatever is on their mind. 

I cannot begin to comprehend all of the great user content I have seen from the Dreams community so far. My personal favourite game from Dreams at the moment is someone’s rendition of Fallout 4. It retains the game’s green HUD, use of pip boy and even features several boss enemies for you to kill as well. 

Obviously Fallout 4 in Dreams is not as huge as the actual game made from Bethesda, but the effort put into the creation is mind boggling to me. The creator took nine months to create their version of the game and is promising more content is coming in the future.

Other recreations I’ve seen include levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, Metal Gear Solid, Legend of Zelda, Mario 64 and tons more. You can literally just spend hours and hours just browsing all of the creations from other people before you even try to create something yourself. 

It’s not just user created games that people can create in Dreams either. One of my favourite short films I’ve seen so far was someone recreating the famous scene from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story when Darth Vader kills all of the Rebel soldiers with his lightsaber. 

Users can also create something as small as just character and environment models too. A creation that comes to mind was a render of someone’s lunch that included fries, a cola and a hot dog. The render looked so realistic, it made me feel hungry just looking at it. 

That being said, not every creation from users is perfect. While I admire the hard work that goes into projects, some games are hit and miss. You need to really find a game that looks both great and plays well too. 

If you venture away from user created content, you can even play Media Molecule’s own game called Art’s Dream. This is a two to three hour long tech demo that shows you all of the things that you can so in Dreams and more. 

Art’s Dream features an interesting story and many different gameplay mechanics. It might be on the short side, but it’s entertaining enough to give players can idea of what this game is really capable of. 

The other half of the game is where you can create your own content. Dreams includes a TON of tutorials teaching you everything that you need to know in order to create the best content that you can possibly achieve. 

There are so many tools that are accessible to you that it’s difficult to list all of the possibilities you can create. Users can add music, dialogue choices, non playable characters, levels, audio sounds and lots of other things. 

If you’re not skilled enough, you can even download user created content to use on your own levels. I remember adding a song from Wind Waker and a Star Wars character model to utilise in the level I tried to create. It didn’t look perfect, but I was glad to have downloaded the extra content. 

It goes without saying that creating your own games isn’t going to happen overnight though. It will probably take me many months to fully create something that other users will like. My end goal is to make a drifting game based in Japan, but I’ve yet to fully understand all of the game’s tools yet. 

Visually, the Dreams game engine is quite versatile and diverse. You can opt to make something look realistic, or you can create something that looks more cartoonish instead. Again, I love the amount of different looking games that is available in a game like this. 

Dreams as a whole is a groundbreaking game that will only get better when more user-made games are uploaded in the near future. Sure it takes a long time to create your own content, but there are tons of things to see and do right now thanks to the huge online community. If you are interested in game development or creating things, then you should buy this game ASAP.  

Verdict: 9.5/10

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