Ahead of the launch for one of Sony’s most ambitious titles to date, Dreams for the PS4 was what every aspiring game designer could have “dreamed” for. It was promised to be a game creation system that allowed users to generate their own forms of content, be that in the form of a relatively small game, artwork, motion picture or whatever your imagination could come up with really. Its hard to believe that Dreams was first announced in 2012 and it’s been a bit of a wait to see what they had in store, however when you get to understand the sheer scale of this title, it’s no surprise why it took so long.
Coming from the guys over at Media Molecule, Dreams is an almost natural progression from their last big title. Their previous delve into the realms of creation software for the Playstation platform, Little Big Planet, was to say the least a huge success. Offering gamers the ability to create their own levels and to share these with their friends and other users through the online community, it was even the first showcase for one of Sony’s mascots, SackBoy.
Dreams aimed to take everything that you could do in Little Big Planet and expand on it ten fold.
At the start it may seem intimidating but once you get a basic understanding of how the in game controls work and of what options are available, after a few hours of some questionable early creations, you’ll find it’s a lot more intuitive than the first few minutes will have you think. I personally found that watching a tutorial or two on Youtube definitely helps. To play Dreams to its full potential, it is recommended to be used in conjunction with the Playstation Move controllers. They allow a much more natural and free style of interaction, where a normal Dualshock controller might seem limited. The fact that this title is so community oriented lends to this idea of sharing how to do certain things and it’s easy to find yourself watching videos of how to make the most random of things, from decorative tiles to the Hoover Dam.
Dreams has been in early access for the past number of months and in that time it seems as though some people have really gotten to grips with it. They can use this creative tool to not only imagine totally new ideas, but also take a stroll down memory lane. Already there are playable versions of cult classic video games being re-imagined in Dreams. Games that have even had strong online petitions to be remastered are being “dreamt” up such as The Simspons Hit and Run, even the already remastered Spyro the Dragon has seen a user recreate it in dreams, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The main vision from the team at Media Molecule was to inspire the message of play, create, share. This, along with the promise from Sony to support Dreams with updates and patches for at least the next ten years shows that they believe that this software can go the distance. I can only imagine that once people have had a significant amount of time playing Dreams that then we will see its full potential.
If you are not normally a fan of games with the option for a level editor or creation tool, there is still a good amount of fun to be had with Dreams. There is somewhat of a story mode that narrates and guides you through a few different aspects of what Dreams can do, this journey is visually breathtaking at times and all put to a beautiful musical score. It really is easy to forget that it has all been created using the Dreams software. Flicking through the various options is similar to that of scrolling through Netflix as it helps you find what you’re looking for. Categories such as most played, most awarded and funniest, help break down the vast selection available. It’s actually surprising to see that the amount of content is so extensive, since it was first released on early access a couple of months ago.
Overall it’s hard to imagine Dreams selling millions of copies to the general public, but to those who it genuinely appeals to, I think that they will be more than impressed. Dreams has streamlined a lot of the tools currently in use for video game development and made it accessible to almost everyone. If you get the chance to experience the game first hand, or even have a look on various websites at what people have already created you won’t be let down. Hats off to developers Media Molecule and publishers Sony Interactive Entertainment for releasing what could be in with an early shout for game of the year 2020.