Media Molecule is one of a kind, unique studio. Since they surprised the world with their LittleBigPlanet, they have continued to expand that concept of giving the player freedom to create and, in a way, make their dreams reach other users. This is how Dreams was born, a fascinating set of tools with which we can create whatever we want — music, paintings or, of course, games. Everything has a place in this infinite world that, after a year between betas and early access phase, debuts with its final version, which polishes and improves its tools, adds new tutorials and, what is more, famous for many, adds its history mode. We tell you all about Dreams.
The world of Dreams
Although at first, it might be a bit shocking, Dreams debuted with its creation mode in early access has been a success. Today, with the game officially launched, we have an incredible selection of content created by the community, who spent months, has been learning to master their sophisticated tools. This means that those who bet on acquiring the game now will encounter hundreds of “dreams” worth experiencing. Whether they are audiovisual or playable experiences, and there are a lot of creations and very good, giving dream surfers who want to enjoy playing a remarkable amount of hours of fun.
And yes, the community is more than ever the pillar of the Media Molecule universe. As you know, the story, presented as one more dream, lasts between two and three hours, with the possibility of replacing it to get all the prize bubbles, just like in LittleBigPlanet. Even being brief, we found it fantastic. Yes, not all of its parts are at the same level, but considering that it is a series of levels to demonstrate what can be done with Dreams, little more can we ask in this regard. Here we discover the story of Art, a double bass player consumed by pressure and insecurity, and how he fights it with his childhood toys. We have a bit of everything, from graphic adventure to action platforms, through Matamarians in two and three dimensions. And even musical moments! Both playable and audiovisual level is fantastic and reminds us of the talent in Media Molecule when it comes to creating. The studio has not offered titles of their own or even a new game in all these years since Tearaway.
Media Molecule also has other minor creations available in the game, but the community creations are the ones that shine here. We run out of praise to describe what some of the users have done. We have racing games that range from karts to Wipeout, puzzle games that could be marketed and people would be delighted to pay for them, complete role-playing adventures or platform titles that are exquisitely controlled and offer a smart and well-designed design. The only way to understand the possibilities of Dreams is to immerse yourself in your dreams and discover the genius of the users. Obviously, most creations are somewhat short and experimental, but if Sony decides to incentivize the extensive work of doing certain experiences economically, we may begin to see more games from the studio.
Let’s do it
If we want to play, we already know that we have it easy. But what if we want to create? Well, it depends on your ambition. If you’re going to create something basic, with a little patience, you can do pretty decent things. If you want to create a game that innovates in mechanics and with an interface that rivals commercialized games, you will surely need much more patience … and time. Dreams, as a tool, it is incredibly complex, but it does everything it can for the player to understand how it works. There is a vast amount of tutorials for everything, being able to understand how logic works to implement playable mechanics, or being able to learn to sculpt. The work that Media Molecule has done to open all possible doors is commendable, and it is up to each one to decide how much time they want to invest in creating.
The most interesting, perhaps, is that we have almost anything at our disposal. Through a search engine, we can add to our creation anything that the community has shared, and there is practically everything. If we want to make, for example, a town, we no longer have to create all the elements. We look for them, add them, and voila. If you want to create them, from scratch, go ahead. Also, there are genre templates (which will be expanded), and if, for example, we want to create a first-person shooter, we open the base and customize it. Everything is done to enhance the materialization of ideas, removing as many barriers as possible. We would dare to say that one of the main obstacles is control, but little else can be done with it. There are a thousand and one key combinations that we will end up learning, a thousand and one tools that we will end up assimilating, but the first hours are hard. Even so, we want to take off the hat in front of the studio, because the DualShock 4 and the PlayStation Move cannot be used anymore.
Technically, it is difficult to assimilate how efficient it is. Entering or leaving a dream is literally a matter of seconds, which encourages you to be continually testing them. This also helps a very well designed interface, full of recommendations and ways to explore these creations. We can search by words or by labels, and we can see the works of the creators that we follow, or see what our friends have marked as “likes.” There is room for improvement, but in general, it does an excellent job of exposing us to new dreams. Here we also find contests for the community, a way to boost that healthy competition to see who is the best creator.
Time to daydream
Between one thing and another, we have been playing Dreams for a year; a year speechless every time we enter and see some amazing stuff that someone has created. The possibilities are virtually unlimited, and although doing an amazing level is difficult and requires talent, Dreams unique mechanics remove as many barriers as possible so that anyone can create in a “simple” way. The story, although short, is magnificent and reminds us that it is time for Media Molecule to make another traditional game, and the amount of content available now makes it essential for anyone who enjoys these small projects. We hope that Dreamstriumph and take full advantage of these tools, because it serves as a door to a magnificent talent that, otherwise, we could hardly access.
We have prepared this review with a digital code for Dreams provided by Sony.