Imagine being able to give free rein to your imagination, being able to literally realize everything that passes through your head. All this, without the need to resort to who knows what expensive tools, but simply having a console and a pad. Sometimes the only limit lies in our imagination, and works like Dreams they really want to remind us. The work of Media Molecule, PS4 exclusive, has recently landed on Sony 's flagship console, and is ready to awaken the dreamer dormant within each of us. If you can dream it you can do it. This is the mantra which should accompany each of us in daily life and which represents, in all respects, the basis of this small large wonder sandbox. Dreams allows us to create, to share e play, without any kind of limitation except for our originality. We had already talked about it in ours preview dedicated to the title in the Early Access version but now, finally, the game is freely available for purchase in its full version.
Free rein to creativity
But what exactly does Dreams consist of? It is certainly not easy to explain it in words, so on the spot. Simplifying and minimizing, one could say that Dreams is a game that allows to create games and any other audiovisual content. Pad in hand, we are guided step by step through several introductory sessions. Firstly, we need to create our own Faerie, which performs the function of real pointer to select the different options and the different elements to create a specific scenario. Next we are introduced to what is the Dream Base, a sort of completely customizable central hub that can also be visited by other players. Beyond appearances, I can assure you that the title is really much more than it seems, and offers the player almost freedom. absolute and boundless.
From the main menu of Dreams we can then choose between Journey through Dreams e Dreamlike Creation. With the first method you can visit the Creations - also called Dreams - of the other players, and therefore experience what the imagination and ability of the other users has been able to generate. I can assure you that you can really find it all. From decidedly uninspired adventures, a few minutes and more tragicomic implication than anything else, to experiences really good belonging to the most diverse genres. In fact, we have platformers, a tribute shooter to Space Invaders, fantasy-themed action and the inevitable first-person horror films (in this regard, I would like to point out the presence of the teaser trailer of the canceled Silent Hills, PT recreated to say the least maniacal). Really, the surprise is around the corner: it is possible to come across, even, personal reinterpretations of the most famous brands including Dark Souls, Zelda and Crash Bandicoot. Obviously, the quality of many of them is not among the best and these are purely amateur creations, but there are numerous games able to amaze.
Let's not set limits
However, the real central hub of Dreams is the aforementioned Dreamlike Creation. In this way, in fact, we can create almost everything that touches our mind, obviously, before right training. I say this because, despite appearances, giving life to our fantasies is decidedly complex. Everything is based, in fact, on the mastery of the tools at our disposal, inserted in a creation system so wide and varied as to be boundless. First of all, we can create objects, sculpt them, color them and animate them. Through the logical connectors, we are able to develop different interactions: for example, to set a bridge or platform that is lowered or raised when a button is pressed. Using special tools, it is then possible to animate certain objects that we have decided to insert into the scenario, such as platforms or other characters, making it follow predefined patterns. But this is alone the tip of the iceberg of a system that reveals itself much more complex expected.
In this context, the Dream Laboratory. In this place we have access to all sorts of tutorials, which guide us in the creation of our personal playful experience. It starts with explanations regarding the control of the camera, the positioning and the resizing of the objects. We then move on to coating and coloring them and finishing them. Once you have acquired the right experience, you can think of moving on to real lessons level design e sound design, which allow to give a more organic and articulated structure to the game worlds. But it does not end here: if you want to get a good result, you also need to understand how to customize the character you want to be the protagonist, perhaps creating it from scratch or inspiring us to well-known and well-known faces. Let's not forget the tutorials dedicated to gameplay of the characters, so as to equip them with special moves and unique abilities.
What would a video game be without the concept of health e damage? Well, in Dreams there is a tutorial specially dedicated to the topic, the implementation of which is a necessary condition for the success of a good game. Obviously, it is also important to equip our environments with the right atmosphere, perhaps accompanied by a correct use of lights. To make a certain creation playable several times and to encourage players to do better and better, we could then consider implementing a system of numerical and timed scores. We must also take care of our scene stylistically with a certain amount of care, in order to make it more alive and unique than ever. In short, the possibilities are really infinite, as well as numerous are the techniques to be mastered before obtaining a satisfactory result. To say what could and should not be done in Dreams would be an understatement. Possessing the right amount of patience, imagination and imagination, it is potentially impossible to meet limits.
All that glitters is not gold
Despite the positive aspects seen so far, I feel it necessary to warn you: Dreams it is not for everyone. Its main functionality, which allows you to create, requires a lot of patience and above all a lot of time available. While playing the levels and watching the short films of the Dreams others can certainly be fun, making your own project is not exactly simple. This surely knows who does the designer by profession, given that the title is in all respects a game development tool very respectable. If you do not have an appreciable amount of free time, and indeed only look for one or two hours of leisure, the Dreamlike Creation is practically barred from you. Of course, after numerous tutorials and missteps anyone can manage to create a Dream noteworthy, but we must also consider time and desire that you can invest in and dedicate to us. And it is clear that with these words I do not intend to discourage you, but only to try to make you more aware of Dreams. Don't make the mistake of considering it a simple and mundane editor, because it is exactly the opposite.
Recommended, but not at all
Summing up, net of strengths and weaknesses, I would recommend Dreams only to those who, in addition to having many hours to devote to us, also have the patience to overcome every failure and mistake trying to constantly improve. In that case I can assure you that satisfaction touches peaks really high, especially when your personal game is voted positively by the community. If instead you consider yourself to be only users of the medium videogame, and you have no interest in deepening the creative process that underlies it, you should really look elsewhere. For the rest ... welcome Creatives. Do not be afraid and let your artistic and imaginative vein flow, putting aside the fear and insecurity of not making it. Once all the brakes are released, I guarantee you that you will be able to dream and, above all, make you dream anyone you want.
Final notes by Vincenzo Marino, author of the preview:
It should be added that, in my opinion, the true value of Dreams can only be assessed in the long term. The software house has already talked about the possibility of monetize your creations, perhaps through self-publication within the PSN store, and in my opinion this is a simply incredible concept that could also keep the creator base alive, because only the offer rests on them. If the Dreamers fail, the players will have nothing to try and automatically everything will fall inexorably. This methodology would induce many developers, even professionals, to devote themselves body and soul to the creation of a real full game and not simple teaser trailers of which the Dream Dream abounds at the moment. For heaven's sake, I have seen projects that, however small, literally leave you speechless, as you can see from the video just below, and that really made me understand that Dreams, in expert hands, does not have much less than a tool professional development. For heaven's sake, I know that a program used exclusively for 3D modeling is infinitely superior to what the relevant sector offers on the PS4 game but here we are talking about an all-in-one tool proposed at 40 euros. In addition, Media Molecule has also included its complete game, lasting about three hours, which perfectly explains what their product can do. It goes from point and click stages to platform sections up to real music videos. Let's not forget that it is also possible to create medium / feature films.
Another of the elements that impressed me most is the possibility of use the creations of other users. Do you like making only character models, environmental elements, animations or composing music? No problem, do what you want and put it online. Another user can take what you have created and drop it into his world in order to literally create a collage of elements that give life to a game and whose name will appear in the credits. What is basically what happens in a development house, with the various artists working on micro-elements that are then composed together, is the same thing. In this way, people from all over the world can organize and work in a united way on their project. Yes, in short, a software house. Dreams I consider it very little game and a lot, a lot as a showcase in which to expose one's genius ... or one's madness, it doesn't matter, everyone can do it and personally I can't wait to integrate the possibility of using mouse and keyboard, what already confirmed, so as to interact perfectly with what we have on the screen since, in my opinion, with the pad and its motion sensor it is really difficult to be able to move well, which already improves a lot with the use of two Move. I have no problem however in saying that Dreams, summing up, is the best exclusive ever published on Playstation 4 and probably one of the most ambitious and particular works of the entire generation that is coming to an end. And I really hope that a conversion will also be made on Playstation 5!