What Dreams lacked in showing of its creation suite it more than made up by the sheer amount of variety with the custom games that I played in the demo that was on display at the BGS Sony show floor.
Media Molecule is best known for LittleBigPlanet and the heaps of user-created content that have sprung from those games in a decade or so since the first one was released on the PlayStation 3. Dreams feels like the next logical step, a sensory experience that makes use of the power behind the current Sony platform in ways that Sackboy’s two dimensional nature just wouldn’t be able to handle.
There were a handful of minigames available to play in the demo, and out of that bunch, I came out most impressed by a spaceship shooter that looked like it could’ve been a full-blown AAA PlayStation 2 game souped up to look like a current gen title, with simpler graphics, under a sheet of paint and visual effects. There was another one that played like a more traditional side scrolling overhead shooter that carried the same retro aesthetic that played pretty tightly.
Outside of those, the other game that felt pretty good to play was a two-player competitive balloon popping minigame where each player controlled a little hammer with googly eyes, and had to pop the other’s balloons before time ran out. The characters looked extremely cute and the action felt pretty frenetic, even if the game was at its core very simple. Simpleness permeated to another one of these demo creations, a 2D platformer that played a lot like Rayman, where I took command of a cartoony human exploring a forest environment, with honestly little to do but jump and avoid obstacles.
The thing that I really wanted to see in Dreams were its creation tools, but in the end, trying these examples of what could come out of its suite proved that, even though these were probably made by the people developing Dreams, there’s a ton of potential to what will be put into reality by the public. And if LBP is any indication of just how open-ended Media Molecule’s games are, there’s a lot going for Dreams, as its name suggests.
Dreams will be coming out exclusively for PlayStation 4 sometime next year.