I want to start this off by saying THANK YOU to my good pal Moley. Without his support, this preview wouldn’t have been possible! YOU DA’ REAL MVP, BRAH!!!
So I’m here to confirm to all the doubters that yes, Dreams is a REAL game that really exists. After spending nearly forty minutes with it behind closed doors, The Brah is here to tell you that Media Molecule has something truly special on their hands.
Where to begin? Let’s flashback to PSX 2017 for a minute. I watched John Beech, Senior Principal Engineer at Media Molecule, present two Dreams ‘jam sessions’. These jam sessions consisted of John asking the crowd for our input in designing our game. It was a blast and sold me on the Dreams. Flashforward to my appointment, as chilling in a bean bag chair is John, eager to show off the game he’s been working on the past 7 years. I immediately felt at ease, eager to get THESE HANDS-ON with Dreams.
We started by picking our ‘imps’, the cute little puffs with antennas that are your on-screen avatar. Naturally, I choose the one with the cool shades. Off we went as I learned the basic controls of the game. Motion controls are your main controls as you navigate the UI of Dreams, so I hope you don’t mind them. We then jumped into the action to play a chapter from the three different storylines Media Molecule has for gamers. All three are derived from the mind of Art, which will all intersect at some point. You’ll play as Francis the bear and her partner Foxy. Point and click as you control Art. Then there will be some robo-adventures as D-bug. Each level helped me get familiar with the controls and feel of the game. How will all three of these stories connect? You’ll have to check the game out when it releases to find out. So for those of you who need that single-player goodness in your life, Dreams has one for you. PLUS everything you see in the SP is in the creation mode.
The real adventure began when we went to the Dreams creator mode. Ohhhh yes. The meat and potatoes of the game. The tools that will give gamer’s imaginations (almost) unlimited potential to create whatever they want. Music videos? Games? Movies? Dreams’ is giving you the ultimate choice to do what you want. We started as John choose a level that was simple enough. A grassy floating island. He quickly began manipulating it by adding huge rocks, which can be adjusted as big or small as you want. We soon had a nice sized level, with some huge mountains in the background to give it life. Soon there was a wooden-plank platforms for our hero to journey across. After that, we decided to spice it up. I chose one of the platforms, John hit record, and he told me to begin moving my controller up and down. He copied several of these shaky platforms so that there would be a slight challenge at the end of the stage as the platforms would begin moving then collapse into the abyss below. Did I mention he edited the camera so that it would pull away from my character, as to give it a dramatic effect as I crossed the platforms?? Did I mention how quick and EASY it was?? Sure, John has been working on the game for several years now so he clearly knows he was around the game editor, but everything looks so easy to learn, not to say that there won’t be a learning curve, but similar to LittleBigPlanet, there is a series of tutorials to help you along the way.
After our stage was ready to play, it was still missing something. MUSIC. We jumped into the music editor and before I knew it, we had crafted a song that combined my kazoo ‘skills’ along with a stock beat that would start at any point of our choosing as we played. Hell, you’re even given the tools to record your voice or instruments into the game so you could make an entire online album for people to check out online.
After adding our custom made song, John showed me how we could alter the look of the graphic fidelity. Soon the screen went from the crisp 4K power of a PS4 Pro to old-school PS1 on an old CRT TV image, along with some VHS blur on the top of the screen for added effect. Before I knew it, BRAHLANDIA was complete. The Brah was blown away. These creation tools are the REAL DEAL.
If that’s not enough for you, you can also create, play, and share the entire game in VR if you own the PlayStation VR headset!! At one point I told John that someone would create a game that would actually be a marriage proposal to their partner. He then told me about how he and his Wife used Dreams in VR to design how their wedding set-up and how close they were to being able to replicate it in real life. How stinking awesome is that??! Furthermore, think of how much content that brings to PSVR?? Dreams offers gamers ALL of the tools to bring their ideas to life in virtual reality. Insane.
John then went on to show other small games made by the Media Molecule staff in their spare time. One stage was “Give me a hug”. I was a little creature, arms out, looking for a hug. I chased other creatures, who would rather fall to their death than give me a warm embrace.
Another one was space flight simulator where I had to dock my ship to the space station. It was SUPER simy annnnnd I failed miserably on both of my tries. So much for my space ranger career.
One game, “Maintain eye contact” consisted of an eyeball with legs that walked towards the screen, activating musical notes along the way. It was more of a music video when it came down to it, but unique none the less.
One of my favorite games was a co-op game called “hammer time”. Our on-screen avatars were hammers this time, as our objective was to successfully smash in more nails or items than the other player. John won that round. Next round you had to knock items into the opposing player’s net. I won that round. The finale round? We were floating above the original stage on a platform made of puzzle pieces. The goal is to smash the pieces connected to your opponents part of the platform, sending them to their death. John made quick work of me. He was the champion of Hammer time. Or perhaps I let John win? Guess only The Brah knows the truth!
As my time with the Dreams to an end, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had just experienced something special. Media Molecule is giving gamers this amazing toolset to create whatever their mind can conjure up. This is also what intrigues me the most. What gamers will do with Dreams. What kind of adventures. What kind of worlds. What kind of stories. The success of the game will ultimately fall upon the PlayStation community and how they support, but I know the amazing minds of gamers are going to love and support Media Molecule’s newest gift to our imaginations.
If my words aren’t enough to convince you, then perhaps the beta planned for later this year will. Don’t miss it. I’m telling you Dreams is going to blow the PlayStation Nation away and I can’t freagin’ wait.