Dreams provides players with a toolset with which to make more or less anything they please, but as with any creative medium, a blank canvas can be the most daunting thing of all. It's why one of the game's best ongoing features is the community jam, which provides everyone with a theme, and a deadline to make something that fits the brief. It gives you a starting point, which sometimes is all you need. Themed events build from this idea, providing users with a core concept and some basic templates. The end results of these collaborative efforts are some of the best parts of Dreams, and that's again proven to be the case with All Hallows' Dreams: Ghost Train.
Live in the game right now, this new, Halloween-themed event is another joint work between developer Media Molecule and the game's dedicated community. Users have created some spooky treats and the studio has sewn it all together in a cohesive and engaging way.
You arrive at Horror Junction, a small area that sets the tone for the rest of the event. Here, the inhabitant of a caravan informs you they've been transformed into a large spider, and it's up to you to discover how to break the curse. It's simple, but the task provides a purpose to the whole thing, and promises some spooky Imps as rewards, giving you some motivation to explore the event in search of clues.
At the junction, you can change your avatar between six creepily cute characters. They're all great, but our favourite is the zombie, who's brain not only has a face all its own, but it bobs up and down as you run about, which is just delightful. You'll also see the Carnival of Curiosities, which is the gateway to the remainder of the event.
Before we get onto the community's efforts, it should be noted how wonderful Media Molecule's work on the hub world is. The carnival is an awesome area, balancing spookiness with a family-friendly tone perfectly. The visual style and music in particular combine to create a fun atmosphere that has just the right level of creepiness in the mix. It's a space you'll just want to soak in.
A pair of tents contain some neat mini-games to enjoy while you're there, too. On the left are some targets to shoot — good practice for what's to come — and on the right you'll find some more involved challenges. A pinball machine, Halloween arcade game, claw crane, and strength test all play how you'd expect, and while they might not hold your attention for hours, they're well made and fun distractions from the main event.
The Lostsleep Gardens are where you'll find the first of the event's community creations, in the form of sculpted pumpkins and custom scarecrows. It's fun walking through each area and taking a look at all of these, which range from hilarious and adorable to impressive and genuinely creepy. Everyone has their own spin on the humble pumpkin and scarecrow, and it's great to see them all on display.
The main attraction is the titular Ghost Train, of course. Split into two trains accessed from the carnival, it's in these on-rails rides where the community really flexes its muscles. After choosing a track, you'll go through a series of user-made areas one after the other. Many will have targets to shoot with your Imp as you pass through, while some are purely an audiovisual ride. While the quality of each space naturally varies, overall we're left very impressed.
You might be passing through a spooky graveyard one minute, and the next you could be descending into a fiery pit filled with cutesy spiders. Some creators have turned the shooting gallery gameplay into a rhythm shooter, while others have used the ghost train to tell creepy stories. One even recounts the grisly tale of Burke and Hare. The variety, as always, is fantastic, but every part of the two rides is fun to go through. Full of great comedic moments as well as some super creepy creations, it's a well-balanced experience the community can be proud of.
Best of all is that All Hallows' Dreams: Ghost Train is super-accessible. It's currently included in the ever-shifting Dreams free demo, so you don't even need to own the full game to give it a look. Fans of PlayStation VR will be pleased to know that it's mostly playable with Sony's headset as well, if you want to really immerse yourself in the scares. If you're looking to get into the Halloween spirit, are curious how Dreams is coming along, or both, we can't really recommend Ghost Train enough.
Have you played All Hallows' Dreams: Ghost Train yet? Will you be checking it out on PS5, PS4, and PSVR this month? Tickets please in the comments section below.
This looks fantastic. I wish I had the time to get competent at the creation side of Dreams, but for now I’m happy to remain someone who enjoys the talent and creativity of others. I’m just glad that they keep having events like this that pull me back in.
Is this a limited time event or will it be available going forward?
Dreams is a delight. I have spent many hours playing other players creations and making some of my own. Enough to earn the platinum and then some. But I think Mm should leave the cresting to the players and start a new adventure on the PS5.
@Rob_230 All these events stick around, there’s no time limit on the event itself. There is a small window for the Imp rewards though. If you want these, play between now and the 1st Nov
Thanks. Some day I am going to boot it up again. Of course some day I am going to do a lot of things again.
Just imagine if Dreams had multiplayer and you could see other players roaming around inside these events and festivals. Such a lost opportunity.
Dreams has got to be the most underrated and underappreciated title of this era.
@GarySan I must admit, I was running around in the hub thinking much the same thing. Hopefully, some form of online multiplayer will come to the game one day!
I'll have to pop my disc back in. Hopefully I didn't delete the app off my ps5
Can you access multiple horror creations in a row from the event itself or just by dream surfing? I might do a little bit of a Horror run on the 31st
It be great if Dreams went to PS+ for November.
@Quintumply Honestly, as an long time dreams advocate and fan, the fact that the game still doesn't have multiplayer is massively stunting it's growth. They'll need to do a soft re-launch when they finally add it so that it doesn't just fly under the radar, and they'll need to have some in house multiplayer games ready to go.
@AK4tywill Online multiplayer would be a great feature, no question. On the Dreams Trello board, it's listed riiight at the bottom of the 'In the Works' column. As much as it would be wonderful to have the functionality, I wouldn't expect it for a good while yet.
@Quintumply I had no idea they had a Trello board but having now checked it out, that's really great. I would personally not have a problem with MM taking their time but as a longtime PlayStation fan I have this ingrained anxiety from Sony shutting down some of my favourite studios despite relative financial and critical success (Sony Liverpool, Evolution etc.).
I think that may be where a lot the fan desire for Dreams to become 'a hit' stems from. It may well be that Dreams is meant to be more of a game with a small dedicated community, a cult hit that more than adequately satisfies a particular type of gamer, and I would be happy to let it be that, but concern over Sony's ambitions and expectations creates this urge for it to expand in more mainstream ways, to get multiplayer, add a ranking system, grab a bit of the 'Fall Guys', 'Among Us' Roblox' crowd with a few viral games and youtuber attention.
I believe Media Molecule have built something more than capable of accommodating that, and early last year it did garner some promising internet attention, though it was fleeting. At the core I just hope for the continuation of Media Molecule and all that they do. They are one of my favourite teams and, in my opinion, one of the best and most daring, creative developers around.
@AK4tywill Yeah, I generally agree with what you're saying. It should be remembered that Sony and MM have a seriously long-term plan for Dreams, I recall Shuhei Yoshida calling it a 10-year project, so it's far from done yet.
Looks great time to dive back in to dreams!
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