As a graphic adventure game, DreamWeb ranks near the top in terms of atmosphere seen and felt in most games of the genre. To get the most ethereal experience when playing this one, turn off all the lights, play at night and with earphones on if possible. It's sure to creep you out on occasion. The storyline is dark as is the environmental vibes the game exudes. As the main character Ryan you will be called upon to perform some unsavory acts which will have you shuddering if you're a peace-loving, law-abiding citizen. Seriously, for those with queasy stomachs and an aversion to violent murderous acts, you may want to stay clear of DreamWeb. Even though Ryan has noble intentions and the ultimate well-being of the citizenry as a foundation for his actions, it still doesn't make his occasional cold-blooded murders/assassinations any less disturbing. Make no mistake, the folks at Creative Reality didn't skimp on the reality part.
The graphics in DreamWeb are very well done and portray a nearly perfect backdrop for this dark tale. That coupled with the eerie and mood-inducing musical score makes for an impressive mix of those salient points. Despite the high marks for presentation, the game does have a couple of areas that might be considered minor drawbacks. One is the lack of any really hard puzzles to solve. Most of them that you encounter can be figured out without too much sweat because of the obvious placement of objects in the environment and with the zoom mode available they're not terribly difficult to locate. If there is a specific complaint here, it's the fact that there is an overabundance of items available for pick-up yet very few of them have anything to do with completion of your tasks, so an unnecessary complication is winnowing out those items that are useful from those that aren't. A second minor complaint has to do with the length of the game. It seems that just as you really get involved in the story, it's over. In reality, it's a bit longer than that but dedicated players won't take more than a couple of days at most to finish DreamWeb. Even so, by the time you finish this one you'll be immersed in the struggle to stop a sadistic serial killer as well as six other powerful and deadly foes.
Other than those minor gripes, DreamWeb is a worthy entry in the graphic adventure arena. Game play is smooth and if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a short trip into this sinister world should be sufficient. The predominant top down or overhead view is used very effectively and the zoom-in close-up option is a nice touch. This game drips with futuristic dark vistas complemented by an equally ominous tale of decadence and corruption. You'll find many games with better overall graphics but few with the intensity of DreamWeb.
Graphics: Not the greatest in the world but definitely geared toward depicting this dark, foreboding world. One of the more atmospheric games in the genre.
Sound: Soundtrack is right on track and complements game play beautifully. Sound effects can be eerily realistic and ambient sounds are creepy.
Enjoyment: Only complaint is the too short length of the game and the lack of difficult puzzles. The story is strong enough and bizarre enough to capture the imagination while playing. A worthwhile experience.
Replay Value: Some games you might like to replay just because of the "feel" and immersive game play. DreamWeb may be one of them.
Ryan, a bartender from a dystopian future can't sleep peacefully for months. His nights are sequences of nightmares and strange dreams, days with frequent black-outs with strange visions, until one night a figure in monk attire appears to him, and tells him the story of the seven evil ones, uniting to destroy to Dreamweb, the only barrier between the world and darkness. The monk makes a proposition: Ryan becomes the deliverer: the one who would keep the Dreamweb safe by killing those who try to destroy it.
Descending into paranoia and just wanting dreams to stop, Ryan accepts the mission, then wakes up in a puddle of cold sweat, next to his beloved girlfriend in her house, and late for work. Again.
DreamWeb is a top-down adventure game set in a gritty futuristic/dystopian city. Each location takes only a small portion of the screen without panning (except an optional small zoom window in the corner that follows the cursor), with the player interacting with objects and people by simply clicking them. Ryan has a limited inventory space, and as a lot of objects can be picked up (many without any use), the player must rationalize what might be useful and just filler. Dialogue is straight forward, with no options, but still required to advance in the game (to find new locations, for instance). In situations where many adventure games often feature an indirect approach to solve a problem, Ryan often faces himself with situations where it's "killed or be killed", which result in deaths (sometimes of innocents).
The story isn't much developed inside the game, but the original release of the game included Diary Of a (Mad?) Man, a 40-page diary telling the descent of Ryan into madness, or his destiny, written by Stephen Marley provides a complete background to the events leading to the start of the game.
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