REVIEW / DreamBreak

A short retro experience.

I didn’t know what to expect going into DreamBreak. I was hearing conflicting reports on what kind of game it was, some saying a point and click, some saying a platformer and others saying it was both? I really couldn’t get a solid report on the game and now having played it I can tell you with a complete understanding that it’s kind of neither.

DreamBreak is set an alternate version of the futuristic year 2013 where the soviet union is alive and well and the population of Russia is a subdued cyberpunk dystopian society where the government keeps a watchful eye on everything. You play as the unremarkable Eugene, who suddenly gets whisked away on a thrilling espionage adventure to fight against his oppressive government.One of the big positives for DreamBreak is its nostalgic pixelated art style reminiscent of games like Another World and King’s Quest. Thought these kinds of graphics might feel tired for some, it really suits the games 80’s feel and helps a lot in building its authentic vintage aesthetic. The music of DreamBreak also goes a long way for the 80’s tone, the synthy beats that follow you throughout the game definitely build up the atmosphere a hell of a lot and was a big plus for me when playing the game. Finally, I’d just like to mention here that the game is very cheap, sitting currently at £7.99 on the PS store (£6.39 for PS Plus members) and cheaper it seems everywhere else DreamBreak definitely isn’t going to bankrupt you.

The thing that got to me the most while playing DreamBreak is the controls; they’re slow, delayed and frustrating. I get the impression the controls are this way on purpose, maybe mimic the feel of playing a much older game, but to me, it really holds the game back. Certain sections of the game feel less fun and more annoying as you die for the 8th time because of the controls are just too slow. The story of DreamBreak, though certainly interesting, feels undeniably rushed. Things just seem to be happening out of nowhere and just as you’re beginning to understand what’s going on, you’re done and are off to the next mission. This problem is a symptom of the game being very very short, playtime being about two hours, it just seems like there was a lot of ambition for the story but not enough game to put it in.DreamBreak didn’t blow me away by any means but with its charming graphics and cheap price, I could definitely think of much worse ways to kill a couple of hours. So, if you’re looking for something short and sweet to play that won’t leave you feeling robbed DreamBreak may be the game for you.