DreamBreak (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 03.12.2017

Review for DreamBreak on PlayStation 4

An adventure title with light platforming, light gun play, and light story (really, light everything), DreamBreak follows Eugene, a lowly janitor, as he becomes embroiled in a government conspiracy by way of simply reporting a murder. While it's definitely a welcome addition to the PlayStation catalogue, it's also a style of gameplay for which fans don't have a wealth of options available to them. Sure, there's adventure games, but this sort of 2D action adventure doesn't have a lot of representation on the PS4, with perhaps the exception of Another World. Join Cubed3 and Eugene as he unclogs toilets, plays arcade games, and gets into some high octane gun fights. Okay, that last part was a lie, but still join Cubed3 on the review of DreamBreak.

DreamBreak is a very traditional adventure game, at least at first glance. You will move Eugene around, interact with things, either as puzzles or as usable items, and get involved in some slightly more intense gameplay. While the art style is extremely pretty, everything else available is merely passable, although some of it is downright bad. First of all, there's moving. Running and jumping both feel unnatural, as running occasionally gets messed up by accidentally hitting the wrong d-pad button, causing Eugene to stand still.

Screenshot for DreamBreak on PlayStation 4

Using the joystick can often result in the same problem, so it's just easier to stick to the d-pad, as is traditional in 2D games. Jumping brings the action to an absolute halt, as Eugene must stand still for a moment, then he jumps to the side, almost like how a toddler might jump over a doorway threshold. Fortunately, he jumps far; unfortunately, it's incorporated into some of the game's worst puzzles.

These range from environmental puzzles, where something is trying to kill you, to pipe dream-like puzzles, to vehicular sections. The environmental puzzles are merely acceptable, with some of them being quite clever (like some later ones involving a floating TV screen), to some more frustrating ones (like one involving the placement of blue...beakers, maybe?). The pipe-like puzzles are the game's staple ones, coming up multiple times throughout. These are never more or less than the last, with two kinds of puzzles involved - one involving electrical wires, and ones involving water pipes. Neither is really harder than the other, although the water pipes seem to require the whole board be cleared, while the wiring puzzles only requires creating a connection between the beginning and ending points.

Screenshot for DreamBreak on PlayStation 4

The only real mix up of the formula comes during the final puzzle, and it's a cheap mix up, killing you for failure, without telling you why… which leads to the final type, as well as the biggest flaw. The vehicles themselves aren't the flaw, per se - one Galaga-esque vehicle section is kind of fun, although a section where the player must hack police drones is genuinely obnoxious. No, the problem is merely made more obvious here. DreamBreak really doesn't teach you how to play anything. Yes, the triangle button displays a short tutorial, but that tutorial rarely explains things well enough to get the player through tougher sections. If one were to include on their list of pet peeves, "Tutorials that just repeat vague instructions over and over," these moments will definitely see the blood boil.

Thankfully, most of it is so humdrum and typical that it should be easy to figure out for people who have played this type of game before. Gunplay is painfully underwhelming, as all the player can do is shoot the opponent (slowly) and shield themselves from the opponent's shot. However, thanks to what is either an exploit or a poor design decision, the shield can be fired through, meaning it never has to be turned off. Thus, Eugene will never take damage, and this negates any of the tension this would cause otherwise.

Screenshot for DreamBreak on PlayStation 4

Is there anything good about this, then? What about the story? Well, it's kind of messy, and while it is occasionally funny, it never has a chance to really mature into anything memorable. You see, DreamBreak is really, really short. It's kind of offensive how short it is, honestly, and if it weren't for the awful controls it would be a deal breaker. Fortunately, this makes the gameplay a little more forgivable because this doesn't linger for too long. In turn, while you never really get the chance to learn anything very well, it doesn't matter because this will be over in less than two hours. Also, this includes multiple endings, but two of them are exactly the same, and the other is… well, it's the good ending. Why? Well, because it's much more enjoyable than the rest.

Screenshot for DreamBreak on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

DreamBreak fails to offer much because it's just so dull. Sure, the controls are bad for the most part, but that's made up for by some enjoyable, yet again, mostly boring gameplay. It never aims to be much more than a typical adventure game, and fails to even get that right thanks to its myriad of issues. Due to that, it really can't be recommended to anyone other than genre diehards, and that cousin of yours you're trying to trick out of his birthday money. "Bet you can't beat this game without throwing the controller." Don't take that bet!

Developer

Beatshapers

Publisher

Digerati Distribution

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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