DreamWeb (DOS)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Sep 25, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Katakis | カタキス
read more reviews for this game


What went wrong? You really don't know...

The Good

Empire Interactive has been known for creating simulation/strategy games, but I wasn't even aware that they also created great adventures such as DreamWeb, created in 1994 and developed by Creative Reality. Ryan, a bartender who is employed in the big city, has a dream in which he is transported to the DreamWeb. There, he is asked by the head keeper to be the “deliverer” and assassinate the seven people who are bent on destroying the DreamWeb.

The game's interface is a lot different to many adventure games. You see, rather than employing a first/third-person perspective, DreamWeb uses a top-down approach, similar to the likes of Grand Theft Auto. A square window at the bottom-left of the screen shows what everything on the screen looks like up close when the cursor is over it. What I like about this is that it is useful for finding very small objects that are hard to spot in normal view. I had a hard time finding small objects in the games that I have played so far.

You access the inventory by clicking on the picture of Ryan. There are 36 slots in which to store items that you have picked up. Some of them have a yellow W icon at the top-right corner of the slot, to indicate that Ryan is currently wearing the item (normally clothing.) As you may not know, Ryan is an asshole. He may look innocent at the start of the game, but if you place the sunglasses on him, he looks like one mean son-of-a-bitch. One of Ryan's watches can also be worn, but the time displayed on the watch is irrelevant to the completion of the game. The inventory also have a drop icon, which is useful because if you no longer want something or the inventory is full, you can drop one of your items just like that.

The atmosphere is similar to Rise of the Dragon. There are a lot of locations that Ryan can travel to, but no matter where you go, the place is dirty. You'll notice it when you go outdoors that it keeps raining all the time and rubbish is left on the ground. Indoors are a lot better, but you still have to put up with dirty apartments, dirty bathrooms in bars, and people who just don't want to know you. The amount of litter in this game is disgraceful. You would have thought that there is a bin every five meters, and all you had to do was pick it up and put it in there.

The thing that grabbed my attention is the music. It sets the mood of the game and describes what situation you are in. If you about to kill one of the seven people, for instance, the music is of high-impact, but if there is no danger coming your way, the music isn't quite as powerful. I love the music played when you select your next destination. As usual, CD-ROM users are treated to full speech, and the voices are well-done and the script is well thought-out. The bonus track included is sensational, and if you are a fan of excellent-composed pumping CD-Audio tracks, I suggest that you listen to it. It is totally unrelated to the game

The puzzles are slightly easy, and the solutions to most of them are found in the Diary of a (Mad?) Man that came with the game. It also serves as copy protection. If you happen to have a pirated version of DreamWeb, you will have no idea what Ryan's access code for his own apartment is, nor will you know the password for logging onto his computer. The diary is a good read anyway, as it contains information on Ryan's background and his relationship with women, plus some funny bits.

The Bad

You can pick up rubbish left on the street and place it in your inventory. Most of the rubbish serves no purpose, other than waste the available inventory slots. Solution: just don't bother picking up at all.

The game is quite violent. There is one scene where Ryan puts an axe to a guard at the beginning of the game. When you kill one of the seven people, the blue orb that appears from the bodies makes the situation worse. Later, Ryan holds up a crystal, which leaves a bloody mess behind. I don't have a problem with the violence, but there is one situation that I considered over-the-top. You see, Ryan encounters a woman with half of her body chewed off. The woman really begs for you to kill her, and you have to shoot her while she drags herself away from you. Violence against women is just not on.

The Bottom Line

In DreamWeb, you have to kill seven people who are going to destroy the DreamWeb. You find out where they are by talking to people and gaining information from the computer. Parts of the game rely on you to do some digging in the game's documentation. The graphics, music, and atmosphere is excellent. An adventure game that is definitely not for kids, DreamWeb has a fair dose of violence, whether it's against men or women. Sex plays a small role in the game as well. You must be 15 or over to play it.