Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Preview: Dream Killer

3:00 PM on 06.29.2009 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

Mindware Studios, the creators of Painkiller Overdose, are coming out with a new first person shooter game called Dream Killer. The game stars Alice Drake, a psychiatrist who uses special abilities to actually dive into her patient's minds in order to treat their mental illnesses.

When I saw Dream Killer in action last week, it felt like it was a combination of Psychonauts, BioShock and Doom. Three great games, but does combining those three concepts into one work? Find out after the break. 

Dream Killer (Xbox 360 [Previewed -- Hands-off], PC)
Developer: Mindware Studios

Publisher: Aspyr
To be released: October, 2009

The game follows Alice Drake, a psychiatrist who can go into her patient's minds to help cure their disturbed minds. In the demo I saw, Alice went into the mind of a patient suffering from maniaphobia, the fear of going insane. Since you'll be going into the mind of different people in the course of the 12 levels, each level will have a unique look and feel to it. The monsters you'll encounter will also be unique to each mind. 

As you play through the game, Alice will figure out that there is something extremely wrong with some of the minds she tries to heal. Some of them really shouldn't be that messed up. Alice learns that there's an outside sinister force at work preying on these people that she must confront. There should be a good amount of cutscense and story in Dream Killer, although I didn't see any during my preview. Alice did speak during combat at certain points to narrate what was going on.

Alice has a few other tricks that she uses to fight for her patients sanity. She can use pyrokinesis to shoot flames out of their hands. She can use telekinesis to pick up things or push things out of the way. Her most unique ability though is her teleportation ability. When using teleportation, a green silhouette of Alice sprints forward to wherever the player is looking at. Once you let go of the teleport button, Alice will appear where her silhouette ended up. You can't teleport through walls, but you can through enemies.

The patient's subconscious also helps out Alice by providing her with really over the top weapons to use. The first gun Alice gets is a giant chaingun  the one in the first picture up top) that also doubles as a grenade launcher. You can only carry one gun at a time, but you get a secondary weapon attachment and infinite ammo with every gun. That totally makes sense since you're technically inside someone's head. You shouldn't need ammo. Granted, it makes about as much sense as a woman with super natural powers that can dive into her patient's mind and fight monsters created out of the patient's fears ... Some of the stronger weapons have a slow reload to balance out the infinite ammo perk.

The enemies will all have a unique look and feel to them based on the patient's disease. In this level, I saw a lot of enemies with steal cages covering their head and gargoyle looking creatures. When I say a lot, I really mean a lot. Dream Killer uses arena based combat so you'll get flooded with enemies and won't be able to move to the next area until every single enemy is killed. Killing these monsters heals your patient's mind and also nets you some rewards. Monsters will drop a couple of different types of dream catchers that will either give you health or experience points. 

The HUD is made up of four energy sources. On the top left, you have your energy meter for your PK, TK and teleportation special abilities. The meter drains differently for each power but recharges over time. The top right is your kill meter. If you kill so many monsters within a certain amount of time, Alice will go into Berserk mode. She'll move faster, deal more damage and everything looks like a TV channel that's getting no signal. On the bottom right is your experience meter. Gaining experience will let you upgrade your weapons to three different levels. On the bottom left you have your health meter. It felt like spreading out the meters took up too much screen real estate. All of the meters could have easily been positioned in one spot rather than the four corners.

I didn't get hands-on with Dream Killer so I can't say how good the controls were. There looks like there's going to be a lot of action in the game, but the fact that you have to kill swarms of monsters before moving on might turn some people off. Plus, seeing the same monster over and over was getting old fast.

Visually, the game looked really hot and reminded me a lot of BioShock's look. There were some issues here and there, but the build was nearly in Alpha stages. Since you're jumping from mind to mind, we should expect a lot of unique level designs. At one part in the level I saw, there was some wallpaper of a cat-human creature in a tuxedo about to eat a child it was holding. Priceless. 

There's a lot going for Dream Killer. It has a great visual style, it could potentially have a really great engaging story and I just love the fact that the main character is a female. When was the last time we saw that? (Portal doesn't count because that more of a puzzle game and Perfect Dark Zero doesn't count because that was just a horrible game.)

The only negative things I took away from the preview were the unintuitive HUD and the repetitive feel of the monsters. 

Dream Killer has a lot of potential and I'm definitely looking forward to the game when it's released this October. 

Photo Gallery: (5 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Bought FF Explorers and downloaded Soul Sacrifice Delta last night. SSD is faring better than FFEx so far. What is it about this genre that makes SE go to crap on lore and world building? They're usually great at it. Also no 3D :/
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Yeah buddy!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Isnt it better to ignore someone than post nasty stuff in their quickpost/blog comments? I hope so! Discuss this upcoming site feature here
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I've decided to take my first big foray into creating original music! For my first venture, I did up some tracks heavily-inspired by Persona 3. I plan on making videos of them when they're 100% complete. Link in the comments.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Ahhh GameStop demo... Now I want Street Fighter...
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Don't have a date for V-Day weekend? Why not fill that void in your life by making a Super Mario Maker Level for this month's Dtoid Designs Contest? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CJ+Andriessen/dtoid-designs-the-wacky-wiggler-challenge-338301.phtml
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So uh, my dream was interesting. Travel somewhere to get furniture, protests going on, police lock us behind a gate so we go round and blow up their car to escape. Now apocalypse time with city on fire and zombies and then I get a girlfriend.Quite varied!
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington last night. It got especially good once John Goodman appeared and it turned into a sort of fun, surrealistic drug comedy. But then the ending undid every bit of enjoyment it gave me up to that point.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Putting together the Valentines Day edition of Gaming's Beautiful People and finding it surprisingly hard - ooer, missus etc - to find a male couple to put in the list. Any suggestions? All I can seem to find is the guards from Undertale.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
The story in Destiny seem kind of crummy. I feel like I'm missing something here. It doesn't really click. Taken King however seems pretty good though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know how after years and years of constant truckin' Truckers are known to get one permanently sunburned arm?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Quick note for Soul Sacrifice Delta: Sony designed it weirdly, and so while most of the updates should come in by downloading the newest update, other stuff you might not get unless you hit this on the main menu. Don't miss out!
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
Getting my Ninja on for a selfie in the Bathroom for the contest:
Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -