Dreamkiller (2009)

Video Game  -  Fantasy | Horror  -  12 October 2009 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5 users  
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Take on the role of Alice Drake, a psychologist with the extraordinary ability to enter the minds of her patients and combat the ravenous foes haunting their dreams. Utilizing a host of ... See full summary »

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Title: Dreamkiller (Video Game 2009)

Dreamkiller (Video Game 2009) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Alice Drake (voice)
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Devourer / Institute Boss / Taxi Driver (voice) (as Rick Wasserman)
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Hell Angel / Rescue Worker (voice)
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Storyline

Take on the role of Alice Drake, a psychologist with the extraordinary ability to enter the minds of her patients and combat the ravenous foes haunting their dreams. Utilizing a host of fantastic weapons and her own special abilities, Alice confronts our common demons only to discover an even deeper menace reigns within. The ultimate showdown becomes inevitable between that which would torment and she who will protect, and only one force will prevail amidst a variety of dreamscapes as varied and bizarre as the human mind itself. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

M
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Release Date:

12 October 2009 (USA)  »

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Connections

References A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It is still fun to shoot monsters in the face!
10 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Before I played Dreamkiller I had read some rather negative comments about it around the net. These folk were complaining about the story not being completely stellar or that the game somehow doesn't fulfill the promise of the unique concept, blah, blah etc.

Of course, I didn't pay attention to the nay sayers since all I wanted from the game was some crazy "shoot-the-monsters-in-the-face" carnage something along the lines of my old favourite Painkiller . . . and guess what? That is precisely what I got! I feel with games like these the action should speak for itself, and the 'story' only need serves for the framework to setup the patented insane off-the-wall mayhem.

The original detail that sets Dreamkiller apart is that the games' protagonist is a psychologist, Doctor Alice Drake. She has a somewhat unorthodox method of curing acute phobias - by jumping into her patient's dreams, she can take on their inner demons head-on . . . I'm guessing the guy who came up with the scenario likely was a fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Anyhow, as you may imagine, in the game the patients' phobias serve as thematic backdrops for the level selection. The artistic designs of the backdrops and of course the nasties that inhabit them are shown with some creativity - the game kicks off with you battling spiders and other assorted twisted arachnids in a cobweb-ridden city then later you might be dealing with killer Toy Soldiers in an over-sized playpen or fighting with evil nomadic trees in a nightmarish forest.

The weapons in the game are pretty funky as well and most seem inspired in someway by the set in Painkiller and similarly they all are equipped with an alternate fire mode. The old favourite freezer shotgun combo makes a welcome appearance here so you can put the nasties on ice and proceed to shatter them into chunks which is always satisfying, or if that isn't working you could melt the suckers from the inside using the electricity gun. The size of your arsenal is a little disappointing since there is only a grand total of five guns in the game - if you don't include Alice's useless hand-flame attack, and you can only carry two weapons at once. It would seem the designers had the idea that limiting the weapons meant the player would have to think about the right combination of guns that worked out best against any given set of foes, giving rise to a strategic angle to the proceedings. But since the game always provides you with the necessary tools to get the job done in any given area, so the 'strategy' factor is rendered a bit moot since you don't have to be concerned about which guns you take with you through the next checkpoint.

There are some other aspects of the game that are a bit different, for instance Alice has the ability to teleport - not with total freedom to beam anywhere mind, but she can 'ghost-run' to adjacent places to quickly get out of sticky situations. Doing this uses up Mana energy, so you can't just keep using it with abandon. Another area where the Mana comes into play is some enemies are in a different realm than you are, evidently in the patients' subconscious mind - these nasties appear wrapped in a flaming-red cloak. In order to deal with this brand of pest, Alice has to pass through a Portal where they then become vulnerable to her attacks. However, just being in this 'subconscious' plain of existence drains her energy, so it becomes necessary to exit to the normal dream world using another Portal, and so on . . . I think you get the idea. Just about all of the sub-Guardian battles work on this same routine, and the ongoing principle is "if you cut off the snakes' head the body dies", i.e. kill the big boss and all the other little pests subsequently fall in line. Even though the Portals seem like Dreamkiller's big drawcard, there are other scenarios like for instance one level takes you through a creepy asylum where you have to destroy numerous 'evil beds' that perpetually spawn countless zombies in straight-jackets, and that bit is pretty darn crazy! There weren't too many negative factors for me with this game because I love the formula. I guess like I mentioned earlier there aren't that many different ways to toast the nasties because of the modest set of weapons, and the Boss encounters could have been more inventive since all the 'puzzles' were cloned from either Kiss Psycho Circus or Serious Sam. Apart from that, the fact there is no in-game music hurts a bit since a few Heavy Metal tunes could have livened things up a lot more but instead there are only ambient howls and screams.

In closing, I definitely wouldn't turn anyone away from Dreamkiller. If you like the old-school style of running around like a loony blasting the hoards this is a solid option. I played through on the 'Insanity' difficulty, and got at least twenty hours out of the game and my hands are still aching as I type this, so if you are looking for a solid challenge you may want to go the same route. In the end it is no Painkiller beater, but if you have played the rest and still want more this will definitely oblige in scratching the itch. I give it a 7/10


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