Be still, my beating heart [Immediately dies, emerges as a ghost]. Ugh, jeez, not that still. I hate it when this happens. Writing about games is so tedious when your ectoplasmic digits keep phasing through the keyboard. But I will press on, because Dream sounds utterly magnificent - thus the desire for my heart to slow its technical-metal-esque pounding ever so slightly (jeez). In a nutshell, it's Dear Esther's narrator-driven environmental story married to a Deus-Ex-inspired brand of non-linearity. Better still, the focus is on exploring dreams of both otherworldly beauty and inexplicable terror. It looks to be coming along quite nicely. You may as well at least do me the kindness of watching a trailer, seeing as I'm now doomed to haunt this post until my anguished soul finds peace.
Dream sees you wandering the labyrinthine mind mazes of Howard Phillips, a young graduate who's having trouble seizing control of his life and his thoughts. Dreams become his obsession, especially in the wake of his uncle's untimely death. But what does that mean for you? Well, pretty much this:
"In Dream you’ll run around a vast range of environments and listen as Howard tries to relate his surroundings to his life and future. There will be a lot of puzzles to solve ranging from the straight forward all the way through to point and click adventure style lateral thinking problems. There will also be horror segments and nightmares that create a strong contrast with the lovely dream worlds Howard usually inhabits."
All the while, you'll collect various items that allow you to access all sorts of hidden areas and other locations off the beaten path. Depending on how much you explore, Howard's story will take a number of different twists and turns en route to multiple different endings.
Excitingly, Dream's Steam Early Access alpha release is right around the corner. You'll be able to get lost in its whispering valleys beginning August 13th, which is next week. It sounds exceedingly ambitious, so I can't help but worry that it won't quite be able to grasp ahold of its lofty goals. I am, however, hopeful, because the concept sounds great. Did anybody try it out during one of the earlier alphas? If so, what'd you think?