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Story

Dreamkiller follows the story of a psychiatrist by the name of Alice Drake, who can go inside her patients' dreams and cure what ails them by fighting off metaphorical monsters inside their minds. She does this by using a large amounts of guns that she has at her disposal. She also has special powers to aid her, powers like teleportation and pyrokinesis. 
 

Development

This game was developed by Mindware Studios and published by Aspyr. It was released in October 2009. Instead of using People Can Fly's PAIN engine, as used in Mindware's previous game, Painkiller: Overdose, Mindware decided to design their own in-house graphic engine for Dreamkiller.
 

Gameplay

The single player campaign takes players through the nightmares of Alice's patients. She helps them recover by fighting the manifestation of their fears and phobias. The game is divided into four chapters with connecting comic book style shorts used for narrative purposes. The game follows the old Doom philosophy of shooters and locks you in a room until you kill everything in it. The enemies and level design vary drastically depending on the patient's phobia. Enemies drop a random dreamcatcher on death that can be used to powerup one of Alice's abilities or help her recover some health.
 

The HUD

 Dreamkiller's HUD
 
  • Health 

    Alice starts each level with three lives. Alice’s overall health is represented by the Health bar on the lower left of the screen. Health is recovered after completing each arena or can be filled by obtaining Red health dreamcatchers. Dying removes one of three available lives, which are represented by the three drops of blood on the Health bar.

  • Experience

    Defeated opponents may drop Golden dreamcatchers when they are destroyed. These Golden dreamcatchers increase Alice’s Experience (bottom right progress bar) and upgrade her weapons. Once a full level of Experience is obtained each weapon’s appearance will change as it becomes more powerful. For example - the Dragon Grasp tattoo comes alive at max level. Experience can be increased three times to the ranks of bronze, silver, and gold.

  • Killing Spree

    As Alice kills opponents she fills the Killing Spree (top right bar). When it is totally filled Alice will enter Berserker rage allowing her to move faster, do more damage, and increase her health temporarily. The Berserker rage will last until the Killing Spree progress bar counts down to zero. Your weapon pack a bigger punch and reloads in half the time during this mode.

  • Concentration

    Concentration (top left bar) is used for some of Alice’s abilities such as Teleportation, the Dragon’s Grasp, and being in the subconscious world. Concentration replenishes over time and can be filled by obtaining Yellow concentration dreamcatchers.

 

Subconscious

Some problems reside deep within the patient's mind and Alice needs to enter their subconscious to take care of them. These enemies are colored in red and can only be harmed after Alice enters the subconscious phase through a portal. She can only stay there for a limited amount of time (governed by your concentration bar) and she starts to lose health after that.
 

Teleportation

Alice can teleport short distances to avoid enemies or avoid damaging grounds. She does so by projecting an image of herself running in a straight line and then teleporting to the location of that image.

Weapons

 Minigun
Alice's patients try to help her by providing random weapon spawns. Apart from the default Dragon's Grasp,  Alice can carry only a single weapon at a time, and all weapons are auto-pickup as you walk over them.  
 

Dragon's Grasp

  • Primary Fire: A flamethrower with very short range and medium damage 
  • Secondary Fire: A telekinetic attack which crushes the enemies. The telekinetic crush can be charged by holding down the alt fire button

Minigun

Hailstorm

  • Primary Fire: Shotgun with a very high range and extreme damage.The gun reloads after every shot
  • Secondary Fire: A bouncing blob that freezes any enemy it touches

Shock Therapy

  • Primary Fire: A constant lighting beam with medium range and medium damage
  • Secondary Fire: A slow moving blob of lightning with high damage and slow reload

Sunbeam

  •  Primary Fire: A constant sunbeam with light damage but very high range
  •  Secondary Fire: The gun shoots out "Happy Thoughts" in the form of a garden that explodes with light

Dream Cleaner

  •  Primary Fire: Grenade Launcher with high damage and a slow rate of fire
  •  Secondary Fire: A shockwave that knocks down any enemies near Alice
 

Multiplayer

Dreamkiller uses a p2p-based system for its four multiplayer modes. The game shipped with standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes. In addition, there is a Conquest mode where the team to capture the most "brains" wins.
 

Critical Reception

 Most reviews praised Dreamkiller for its premise but the game as a whole received an average response. The game has an aggregate score of 50 on metacritic. Following the poor sales on PC, Aspyr canceled the Xbox 360 version. 
 
Mindware is still actively updating the game and trying to fix some of the bugs and performance issues for the multiplayer.

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