29th of Mage, Birthday
I have decided to return to the temple of Aggripa. It has been far too long since my last visit, must be almost over five years by now since the last time I retraced Nemesis’ steps. As always I read Bivotar’s journal while I was waiting for the temple doors to open. This booklet seems like an ancient relic in itself, for long gone are the days when every game told a good part of its story with actual items you could touch and feel. And maybe that’s exactly why it did not fail to set me in the proper mood for the journey ahead.
With its explicit illustration of madness, DreamWeb is clearly not thematically in line with the mainstream trend, even though bloody visuals about serial killers are quite traditional in the film industry. On this matter, DreamWeb purposely allows the player to choose whether Ryan is really just a brutal murderer or the sacred tool for saving humanity.
The desolate state of Ryan's psyche is expressed in his diary entitled: "Diaries of a (Mad?)Man", which is included with the game in printed form. Within the setting of a dystopian metropolis of the cyberpunk age, he is confronted with a call for contract killings. The perhaps only imaginary guardians of the thousands of years old DreamWeb themselves would have chosen Ryan to save the world from destruction. In the course of the game, he learns from them that the souls of deceased people return to a reservoir of souls on hidden pathways of the DreamWeb. Evil forces have taken possession of 7 people in the real world, threatening to negatively affect that sacred well of souls. The elimination of these enemies is in Ryan's hands.
This might as well be called a review of the reviews of this particular game, seeing that it still seems to provoke quite an emotional reaction with many of those people who care enough to actually write something about it down. Apparently, it caused quite a stir in North America when it was first released, leading up to parliamentary hearings about moral standards in video games – that getting regularly ridiculed in most of said retrospective reviews.