Disney Dreamlight Valley Test on PC by jeuxvideo.com

Disney Dreamlight Valley Test on PC by jeuxvideo.com

Disney Dreamlight Valley Test on PC by jeuxvideo.com

Gameloft surprised everyone by announcing a Disney-style life simulator. The promise was promising for any fan of the universe started by this dear Walt: to live in an enchanted valley and befriend Mickey, Moana, Goofy or even Merlin. But is it really as magical as it sounds?

Preface

This test was done at the beginning of Disney Dreamlight Valley Early Access on PC. The game is set to evolve and improve over time and what we have tested is, in a sense, just a taste of the final game.

Dreamlight Valley is an enchanted place where the heroes of Disney films, of all generations, live together. But a terrible plague fell on this peaceful valley. The Oblivion came to corrupt Dreamlight Valley and its inhabitants, some of whom mysteriously flew away. But luckily the chosen one has arrived and will be able to use his powerful magic to ward off evil, bring the inhabitants back, make them happy, restore the beauty of the valley and, in the meantime, live a wonderful life there.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Disney’s Animal Crossing

In the realm of life simulation games, it’s hard to escape confrontation with giants like The Sims or Animal Crossing. And in the case of Dreamlight Valley, it’s necessarily the latter we think. It must be said that the basic gameplay is in all respects similar to that of the exclusive Nintendo. You are really in a very nice and colorful village that you will have to fill with new inhabitants (Minnie, Moana …). To do this, you will need in particular accumulate different resources that you can fish, collect, collect or mine. These hard earned resources can be sold specifically to expand your home, decorate it, or upgrade your valley. We also have a replacement for Tom Nook, played here by a perfect character for the role: this miser Scrooge.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

What Animal Crossing is also reminiscent of, of course, is the importance of customization. With plenty of furniture to buy in Scrooge’s shop (which changes daily), you have enough to build your own cozy little nest. Even better, you can style your character and his clothes to your liking. If the character creation system is obviously not as advanced as in The Sims 4, he is still surprisingly rich. Even more surprising it is the inclusiveness demonstrated by Gameloft. Pigment spots on the skin, hijab, bindi … Everyone (or almost everyone) can create a character in their image on Dreamlight Valley and it is quite rare to report this.

Let’s continue with the points in common with the real-time principle: game time moves at the same speed as in real life. We are then promised different routines depending on the time of day or night for the NPCs. Alas, things are actually a little different. Overall, NPCs move fairly randomly and have grown accustomed to staying awake most of the night. More generally, the latter struggle to act consistently with the environment and the weather, breaking the diving side a bit. Otherwise, the resources to be collected appear to be the same day and night. In addition, the plantations do not stop and can be harvested after only a few tens of minutes. This is certainly very practical for advancing in the game, but makes us question the relevance of real time.

On the other hand, Disney Dreamlight Valley has an undoubted advantage: speaks to both children and adults. Its principle makes it a perfect playground for children who will admire the beauty of this world and the presence of their favorite cartoon characters. On the other hand, it has second reading and ample possibilities that will delight adult Disney fans as well. For the others you risk losing all the magic of the universe that remains the main strength of the game. That was for the life simulation side. But that’s not the only thing Disney Dreamlight Valley has to offer. Hybrid, it offers an entire panoramic adventure that we will explore in the field.


An adventure game worthy of the films of our childhood?

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

We talked about it above: the world of Dreamlight Valley is corrupted by a demonic force called Oblivion. To find out what’s causing it, the game offers you everything a series of story missions to follow, especially with your guide, dear Merlin. Your goal will not only be to bring all the inhabitants of Dreamlight Valley back to life, but also to move Oblivion away to access new areas and thus restore the valley’s former grandeur. To do this, you will need to collect Dreamlight. This somewhat special currency is obtained by validating daily objectives and missions. The system is well done and the feeling of reward allows you to move forward without ever feeling frustrated.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Once the necessary amount has been cashed, you will be able to do so unlocks a new area to restore and explore (from the beach to the mountain, passing through the bayou). Over time, the world of Dreamlight Valley expands and becomes more and more fun to explore. Each biome is obviously different and full of new resources to mine, souvenirs and the like collectibles. The only negative note to note: the movements that become a bit long when you have to move between two distant areas that do not yet have a fast run.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?
Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Now let’s go back to the missions. There are therefore those concerning the story, but also others focused on each of the NPCs. Every Dreamlight Valley resident has their own problems. Mickey Mouse is desperate for Minnie, for example, while Rémi wants to run her restaurant. So, we end up with many coherent missions that give more depth and interest to the game, increasing its duration (although more or less infinite like all games in the genre). Unfortunately, all too often they come down to cooking a dish, crafting an object, or going back and forth from one character to another. You would have understood, Over time it gets a bit repetitive. Fortunately, it’s nice to get involved in the character intrigues that we all adore and that somehow reduce the daunting side.

Succeeding in these missions will allow you to level up, but also to develop the different characters. In Dreamlight Valley, the relationships you have with your neighbors are important. They allow you to unlock new items and new missions, but also to facilitate your collection of resources by completing it with the companion of your choice. Between missions, rides, giveaways and daily chats, there are many ways to quickly improve your relationship with Mickey and his cronies. Plus, you have the chance to experience an adventure in other worlds (Rémy’s kitchen, Moana’s island, etc.) and take home the characters you find there. Three in number for now, they should be more and more over time. This perspective offers good reason to return to the game on a regular basis. But it still needs to go beyond its many shortcomings.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Works in progress

As we said, Disney Dreamlight Valley has just launched in Early Access as we write these lines. And unfortunately it is all too good. While on PC the game is smooth, beautiful enough, and offers extremely short loading times, technically there is still some work to be done. Bugs are all too present in the game, forcing even the player to relaunch Disney Dreamlight Valley sometimes several times a day. There is enough to lose patience at this level, but that’s not all.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Collecting some resources can be particularly tedious. Therefore, sometimes you can chain a dozen missions without any problems, then find yourself stuck for a whole day because you are missing an impossible-to-find resource. Especially since the bubble system for fishing, for example, can prove to be a misleading clue. We believe the game needs to be perfected to this level in order not to be frustrating and discouraging some players. The kitchen, ubiquitous in the game, would also benefit from being spiced up with some gameplaylike Kingdom Hearts 3, in order not to fall into the box of the “redundant and mechanical task”.

Economic model

The game will be free-to-play at launch. However, early access is subject to a fee. As things stand, it is difficult to say which place the financial aspect will take when the game starts. A seasonal system is already active that allows you to get rewards (skins, furniture …) with the possibility of opting for a premium pass. For now, there’s no need to pay real money to validate that he already has enough in-game currency, but we suspect that will change when the game goes free-to-play.

More generally, the title suffers from some shortcomings here and there, especially in the sound environment. If the reworked versions of Disney music are a real pleasure to listen to at first, they are too few and therefore quickly become boring. Same problem for the official French dubbing which unfortunately is limited to a few phrases or onomatopoeias repeated in a loop, sometimes completely out of step with what is actually said. In general, the soundscape is too erratic, moving from sublime moments to deafening acoustic void. In short, there are excellent ideas but not yet sufficiently exploited. An observation that unfortunately we find on other aspects, from photos to energy management through dialogues …

Disney Dreamlight Valley: a serious contender for Animal Crossing?

Conclusion

Highlights

  • The enchanted atmosphere of Disney
  • Many coherent activities and missions …
  • Broad and inclusive customization
  • A good taste to come back
  • Good progression system

Weaknesses

  • Bugs, too many bugs
  • … but too repetitive
  • The environment seems too irregular
  • Real time not used
  • A collection of resources that are sometimes too frustrating

Disney Dreamlight Valley has a hybrid concept that works well. Pair it with the wonderful world of Disney and you have two very good reasons to immerse yourself in it every day. But Gameloft’s title is still under construction and this has something that ruins the experience (bugs, risky optimization, repetition, etc.). The foundations are good and promising, but Disney Dreamlight Valley still has some work to do to hopefully find a place alongside the greats. On the other hand, it has the potential and its evolution is therefore to be followed.

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