“A deserted island…a lost man…memories of a fatal crash…a book written by a dying explorer.” Two years in the making, the highly anticipated Indie remake of the cult mod Dear Esther arrives on PC. Dear Esther immerses you in a stunningly realised world, a remote and desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides. As you step forwards, a voice begins to read fragments of a letter: "Dear Esther..." - and so begins a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years. Abandoning traditional gameplay for a pure story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses it’s beautiful environments with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption. Winner of 2012 IGF Excellence in Visual Art. Supported by Indie Fund.
A word of warning, this is definitely not for everyone, I can imagine someone downloading it thinking there would be a lot of action, but there is not.
The game contains breathtaking vistas and other sights, the visuals is absolutely astonishing. I first thought that this game would only run with 30 fps on my computer, but the game ran surprisingly well, I don't think I had a single (visible) framedrop.
If I had to give some criticism to the game, it would be the story and the way it is presented. It requires quite the English vocabulary, but not only that, the story is cut down to bits, and the game will read the bits as you go along, but they aren't directly connected to each other, so sometimes it just seems random. This may or may not be deliberate, so it is hardly a real criticism.
The question I have had was: "Is it worth the money?"
It takes around 75 minutes to complete for me. (note: I did not try to complete it as fast as i could, but I didn't see everything either). Dear Esther has some replayabilty as it is almost impossible to see everything first time around, there are some paths I have yet to follow.
The game is 8 €, so it's cheaper than the usual indie however it is also shorter than the usual indie game, but this gets balanced out by the fact that Dear Esther is 100 % all the time, it does not have it's bad moments.
All in all, I think it has been worth it, but I doubt that everyone will love it as much as I have. (and am having)
(Another note: I have played the mod, so I knew what I was going into, and I would recommend to people who are in doubt to go play the mod.)
Dear Esther is one of those games that pushes its identity strongly as an art form. An art form meant to encapsulate an idea rather than deliver an entertaining experience. I would compare this to the difference between moden and classical art, with Dear Esther being in the former category.
It focus exclusively on delivering atmosphere, but the immersion level of the mod can only go so far with just that. A barely coherent story and the lack of variety in gameplay will inevitably subtract from the overall austerity of the game.
The only revolutionary input for this game seems to be the fact that it's soley based on exploration, novelity derived from a lack of novelity(if that makes sense). The fact that the game has so little that you have to make more of what remains. Thankfully what you have left are beautifully detailed environments and exquisite voiceacting. But the incoherency of what has to be said only intrigues the brain in trying to figure out what the hell the damn narrorator is trying to make sense in the first place, instead of pondering the ideas he has left with us.
Dear Esther is not something I would pay for, but I would nevertheless play if I got the chance. Dear Esther is in every means a beautiful game, if you can even call it a game.
And amazing sounds.
"Dear Esther" stands as one of my all-time favorite game, (along with LBA2 ;)). Apart from the aesthetically pleasing side of "DE", with hindsight it became an enigma, that encounters an urge to decipher...
This game is amazing.
I played only one session and beat the game. It definitely is short, but the narrative is amazing. It confused me at first, and I am still wondering. I am not going to give spoilers, but this is a hell of a game. The storytelling is one that is not clear, but gives clues. I pieced together the information to figured out what happened, which makes this possibly the best story a game could have that I've played. It was very compelling and moving, and I got tears in my eyes when I first pieced it together.
The graphics aren't the best, but that does not ruin the atmosphere of the game. The only difference between this and the mod is the graphics and (I think) part of the ending. There was no extra voice-overs (from what I know).
The voice acting was great.
All in all, this is a much have. There is so much to learn in this, and I don't think I discovered them all. I just had a wonderful time with this game. Sure, this game isn't for all, but for those who are in love with story telling and some story puzzles and clues, it is an amazing "game".
I've already enjoyed the mod and so I had to buy the game. It took me 1-2 hours to play through and I guess it was the money worth. The visual is breath taking and that was the only negativ point about the mod. Now the project "Dear Esther" is quite perfect.
If you support these guys with buying their game, you'll put an example that quality should stand at the top of every video game. Maybe some big will recognize...
If you were a fan of the mod I would consider getting it. It has an obvious graphical upgrade and more dialogue. It's very much a remake.
If you havn't played the mod , I highly suggest playing this. This is particularly true for people who want some originality in games.
WARNING: There is very little gameplay. The focus is very poetic and metaphorical. <highly atmospheric.
9 / 10.
Jag älskar stämningen i det här spelet. Men som har diskuterats i otaliga recensioner är "spel" kanske inte rätt ord, men det får andra fundera över. Du följer ett ganska utstakat spår på en ö, tittar på omgivningarna och lyssnar till en berättelse som kanske har med spelaren att göra. Kanske är det man ser, eller det man hör, en metafor för det andra.
Ett spel i ordets rätta bemärkelse är det inte, det har sagts av flera som recenserat Dear Esther på nätet. Det är en upplevelse. Underhållning för de som tycker att Bioshock Infinite hade varit bättre om det varit mer som Myst och mindre av FPS. Man klarar spelet på en timme, och spelar man om det kommer man få se och höra samma saker. Kanske lägger man märke till någon ny detalj eller så, men i stort är som att se om en film.
Ett spel som appellerar mer till känslor och medkänsla än intelligens och logik. Medelpoängen 8,7 är nog för hög sett till hur pass annorlunda Dear Esther är. Förväntar man sig mer av spel och interaktion så blir man nog besviken och ger det ett lågt betyg.