“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.
It's interesting. I don't realy like it as a game, but as a kind of interactive storytelling-experiment it's quite exciting. Though I waited and ached for something to happen in the beginning, I was quite pleased by the atmosphere, which is kind of spooky sometimes.
Dear Esther surprised me. When I first heard news of it and what it was about, I partialy knew what to expect. Looking at some of the screenshots I could see that it had amazing visuals and a very somber atmosphere, which is what I like. To some people, Dear Esther isn't a normal game, but more like an experience. Rather than having an objective or some kind of enemy to defeat, Dear Esther tells a story as you walk through the game, and that's it.
Dear Esther has a deep feeling of sorrow and regret. The melancholy story and gloomy atmosphere go along perfectly with each other. It starts off with the character looking for answers, looking for way to be with what he once lost. As the story progresses, he talks of people from his past, jumping from one story to the others. There's a great amount of abiguity, forcing you to try and piece together the story yourself, but that's part of what gives this game it's charm.
For me, Dear Esther truely is a unique game, a real masterpiece. Dear Esther surprised me because I didn't expect such an amazing and beautiful experience to come with it. Definitely one of, and maybe even my favorite game of all time.
I like it when games dare to be different. I liked Penumbra, and I liked Amnesia even more; those games struck a nice balance with atmosphere and gameplay while being different from almost everything I had played before. This game, however, offers no such balance since it abandoned any semblance of gameplay altogether. It's been said here by other reviewers and I'll say it again, just to reinforce the notion: there is no interactivity to speak of and no real gameplay whatsoever. There are no meaningful choices to make, no consequences, no inventory to manage, no characters to interact with, no enemies to defeat or evade, no objectives to complete; you can't even control when your flashlight turns on and off (this feature is automanaged for you as you enter and leave unlit areas). It is a game that dared to be so different that it actually stopped being a game. Moving on, I don't want to obsess over what Dear Esther IS NOT this whole review, so I will talk about what it IS. As others here have pointed out, it is simply a different way of telling a story... a visual metaphor, if you will. In my opinion, it is an unsuccessful way of telling a story, and I wont be paying for any other "games" that may appear in this "genre". As a game, story, and movie respectively, it was boring and un-entertaining. Dear Esther's soundtrack is quite good, and it is visually is nice to look at, especially in the caves chapter; I will award a couple points for those qualities, even though I want to give it a flat zero. I'll award one more point to the fact that the developers had the balls think out side the box... in fact, they stepped outside the box, picked it up, folded it, put it in the recycle bin, went to the nearest Blockbuster Video and rented What Dreams May Come. So that's it, a generous 3 out of 10.
Absolutely an amazingly beautiful game. It very efficiently and easily shows off the beauty of the Source Engine and what can be done with it.
A definite change of pace. Great to play on a day or night where you don't want intense FPS action, babbling nimrods online in other games, or you just want to try something out of the ordinary -- Dear Esther is the perfect game for such times.
Definitely worth the price of admission, even more of a steal if you get it on sale.
Wonderful, marvelous, beautiful... I can't find the proper words to describe this... Game? No, not really - it's more like an interactive book or a movie. But it's awesome, no doubts about it.
Hint: if you liked 'Donnie Darko' or similar movies then get this & play ASAP!!!
I won't re-hash what others have said RE: Dear Esther. How you experience the game will be unique to you. What I CAN say is that for myself, Dear Esther has been an experience like no other: I found it by turns calming, eerie and quiet - the perfect alternative to first-person shooters and other violent computer games. If you're willing to keep an open mind about what a PC game "should" be, and you want to unwind, I recommend Dear Esther.