A deserted island... a lost man... memories of a fatal crash... a book written by a dying explorer. Dear Esther is a ghost story told using first-person gaming technologies. Rather than traditional gameplay, the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly triggered by moving around the environments, making every telling unique. Features a stunning, specially commissioned soundtrack. Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it's because it may just be all a delusion. What is the significance of the aerial - What happened on the motorway - is the island real or imagined - who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here? The answers are out there, on the lost beach and the tunnels under the island. Or then again, they may just not be, after all...
Lewis Denby recently wrote a piece about Dear Esther which sums up the mods purpose quite nicely.
Posted by Henley on May 17th, 2009
Lewis Denby the General Editor of Resolution Magazine recently wrote a piece for Rock, Paper Shotgun all about the famed experimental mod Dear Esther. Rather then review the mod or give his impressions on the mod as a whole Lewis describes, in depth, just how effective Dear Esther is at creating a narrative that is so uniquely different it went as far to change the way he perceives story telling in games today.
Lewis_Denby wrote:Some people will tell you it’s not a game. Depending on your definitions, maybe it isn’t. You play as… well, that’s never revealed, and since it’s all in uninterrupted first-person, you’ve no way of finding out. During your time on what initially appears to be a remote Hebridean island, a disembodied voice will read fragments of a series of letters, written to a woman named Esther who we’re never introduced to. And you’ll explore, climbing higher and higher up the mountain in the centre, piecing together the proverbial puzzle and trying to establish, often in vain, just what this place is.
Dear Esther really is a tough mod to describe, let alone write about but Lewis really did a fantastic job, hitting the nail on the head with his article. In the process presenting the mod to a new potentinal audience, generating just over 3000 new visits to the Dear Esther profile which doubled the total downloads for the mod. If you have not already read the article in question make sure you do, hopefully you will agree with his words if you have played Dear Esther already, if not it could sway you to give it a go! You can find his article here.