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...

Report article RSS Feed Touched By The Hand Of Mod: Dear Esther

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.

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INtense! Staff
INtense! May 17 2009, 11:56am says:

A fine piece, after all - everyones motivation for modding is different

0 votes   reply to comment
ben72227
ben72227 May 17 2009, 2:13pm says:

Dear Esther was one of the most creative mods I've played so far.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sbnewsom
sbnewsom May 17 2009, 2:33pm says:

Wow, nice piece. I just realized that this mod was one of those ones in which I wanted to play, but forgot to. I guess its time to try it out!

+1 vote     reply to comment
LoneWolf6:16
LoneWolf6:16 May 17 2009, 7:54pm replied:

Same with me. I always meant to play it when it first came out but it got put on the back burner behind other mods. I plan on playing it tonight though, as soon as it gets dark. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kastanok
Kastanok May 17 2009, 3:28pm says:

And it brought an old hand like me back to Dear Esther, to enjoy it all over again :) And now I know about the re-make (or whatever you want to call it) and am following the progress on Robert Briscoe's blog - so score!

0 votes     reply to comment
Hendrix
Hendrix May 17 2009, 5:17pm says:

a beautiful mod.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Otreum
Otreum May 18 2009, 12:23am says:

When does the mod actually become interesting, because I got bored of walking and listening to narrative after a few mins, then I kept walking around for another 10mins listening to more narrative when suddenly....I stumble upon a cave....with more narrative :S
The cave was the only thing I could find that seemed important, yet there was nowhere to go inside.
What is the purpose of this mod, the narrative is well spoken, but the gameplay literally brought tears to my eyes from boredom, what am I missing here that all of you seem to love so much?

+2 votes     reply to comment
johnnoz
johnnoz May 18 2009, 2:59am replied:

*sigh* you're kinda missing the point here it seems, did you read the article? There is no real gameplay, the entire 'purpose' in the narrative which is open to interpretation - not everyone's cup of tea, I can understand if you don't like it but 'that's' what we love so much

0 votes     reply to comment
Otreum
Otreum May 18 2009, 4:08am replied:

Ok, fair enough, well, each to their own.
I was just wondering if there was actually any gameplay or if I missed something.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hendrix
Hendrix May 18 2009, 4:11am replied:

there isnt otreum, but there isnt supposed to be. Its kind of like listening to a story, but actually being there as well. Think of it as the mod equivalent of one of those arty short films.

Some like them some dont! its not for everyone. I really liked it however.

0 votes     reply to comment
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