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...
With all due respect to those who do, I didn't like it. In MY opinion it was walking simulator combined with seemingly random quotes. I did, however, like the setting, could have used better lighting and some detail but it was alright.
As a first person narrative, it is highly dependent on the plot, and the lack of any gameplay is accepted. However, if you're going to do a first person narrative, you have to have a story that is actually good. This was really blaze, and I laugh when you try to call it a 'ghost story'.
But nothing that a lot of refinement couldn't fix. For example, it would be incredibly improved if the voice actor was just a little more animated (not saying he's bad, just... not animated enough).
Some technical flaws (overly-loud or overlapping sounds, clipping issues, getting past map bounds, the unfortunate inclusion of kill triggers) didn't prevent this from being one of the most profound experiences I've been through in a game. Paring back first-person "gameplay" to its core showed just how powerful the effect of "being there" is.
Pros: The story is good, as are the graphics. The voice acting is AMAZING.
Cons: Game music audio is too loud to hear a lot of the dialogue, which is awful because the voice acting really is fantastic. Turning down the music turns down the dialogue as well. I believe the point of the mod is exploration and discovering the story yourself, but: I got stuck on invisible walls and had to restart multiple times. That combined with the very slow walking pace made the discovery more of an arduous task than an artistic "experience".