Summary: “Yes, but is this the right medium for that story?” That’s the first thing they told me to ask myself in film school. It’s something not enough filmmakers ask themselves throughout their career. This is exponentially true for game designers, as evidenced by Half-Life 2 mod-turned-retail interactive-narrative Dear Esther .
Excerpt: I was browsing across Steam and happened to come across a game called Dear Esther. Originally created as a mod to Half-Life 2, it was remade and released as a full game in 2012. I didn't know a lot about it, but exploring a deserted island in the Hebrides chain, off the coast of Scotland, seems like something I would enjoy, so I gave it a try.
Excerpt: It’s perfectly reasonable to ask why something like Dear Esther exists in the first place. Essentially a remake of a Half-Life 2 mod. Problem is, it’s not really a videogame. Critics have been struggling to attach a label to Dear Esther —experimental, interactive movie, a narrative experience—none of which really describe it accurately. Dear Esther is a game that isn’t a game.
Summary: I can tell you this game is unlike anything I have played before, and that is a compliment. At the same time, it has not hit me quite as hard as it has many other reviewers. Dear Esther gets a 6 out of 10.
Review: Dear Esther is an interactive story in a gorgeous 3D environment
7 September 2012
Conclusion: Dear Esther is a collaborative work of art; a blueprint for future creators of interactive fiction. Troubleshoot Mac network issues with Network Utility 5 tips for avoiding Internet dopiness How to create networked backups with OS X Server Meet the Best of Show winners from Macworld iWorld 2014 View more Macworld videos » Close May 15, 2014 9:30 AM Apple provides a useful suite of tools for troubleshooting and investigating network issues on OS X.
Excerpt: These ambivalent ramblings, although my own, give a taste of what is in store for any gamer adventurous enough to play Dear Esther. Originally designed and released by University of Portsmouth researcher Dan Pinchbeck in 2008 as a free mod for Half-Life 2, Dear Esther was actually developed as part of a funded academic research project to explore experimental storytelling and gameplay.
Excerpt: Your left mouse button is useless. It's not needed, and neither is your right. Dear Esther doesn't require you to interact with these inputs. It merely asks you to walk, to explore, and, most importantly, to listen. Whether or not you want to play Dear Esther shouldn't be up to whether it is fun to play (it isn't), whether it's got some great mechanics (it doesn't), or whether the difficulty spike is unfair and frustrating (it's not; there isn't one).
Summary: Dear Esther is a bold attempt at something most developers would never consider. It’s strictly a narrative and nothing more. For simply $9.99, you can experience a short but quality and unique type of game yet to be capitalized on. Though some ignorant players who can’t realize the intent of this game will say it’s terrible.
Excerpt: I wander through your beauteous landscapes, marvel at the artistry of your world, and yet I weep, for I know that many of my fellow shall cry “But there is no shooting!”. More still will cry “But there is little interaction!”. And I shall weep, for they have somewhat missed the point.
Conclusion: Unfortunately with reviewing this game I have to think of it in terms of should someone spend their hard earned money on this game and that hurts Dear Esther in a regrettable way. It tells a very interesting story in a mysterious and ambitious way and stands out as a risky decision on the developers but manages to be at least a little entertaining for how shallow the gameplay is.