I’m sitting as a write this, with a miller genuine draft in my hand. This fact may directly influence the content of this review and for that I apologize. Yet I bloody deserve this beer! My long hard nights in the library have kept the exams at bay. I have reemerged from my studying induced coma thinking… Did I like Dear Esther?
Well quite simply maybe.
I know. Dear Esther is a purely narrative “game” in which you traverse an island as the story is told to you. There is no actions. No game elements at all. So what can I review? I can’t and won’t spoil the story, all I will say is that it had its moment when I went “Ohhhh, I see what is going on here” but it wasn’t an astounding twist and was delivered too slowly. The story on a whole was good though, an entertaining narrative that was clearly well written. I in fact caught myself thinking about what happens and pondering. The graphics are astounding though, the easy comparison to make is Skyrim on ultra… but better. The island is beautifully designed, particularly the cave section which I can say without a doubt is the best graphics I have ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of different graphics to compare from. The “game” took me 70 minutes to complete according to Steam and while not particularly thorough, I took my time.
I’ve asked a lot of questions here, more than I have given answers. But I have one more question to ask. Why is this a game? I feel it would be much better suited in a short movie style, especially considering the games market has been shifting more and more towards younger audiences who don’t have the patience for an effectively non-interactive story.
In Conclusion. There is talk of this being a work of art and while I wouldn’t go that far, Its certainly something that hints towards new ideas in the games industry. It’s not worth the price tag though for too short an experience, but most certainly when those Steam summer sales come round I’d pick this one up.