Dear Esther

Dear Esther
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Dear Esther (2012)

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A man arrives on an uninhabited Hebridean island. As he walks the paths of the island alone, he listens to fragments of a letter addressed to a woman named Esther. Observing the natural bounty of the island, as well as its underground secrets, the man explores more than just his surroundings, but the mind composing the letters, to Esther.

Dear Esther takes players on a melancholic, contemplative journey across an island. With limited interaction and no on-screen characters, Dear Esther pushes the boundaries of minimalistic storytelling in video games, while also channelling impressive visuals courtesy of the Source Engine.

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2012

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TheTyrannyofThought's picture

TheTyrannyofThought 2 years 5 months ago

Rendered simply and poignantly with an effect and atmosphere that's startlingly cinematic, almost David Lynch-esque. Wonderful aesthetic experience, but not what might be thought of conventionally as a video game. The absence of on-screen characters and interaction could prove alienating, but it serves to reinforce the major themes of the game and cause the player to internalize them. The loneliness and longing for connection carries through from the plotline to the player as this game does not rely on any usual means of engaging the gamer. An enjoyable artistic break from the norms of the genre, but not a title most "gamers" will enjoy readily. Honestly, I was left feeling more like I'd attended a MOMA exhibit than played a video game.

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