My Thoughts on "Dear Esther"

Posted by CornBREDX (4821 posts) -

So, I just finished Dear Esther. It's not a game- at all- but as an experience it's quite interesting. I kind of see it akin to touring a museum or art house. It was fun and intriguing, and if we had Virtual Reality this would make a fascinating means of using that kind of technology (just my opinion). As a form of entertainment (that shouldn't be confused for a video game- which it isn't) it's quite compelling and I am glad I paid for it. 

The graphics are amazing (especially in the cave). I couldn't resist making a lot of screen shots to use as wallpaper for my desktop. It's really beautiful. The story is a tad artsy, which is fine, and I was enjoying its mystique until the end. I don't feel it expressed enough for me to make any conclusion as to what the game is attempting to say (if anything). I don't need to be spoon fed (I mean, damn, I am one of the few people in the world to enjoy The Fountain) but I found the end too confusing. 

It's cool that they leave things for interpretation, the intent clearly is for you to experience it multiple times to try and make sense of it (I get that), but I feel it left to much up to interpretation and so the ending left me feeling confused. From what I understand, which is unfortunately little, the intent is to prove they can invoke an emotion with no actual mechanics- or something. If the emotion they were going for was confusion, then I can say this was a success.  

 
Anyway, I recommend it if you don't mind experiencing artistic storytelling and don't mind that there is no game play- no challenge here (because this isn't a game)- and want to see some beautiful visuals accompanied by a haunting score and an intriguing story (with an ending, admittedly that is trying to hard to be symbolic and mysterious) I say check it out. If you're on the fence due to the price, definitely wait until its cheap, and if you want game play steer clear because it doesn't have that.
#1 Posted by CornBREDX (4821 posts) -

So, I just finished Dear Esther. It's not a game- at all- but as an experience it's quite interesting. I kind of see it akin to touring a museum or art house. It was fun and intriguing, and if we had Virtual Reality this would make a fascinating means of using that kind of technology (just my opinion). As a form of entertainment (that shouldn't be confused for a video game- which it isn't) it's quite compelling and I am glad I paid for it. 

The graphics are amazing (especially in the cave). I couldn't resist making a lot of screen shots to use as wallpaper for my desktop. It's really beautiful. The story is a tad artsy, which is fine, and I was enjoying its mystique until the end. I don't feel it expressed enough for me to make any conclusion as to what the game is attempting to say (if anything). I don't need to be spoon fed (I mean, damn, I am one of the few people in the world to enjoy The Fountain) but I found the end too confusing. 

It's cool that they leave things for interpretation, the intent clearly is for you to experience it multiple times to try and make sense of it (I get that), but I feel it left to much up to interpretation and so the ending left me feeling confused. From what I understand, which is unfortunately little, the intent is to prove they can invoke an emotion with no actual mechanics- or something. If the emotion they were going for was confusion, then I can say this was a success.  

 
Anyway, I recommend it if you don't mind experiencing artistic storytelling and don't mind that there is no game play- no challenge here (because this isn't a game)- and want to see some beautiful visuals accompanied by a haunting score and an intriguing story (with an ending, admittedly that is trying to hard to be symbolic and mysterious) I say check it out. If you're on the fence due to the price, definitely wait until its cheap, and if you want game play steer clear because it doesn't have that.
#2 Posted by Artikay (112 posts) -

Good to hear. I think I'll try it out on my days off, i hear its really short from some sites but worth it.

... There are people that dont like The Fountain?

#3 Posted by Nettacki (1317 posts) -

The Fountain was written by Ayn Rand, right? So of course there'll be a LOT of people who don't enjoy her work.

#4 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I remember talking to a friend about Dear Esther for a few hours, trying to sort out what different things we saw, which different routes we took, and what it all meant, if anything.

That's probably the best thing anyone can say about Dear Esther.

#5 Posted by mordukai (7138 posts) -

Really cool experience. Even though the story is extremely fragmented at the end everything tied together in a nice little knot.

@Nettacki said:

The Fountain was written by Ayn Rand, right? So of course there'll be a LOT of people who don't enjoy her work.

You're thinking about The Fountainhead.

#6 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

I'd say Dear Esther was meant to evoke melancholy and reflection on mortality rather than confusion, but yes I'd agree with the summation of the "game" above. As essentially a piece of semi-interactive narrative in a game engine, it evokes certain feelings very effectively and was thought-provoking. I will be interested to see what thechineseroom does with the Amnesia: Dark Descent crossover, as the narrative will have to be incorporated into a game.

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