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Dear Esther
Posted on Sunday, February 26 @ 18:18:01 EST by Suislide
Adventure Game ReviewsHoly shit, I didn't expect a game that isn't really a game but more of an interactive visual novel to be so fucking interesting. Apparently this game started out as a mod for Half-Life 2 about 4 years ago but was completely reworked and done with professional level graphics and more dialog. This is probably the best looking source game to date and was incredibly atmospheric and interesting. I shit my pants a little in surprise!

Dear Esther basically starts you off on an island right outside of a lighthouse and as your traverse through the environments, the narrator tells different stories, some about himself, some and about a hermit, and some about the road to Damascus. It is very creepy and very atmospheric as you wander through the game learning different parts of the story. The best part of it is, replaying it will you give you different parts of the story allowing for replay value. Also, as you progress the narrator becomes increasing delusional and starts confusing all the stories he is telling. The writing in the game is pretty damn fantastic and incredibly interesting, and as far as story-telling goes for video games, the writing was definitely at least standard novel level (not shitty Michael Bay movie level like most fucking games are *Cough* Mass Effect/Cowa Doody *cough*).

As I said the game is by far the best looking source game to date and looks pretty damn impressive when compared to most games. Travelling through the caves was probably some of the most thrilling parts just getting to see the beautiful areas that someone created, but the outdoor areas have a lot to bring as well and are equally as impressive. One of the coolest part of this game is all the little details in the background that you might miss the first time around, ghosts, blinking lights, etc are all scattered throughout the environment and certain things disappear if you stare directly at them. The only downside to the game is that it is basically a visual novel and only clocks in at around 60 to 90 minutes long. However, I hope the developers make a ton of cash so that they can make some longer/more interactive sequels.


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Re: Dear Esther (Score: 1)
by cBox on Tuesday, February 28 @ 16:19:31 EST
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First thing that came to mind when I played this...

"How the fuck do other games look 10 times shittier and RUN 10 times shittier than this?!"

Source rocks, they obviously know how to program fucking games.

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Re: Dear Esther (Score: 1)
by craterface on Wednesday, February 29 @ 11:54:34 EST
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holy shit, i just tried this game, and it looks incredible. i can't say anything about the story or other stuff, since i only played for 30 min, but the graphics are incredible.
seen games with wide nature-themed areas that looked good, but they never seem this realistic. the trees, the grass, they were green too and the water was blue but you could allways tell that you're in a game because the vegetation was somehow greener that it should be and the rivers were more like gatorade flowing.
but here you can almost smell the place and feel the breeze, it's unbelievable that it's using a game engine from 2004. and if i add that the requirements are ridiculously low, i have to agree the source engine is wonderful.

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Re: Dear Esther (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Sunday, March 04 @ 05:51:39 EST
The most boring lump of shit ive ever tried. Its blair witch project except youre doing all the camerawork. Sure its visually impressive, but thats simply because it has next to no game mechanics to worry about. They even went "fuck it, flashlight is now broken" halfway through so even that worrysome mechanic went out the window for most of the trip. Zero interaction, unless you count "weird noise when you pass by" as interaction. Something like this with the mechanics of something like myst implemented, now THAT would be quite pleasing.

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Re: Dear Esther (Score: 1)
by Fallout4 on Tuesday, March 06 @ 17:31:39 EST
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How much Valve pay you to praise the Source engine and every Source game?

I like Source games too, and I'm not saying your a paid shill for Valve, but you're a paid shill for Valve.

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Re: Dear Esther (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Monday, July 23 @ 13:58:07 EDT
I found most of your reviews fun and true. Yet this one sounds like a pile of crap. I spent two fucking shitty hour walking like a bitch in a 3d environment hearing some crappy nonsense monologue. It's a fucking pile of crappy cliché. I'm sure there's lotta things you would enjoy more than wasting time on this bitch game, including being raped by a gorilla. And I mean you smile while he penetrates you with his banana.

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I'm meh about it (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Saturday, November 01 @ 19:30:50 EDT
The only thing that makes this stand out is that its not a shooter like 90% of games out there. With that said I actually found Dear Esther a tinge boring, that is besides the point that it used the Source engine. However it has many redeeming qualities you may never find in other titles. Being alone and afraid on a secluded island, inching your way through every nook and cranny. Things I found disappointing were probably the fact it was actually less of a visual novel, as there is no form of interaction its just walk walk walk and listen listen listen. You can't even turn down the music which was a bit annoying, it prevented you from hearing some of the commentary. The lowest point in the game however was there is zero re-playability, it was nothing more than a short story stretched beyond proportions really.

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