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Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
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Buy Dear Esther

$9.99

Buy Dear Esther + Soundtrack

$14.99

About the Game

“A deserted island…a lost man…memories of a fatal crash…a book written by a dying explorer.”

Two years in the making, the highly anticipated Indie remake of the cult mod Dear Esther arrives on PC. Dear Esther immerses you in a stunningly realised world, a remote and desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides. As you step forwards, a voice begins to read fragments of a letter: "Dear Esther..." - and so begins a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years. Abandoning traditional gameplay for a pure story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses its beautiful environments with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption.

Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it’s because it may just be all a delusion. What is the significance of the aerial -- What happened on the motorway -- is the island real or imagined -- who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here? The answers are out there, on the lost beach, the windswept cliffs and buried in the darkness of the tunnels beneath the island… Or then again, they may just not be, after all…

Dear Esther is supported by Indie Fund.

Key features:

  • Every play-through a unique experience, with randomly generated audio, visuals and events.
  • Explore Incredible environments that push the Source engine to new levels of beauty.
  • A poetic, semi-randomised story like you've never experienced in a game before.
  • Stunning soundtrack featuring world-class musicians.
  • An uncompromisingly inventive game delivered to the highest AAA standards.

Soundtrack

Jessica Curry's haunting and beautiful soundtrack to Dear Esther, now available on Steam, has been a hit with gamers and critics alike. Reviewers have said ""Curry's score reflects the player's feelings without oppressively instructing them. Exquisitely constructed, both sonically and visually" (Eurogamer), "as beautiful as the game is, it’d be remiss not to mention Curry’s atmospheric soundtrack...impossible to ignore." (Edge), "spellbinding, fascinating aural landscape: a resounding success" (Square Enix), "Curry's delicate & understated musical score achieves a level of excellence. It's the ultimate achievement of composition." (Bitgamer). The soundtrack was shortlisted for the Excellence in Audio award at the Independent Games Festival 2012

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:

    • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor:Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz or higher
    • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphics chipsets not yet supported)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

    Recommended:

    • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor: Quad core 2.4GHz or higher
    • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 8800, ATI Radeon 2900 pro or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphic chipsets not supported)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Hard Disk Space: At least 2 GB of Space
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
Helpful customer reviews
104 of 136 people (76%) found this review helpful
152 products in account
25 reviews
1.6 hrs on record
During the first 10 minutes or so of this game, while I was wandering (slowly) through the game's initial area, I was bored. Very, very bored. While I was bored there was a pretentious British guy babbling to me in an overwrought poetic manner about something that had happened and for which I had no background information to help me understand what the hell he was talking about. That changed (thankfully): the backstory filled in, the environment and audio changed, and things improved dramatically.

This game has very impressive visual and audio aesthetics. The background sounds and ambient music enhance the experience significantly (you should play with headphones on). The voice acting is also compelling--you can really feel the narrator's internal turmoil as he struggles with what has happened. The world the developers built here has a sense of mystery, purpose and beauty, but also sadness, introspection, and the portent of dread. As I progressed through the "game" I felt more and more anxious about the revelations to come from the narrator. The suspense was palpable, and was reflected in the narrator's increasingly impassioned and upset dialogue. It's quite well done. I would say this is a game targeted toward mature gamers, in the sense that it is pretty sophisticated overall.

There are a few weak points: for a 1-hour experience it's quite a bit pricey at $10 (I got it on sale); the poetic tone was good but I thought it was forced in a few places, and at times obscured the backstory; the guy walks pretty slowly (you can go into console and change that, but that kinda breaks immersion).

In retrospect, I was impatient at the beginning of the game and am very glad I pressed on. This is a very worthwhile experience. I do think $10 is a bit steep, so I'd recommend waiting til it's on sale. If you are really into artistic and experiential games, then this is definitely for you. on sale or not.

I recommend it.
Posted: February 3rd, 2014
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35 of 48 people (73%) found this review helpful
47 products in account
12 reviews
2.0 hrs on record
A glorious piece of art telling a story through a progressive narrative. Dear Esther is an extremely moving journey of self discovery and acceptance, a truly moving narrative of a mans journey to seek peace. A game that I personally found beautiful. Dear Esther is in the top tier of essential games to play in anyones life.

10\10
Posted: February 21st, 2014
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
521 products in account
20 reviews
2.5 hrs on record
This is an absolutely beautiful game. While the pace is slow, every step you take leads to another beautiful sight or gripping inner monologue. I highly recommend it to anyone who feels that games are able to be artistic. :D
Posted: February 13th, 2014
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26 of 43 people (60%) found this review helpful
291 products in account
48 reviews
2.1 hrs on record
“I have become convinced I am not alone here, even though I am equally sure it is simply a delusion brought upon by circumstance.”

Dear Esther is an art experiment in the framework of a video game. Basically you wander around on an island, trying to figure out who you are and what happened to you. Piece by piece the answers are being presented to you in form of letters and memories of the protagonist. Nevertheless you will be left with more questions than answers at the end.

The atmosphere is the most remarkable aspect of this game, but everything else about it leaves something to be desired. Even after two playthroughs I do not know, what creates that strangely captivating atmosphere.

Some people say that this game is nothing more than a graphical experiment, similar to Half-Life 2: Lost Coast. Others interpret it as a surreal experiment with poetic values.

You have to play the game yourself, in order to figure out, what it represents to you.

Fun fact: Dear Esther was originally developed by The Chinese Room based on the Source engine mod between 2009 and 2011, followed by the commercial release in 2012.

Check out the first speedrun guide for this game (hardcore players only; thanks to Batts):

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=150507639
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My rating system consists of six categories in descending order of importance:

- Atmosphere
- Details
- Story
- Controls

Based on the performance each category will receive one of the following grading:

- S-Rank: excellent
- A-Rank: very good
- B-Rank: solid
- C-Rank: satisfactory
- D-Rank: inferior

If the S-Rank is awarded, a quote from the game or personal comment will be added as a token of my respect (in brackets).
--

Atmosphere: A-Rank

Details: A-Rank

Story: C-Rank

Controls: C-Rank
--

There are no achievements to conquer.

Achievement difficulty: none
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Dear Esther (PC) – First-person art game (Experimental) – 2012
Posted: February 9th, 2014
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37 of 64 people (58%) found this review helpful
115 products in account
5 reviews
0.8 hrs on record
a game where you walk around
Posted: June 21st, 2014
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