Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (58 reviews) - 77% of the 58 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (5,476 reviews) - 75% of the 5,476 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Buy Dear Esther + Soundtrack

 

About This 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

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    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
    • 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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Positive (58 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (5,476 reviews)
Recently Posted
Hacha Dorada
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
Not the based narrative-driven "game" (there's little to no interaction), but certainly interesting and enjoyable. Also it is wonderfully made and the story development is quite breathtaking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LanceViper
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
A very beautiful game, but a very boring one in my opinion. I kind of knew what I was getting myself into from what I've heard about the game. I was hoping to be surprised, but alas, I was not.

The game is narrative heavy and is very vague and cryptic. This does make you want to hear and play more in the hopes that the game will soon clarify the wordy narrative. Unfortunately, if you're anything like me, you'll be asking yourself, "What just happened?" by the time the screen goes black.

You may have noticed that I gave this game a thumbs up. Even though I did not enjoy the game, I still really appreciated the hard work that most likely went into making this game look as beautiful as it does. The cavern segments in particular were very pleasant to play through. And even though I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean that somebody else won't. The short length, in my opinion, justifies at least one play through even if this isn't your cup of tea.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rushlite
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
Truly a remarkable experience.

As revolutionary as Pokemone GO, this game turns the industry on it's head with its amazing level design and its stunning soundtrack that leaves the player awestruck in their seat.

It isn't so much a "game" as it is an "experience."

Dear Esther doesn't have any combat or even other entities (well not quite,) but what it lacks in gameplay, it more than makes up for in sheer atmosphere.

This is a game that you should play with the lights off, headphones on, and spend the next hour or so being completely immersed within this beautiful piece of artwork.

2/10 "game"
11/10 experience
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5finger
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Pros: Beautiful world and it's short.

Cons: Everything else.

This is the sort of game people mean when they derisively use the term 'walking simulator'. You walk around several (admittedly beautiful) locations, do absolutely nothing, and occasionally a bit of dialogue plays at random intervals. You can decide to go off on some of the side paths, but they lead nowhere. Or there's a fork where one way is a slightly lower path, and one way is a slightly higher path. But they're like 6 feet away from each other and eventually they converge.

As for the plot, I see some of the speculation on what the scraps of dialogue (and the evironment) really mean, and hearing people's interpretation can be interesting. But I feel like this is sleight of hand that makes you feel like you're getting depth. Like the series Lost - it raised a lot of questions, and there was a lot of speculation/interpretation by fans. But while Lost tried unsucessfully to tie things together in a satisfying way, this just cuts off.

Ending spoiler/rant: What the f**k? WHAT THE F**K!? You spend 1.5 hours walking around slowly, and the majority of the ending is going back through an area YOU JUST WENT THROUGH at a slightly faster pace? All the mindless walking around is one of the worst parts of the 'experience', and the ending is just largely a more repetitive version of that? I understand they had a few more things to put out there plot wise, but that was so cheap. The game is only 1.5 hours, and the ending was the equivalent of a TV clip show episode?

To make a much older analogy, take Planet of the Apes. The original had a great ending for many reasons. And the Tim Burton version also tried to have a suprise ending, but it didn't make any sense. And it turns out it wasn't supposed to - they wanted to make people think/talk about it, but unlike Rod Sterlings script, there was no meat on those bones. I'm not saying this 'experience' is that bad, but you get the idea.

Anyway, if its really got you excited, please just watch a short YouTube video and enjoy some of the speculation, but please save your $10 (or $5).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kurai
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I still have nightmares about this game.
No, not from the "story" or anything... just from the fact that I even finished it.
Not worth the price--not even worth the 1.5 hours it takes to complete it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Marcus54
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Masterpiece ! Period !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
philipp_chris
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
The graphics !!! Oh boy I'm speechless.
It's a pity that it didn't have a story (to gather some clues on the way or something) .
Put a story in and it will sell beautifully.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sc00tal00
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
this isnt a game you need to play. this is a game you can watch. if you find a no commentary playthrough on youtube that is likely just as good for a first playthrough. subsequent playthroughs you may want to do on your own to find all the little details you missed. and to find the way things change. but seriously its just walking and enjoying the view and the narration. granted it gets pretty damn good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Decomposed
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
Beautiful graphics and music and interesting story. Besides these, this is not exactly a game, it's more of a walking simulator and takes about 1-1.30 hours to finish it. Buy ONLY ON SALE, I can't recommend it for more that $3.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ArchKali
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18
A groundbreaking work, arguably one of the first great walking simulators.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
oh my gosh! i must review this game. this game is so amazing! i don't understand why the brats here have to negatively rate this game.. they obviously didn't read a damn thing about the game before buying it... then getting ♥♥♥♥♥♥ when it wasn't what they wanted. RESEARCH your games before you dumbly buy something and think you're going to have a fallout 4 experience.. ffs people.

NOW LISTEN

this isn't your typical game, it is more of a physical audio book.. i think i'll have to play this a few times because i was so freaking blown away by the graphics and landscapes and places that i didn't taken in the entire story.... THIS GAME HAS SOME OF THE BEST GRAPHICS I HAVE EVER SEEN.
ever seen a 4k skyrim texture mod? this is it... this is it. ( besides the flowers and mushrooms being completely flat and "turn" when you walk around/past them ) but come on, THIS GAME HAS AN EPIC AMOUNT OF SCENERY

don't buy this game expecting a game, you don't interact with the world, you don't do anything but walk places and look and have your mind blown over and over.. enjoy the story. the end.

not necessarily worth $10 ... about like 1/4th that, but it was worth it in my eyes.. i can replay this many many many times and the photographer in me will work hours to get some photos of this place ( which is my goal )
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Very beautiful walking simulator. The story takes place on an island. Sadly it is very straight forward, no much room for exploration. There are a couple of houses and caves that are optional to explore.
The game is devided into 4 chapters, each will take about 10-20 minutes (depending on how much you explore the surrounding and take screenshots).
Make sure to play this in one session, because when you exit the game, you have to start from chapter 1 again. Once you completed the game you can replay every chapter from the main menu.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I still have nightmares about this game.
No, not from the "story" or anything... just from the fact that I even finished it.
Not worth the price--not even worth the 1.5 hours it takes to complete it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Pros: Beautiful world and it's short.

Cons: Everything else.

This is the sort of game people mean when they derisively use the term 'walking simulator'. You walk around several (admittedly beautiful) locations, do absolutely nothing, and occasionally a bit of dialogue plays at random intervals. You can decide to go off on some of the side paths, but they lead nowhere. Or there's a fork where one way is a slightly lower path, and one way is a slightly higher path. But they're like 6 feet away from each other and eventually they converge.

As for the plot, I see some of the speculation on what the scraps of dialogue (and the evironment) really mean, and hearing people's interpretation can be interesting. But I feel like this is sleight of hand that makes you feel like you're getting depth. Like the series Lost - it raised a lot of questions, and there was a lot of speculation/interpretation by fans. But while Lost tried unsucessfully to tie things together in a satisfying way, this just cuts off.

Ending spoiler/rant: What the f**k? WHAT THE F**K!? You spend 1.5 hours walking around slowly, and the majority of the ending is going back through an area YOU JUST WENT THROUGH at a slightly faster pace? All the mindless walking around is one of the worst parts of the 'experience', and the ending is just largely a more repetitive version of that? I understand they had a few more things to put out there plot wise, but that was so cheap. The game is only 1.5 hours, and the ending was the equivalent of a TV clip show episode?

To make a much older analogy, take Planet of the Apes. The original had a great ending for many reasons. And the Tim Burton version also tried to have a suprise ending, but it didn't make any sense. And it turns out it wasn't supposed to - they wanted to make people think/talk about it, but unlike Rod Sterlings script, there was no meat on those bones. I'm not saying this 'experience' is that bad, but you get the idea.

Anyway, if its really got you excited, please just watch a short YouTube video and enjoy some of the speculation, but please save your $10 (or $5).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
The graphics !!! Oh boy I'm speechless.
It's a pity that it didn't have a story (to gather some clues on the way or something) .
Put a story in and it will sell beautifully.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Recommended
42.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Literally makes me cry. From the ♥♥♥♥♥♥. with love! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Not a game for those who really detest 'walking simulators' but otherwise I would highly recommend.

Its hard to explain without spoilers, but it makes great use of the source engines graphical capabilites, has fantastic writing and narration and...the story made me cry :'( Too much feels for one game, I do not have enough internets to handle it.

Its short but...er, not sweet. Just really good. I guess it kind of is sweet, but yeah. Spoiler :P
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
First of all, understand why a lot of (if not most) negative reviews exist: People don't comprehend the game.

This is one of those games that you don't play, you live it.
It requires emotional sensitivity to grasp its content, and specially its intent.
Yes, it is only walking through beautiful places, but that's not the point.
This game is a journey, not only on your computer screen, but also a personal one. Open yourself to this game and you'll understand it, but most important, you may understand yourself.

I strongly recommend this game for all those who face depression and understand its nature.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
218 of 257 people (85%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
It isn’t a game, it’s an experience.

A lot of the criticism and confusion of Dear Esther is brought about because it is not exactly 'a game'. There are no enemies, no objectives, no inventory, nothing we've come to expect in video games. It is where art, storytelling and games intersect, to create a masterpiece.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=553155472

Dear Esther is visually astounding. Journey deep into the island's caves and you will be utterly in awe of the beauty therein.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=498467039

The music is beautifully haunting, always appropriate in intensity for the situation, and never overwhelming it.
The narration contributes significantly to the player's emotional state while traversing the island. His rantings and musings, his rage and his despair, all help lend color to the landscape, and keep the player firmly rooted in the world before them.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=532172608

Whether you would define Dear Esther as a game or not, if you have any interest in narrative driven adventure games, you’re sure to find a new favorite here and it is without a doubt an experience you will not regret.


Verdict: 8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
325 of 406 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Well there's something you don't see everyday - Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

THE GOOD
Dear Esther is not your ordinary game. In some respects, it is not a game at all. Focusing on environments and atmosphere rather than gameplay and action is a nice way to change the pace, but it will definitely put some people off. If you're a person who prefers Serious Sam and Doom over Amnesia and Proteus, I do not think this game is for you. The sound in the game is, well, not very exciting overall. The intro plops you into the island with explanation of why you are there, if you pay attention. The story is told by a nameless narrator, who talks about the island, his hobbies, and the mysterious Esther. Digging deeper into the story explains more about the characters and the settings, but only if you are willing to look.

THE GREAT
The game can be frightening and intense if you let it. Beautiful environments are accompanied by the haunting yet calming voice of the narrator, who tells his life to you. While not the best decision for gameplay, Dear Esther provides with an amazing narrative and an atmosphere that is so thick you could wrap yourself up in it. The first chapter is the make or break point in this game.While not looking very stunning, the first part does do its job to set up the second half of the game. Not giving away too much, but not boring you to the point of no return. The end of the second chapter is where it is its best. The aesthetic changes completely, music greets you immediately, and the haunting feeling kicks in. The third chapter is my personal favourite, with the climax of the game leaving you able to interpret it however you please.

THE UGLY
There is no gameplay whatsoever. If the developers wanted gameplay, they could've at least given you the choice to turn off and on your flashlight, or maybe do some simple puzzle. Face the facts: You walk extremely slow. Perhaps for pacing, but it can be frustrating whil you spend the whole damn game going 10mph (That's metres, not miles). Also, for a game about discovery, there is very little to discover, not that you'd feel inclined to due the the speed of your walking. It can be quite boring if you're playing it after watching a walkthrough of it on Youtube, TwitchTV, or whatever place you use to watch gameplay videos, so I'd recommend not watching gameplay of Dear Esther before playing it. Also the visuals of Dear Esther deteriorates when it is put into videos, no matter how you set the graphical quality (1080p does NOT do this game justice via video).

THE VERDICT
There are two types of people in the world. Type one is the type who prefer Proteus over Dear Esther, and the other type of people prefer Dear Esther over Proteus. I fall into the latter category, for many reasons. If in doubt, get it on a sale. If you like it, great news! If you don't, you spent $5 and 1.4GB 'playing' a game that you didn't like. Personally, I think that the third chapter is the best chapter in this game. For the first two chapters, you explore the island, and at the end of the second chapter, a forced plot point happens which sends you to the most beautiful part of this game. The final chapter wraps it up nicely, and some people will like the final chapter more, so suffice to say the second half f the game is generally liked more. Also, this is NOT a game for children. It can be difficult to understand and there are so many plot elements that are metaphors or relatively unusual.

SIMILAR GAMES
-Proteus, in many ways, but also differs greatly
-Amnesia: The Dark Descent, although without being as scary

For more reviews check out http://steamcommunity.com/groups/truereview
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