I can't think of the words to come up with a proper review for a game like this. I mean, words by themselves would just be a subjective representation of something that should be experienced. Like a fleeting memory of a long lost loved one, or the recurring pain you feel on a winter night, about the past you want to correct, and a future of mistakes. It's reality in your face, in a world that lives in imaginary wonderlands and facades. If humans just took one moment to see what's in front of them, and truly cherish what is most important, the world wouldn't be like it is today.
It's not about Dear Esther changing the landscape of gaming, it's not the somber narrative, or the mixed messages you as the player try to interpenetrate. It's more than that, it's everything you want it to be, and nothing. It can be a silly game with no point, or it can be an important piece of literature. To me, it's what I've seen and been through, it's loss, it's regret, it's sorrow and happiness, and most importantly it's freedom. So yes, Dear Esther is an important piece of work, and it just so happens to come in an interactive format. Laugh if you must, and mock if you will, but game companies can learn from Dear Esther. It's just too bad, that the masses like shooty shooty bang bang, and sparky sparks go flashy flash.