Débutez un voyage à travers l'un des jeux à la première personne les plus original de ces dernières années.
Évaluations des utilisateurs : Plutôt positive (4,048 évaluation(s))
Date de parution: 14 fév 2012

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Acheter Dear Esther

Acheter Dear Esther + Soundtrack

 

Recommandé par les curateurs

"Not for everyone, I realise, but as an example of games trying Something Else, I think Dear Esther is hard to argue against."
Lire la critique complète ici.

À propos de ce jeu

“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

Configuration requise

Windows
Mac OS X

    Minimum :

    • Système d'exploitation : Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processeur : Intel core 2 duo 2.4 GHz ou meilleur
    • Mémoire vive : 1 Go de RAM pour XP / 2 Go de RAM pour Vista
    • Carte graphique : Carte compatible DirectX 9 avec support Shader model 3.0. nVidia 7600, ATI X1600 ou meilleure (les circuits graphiques Intel pré-Sandybridge ne sont pas encore supportés)
    • DirectX® : DirectX 9.0c
    • Disque dur : 2 Go d'espace disque disponible
    • Son : Carte son compatible DirectX 9.0c

    Recommandée :

    • Système d'exploitation : Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processeur : Quadri cœur 2.4 GHz ou supérieur
    • Mémoire vive : 1 Go de RAMpour XP / 2 Go de RAM pour Vista
    • Carte graphique : Carte compatible DirectX 9 avec support Shader model 3.0. nVidia 8800, ATI Radeon 2900 pro ou meilleure (les circuits graphiques Intel pré-Sandybridge ne sont pas encore supportés)
    • DirectX® : DirectX 9.0c
    • Disque dur : 2 Go d'espace disque disponible
    • Son : Carte son compatible DirectX 9.0c
    • Système d'exploitation : MAC OS X 10.6.7 ou supérieure
    • Processeur : Intel Core Duo (2 GHz ou meilleure)
    • Mémoire vive : 2 Go de RAM
    • Disque dur : Au moins 2 Go d'espace disque disponible
    • Carte graphique : ATI Radeon 2400 ou supérieure / NVIDIA 8600M ou supérieure / Intel HD Graphics 3000
Évaluations intéressantes des utilisateurs
4 personne(s) sur 4 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.2 heures en tout
Posté le : 28 juillet
Jeu vraiment très bon, il nous porte directement dans un monde de réflexion et de contemplation. Il n'y a aucun objectif, ni d'objets avec lesquels intéragir, il suffit de marcher et visiter cette île désert sur laquelle on se retrouve et d'écouter la narration. L'histoire n'est pas facile à comprendre, il y a beaucoup de métaphores et d'analogies, le lieu en lui même pourrait l'être d'ailleurs. Le jeu est très court mais il est très immersif et a un ambiance parfois appaisante, d'autres fois complètement froide voire effrayante. La musique contribue beaucoup à cette ambiance et la voix du narrateur racontant cette histoire tragique ne fait qu'amplifier cela. Même si ce jeu n'est pas un jeu d'horreur, j'ai eu très souvent des frissons de peur ou de malaise. Bref, Dear Esther n'est pas un jeu en tant que tel, c'est une expérience à vivre, un livre raconté au travers d'un jeu, une histoire qui choque et nous fait réfléchir.
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3 personne(s) sur 3 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
7.7 heures en tout
Posté le : 21 septembre
Dear Esther n'est pas un jeu (pas dans le sens traditionnel où on l'entend), et si vous cherchez un minimum d'intéractions avec les décors, ou même de fun, passez de suite votre chemin.

Dear Esther c'est une plongée en eaux troubles dans la psyché humaine. Dès lors, le cerveau naviguera auprès du narrateur sur une île désertée aux recoins étonnants et fascinants, une sorte de corps flottant où tout semble à la fois bien réel et totalement déconnecté de tout.

Les graphismes sont juste sublimes, et l'OST ne l'est pas moins (l'une des plus belles que j'ai eu l'occasion d'écouter dans un jeu vidéo). L'histoire, quand à elle, semblera obscure de prime abord, et l'anglais y est très littéraire (bien heureusement un patch fr est disponible, ce qui vous facilitera (un peu) la vie). Je ne prendrai pas le risque de vous la dévoiler, puisqu'elle donne l'essence au 'jeu', et surtout qu'elle est sujette à de nombreuses interprétations, toutes aussi intéressantes les unes des autres.

L'expérience est très courte, comptez une à deux petites heures pour en venir à bout une première fois. Mais rien ne vous empêche de vous y replonger de temps à autre, l'atmosphère y étant vraiment unique. Elle mérite en tout cas la peine d'être vécue.

Ames (trop) sensibles ou (trop) dépressives s'abstenir, ici tout concourt à se noyer dans un tête à tête avec nos propres démons, où la solitude pèsera lourd. Vous voilà prévenus.
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3 personne(s) sur 3 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.4 heures en tout
Posté le : 18 décembre
Merci à Wom de m'avoir offert le jeu ! :)
C'est vraiment spécial. Il ravira ceux qui apprécient les balades dans la nature saupoudrées d'une narration mystérieuse, métaphorique et poétique. Mais pas à ceux qui s'attendent à un jeu d'aventure.

Visuellement, c'est magnifique (le chapitre des grottes est sublime !). La musique et les effets sonores sont quasi parfaits. Mais cela suffit-il pour faire un bon "jeu" ? J'avoue avoir du mal avec le fait qu'il n'y ait RIEN à faire si ce n'est se balader. Mais c'est une expérience tout de même agréable. J'ai surtout envie de le refaire un jour avec l'Oculus Rift pour que l'immersion soit parfaite.

A côté de Dear Esther, les jeux comme "walking dead" ou "to the moon" ont un gameplay de folie ! Car dans Dear Esther, point de personnages secondaires, point de dialogues, ni d'inventaire, ni de livres à lire : rien. On se balade, on écoute le narrateur, on essaie de comprendre ce qu'il raconte (pas évident ^^), on émet des hypothèses (éventuellement) et on profite (ou on essaie). Dommage que la balade elle-même souffre parfois de quelques obstacles gênants, comme un rocher de 1 cm de hauteur qui empêche d'avancer, obligeant le joueur à faire un détour plutôt que d'enjamber l'obstacle. Dans le genre d'expérience narrative à la 1ère personne, je préfère un "Anna" qui dispose d'un véritable gameplay de jeu d'aventure.

Ah ! Et pas de sauvegardes. Et ça, c'est chiant. Vraiment.
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5 personne(s) sur 7 (71%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.7 heures en tout
Posté le : 2 juillet
Jamais un jeu n'aura si bien porté le tag "Walking simulator"... (boring simulator?)
Dear Esther a de belles qualités, notamment ses environnements ou sa superbe bande-son, à l'origine d'une ambiance très appréciable (notamment au troisième chapitre). Mais il est complètement plombé par ses nombreux défauts.

Peut on appeler un jeu ou l'on se contente d'appuyer sur la touche avancer du début à la fin un "jeu"? Aucune interaction, aucune action autre que le fait d'avancer! Wow, voila un gameplay aride! Ce genre de jeu se doit absolument d'avoir un scénario très développé à travers sa narration et encore une fois, Dear Esther pêche sur ce point. Le scénario de Dear Esther est.. comment dire... très obscur! Le narrateur passe son temps à faire des métaphores sur l'ile, sur des bergers, sur les mouettes, sur Donnelly (ne me demandez pas qui c'est!) et laisse le joueur confus, à coté de certaines évidences concernant Esther. Lui qui cherche déséspérement à donner un sens à tout ça au départ finit par abandonner à la 27ème métaphore en 3 phrases et avance comme un mouton conduit à l'abattoir, lentement, teeeeeeellement lentement que ZzzzZzzzzz... oups pardon je m'étais endormi! (non sérieusement, j'ai vraiment failli m'endormir plusieurs fois!) Préparez vous à des séquences entières à marcher et marcher, sans musique ni narration (le narrateur sort deux ou trois phrases toutes les 5 minutes environ). Vous vous surprendrez certainement à marteler la touche shift systématiquement dans l'espoir que votre personnage se mette soudainement à sortir de sa torpeur, même si il serait certainement idiot de proposer une option "courir" dans un jeu basé sur la narration, mais que voulez-vous on s'ennuie!
Dernier point noir, la durée de vie du soft. Fini en un peu plus d'une heure, je pense à tous les pauvres joueurs qui l'ont payé 8 euros (même si je le remercie personnellement de ne pas s'être étalé plus longtemps).

Je suis tout à fait pour les concepts originaux pourvu qu'ils aient un peu de substance. Quand j'ai joué à Dear Esther j'ai eu l'impression de marcher (lentement) accompagné d'un ersatz de Nostradamus gonflant ("Ensuite j'étais une ile et Donnelly était un berger, et j'ai fait un bâteau en papier en traçant des lignes à la craie blanche blabla" <--- Ici il veut dire qu'il est triste je crois). Désolé, il m'en faut un peu plus pour me faire ressentir le concept de "profondeur". A essayer pour l'expérience mais pas au dela de 3 euros.
3/10
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1 personne(s) sur 1 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.7 heures en tout
Posté le : 26 septembre
Une expérience entre le jeu vidéo, l'écoute d'un film, la lecture d'un livre. Beauté, poésie, mystère et émotions sont au rendez-vous...
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1 personne(s) sur 1 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
9.6 heures en tout
Posté le : 10 août
C'est une nouvelle vidéoludique, très bien construite, très poétique, un nouveau mode de narration audiovisuel et participatif, où l'itinéraire à travers une île virtuelle devient une façon de nous raconter une histoire, d'entrer dans la conscience d'un personnage. Les graphismes, la musique et l'atmosphères sont magnifiques.
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1 personne(s) sur 1 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.7 heures en tout
Posté le : 22 décembre
Complètement sous le charme de ce "jeu" très atypique...
Je mets des guillemets à "Jeu" car ce n'en est pas vraiment un. (Aucune interaction avec quoi que ce soit, la seule action possible étant uniquement de marcher). C'est simplement une longue promenade dans de superbes décors, ponctuée de narration.
Mais quelle ballade!
Une ambiance très particulière et très forte. Une histoire un peu obscure, mais pleine de poésie. Et la très belle musique colle parfaitement pour renforcer l'étrange atmosphère...
J'ai adoré, et je parcourerrai à nouveau cette île avec grand plaisir à n'en pas douter.
Je précise que j'ai fait le jeu avec les sous titres des textes en version française (car il en existe une, qui consiste en un patch facilement trouvable et installable si on s'en donne la peine). La traduction FR est bonne, et m'a permis de beaucoup mieux rentrer dans l'histoire. aussi, je conseille aux francophones d'ajouter ce patch afin de profiter pleinement de cette très belle expérience. :)
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2 personne(s) sur 3 (67%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.4 heures en tout
Posté le : 30 septembre
L'écriture, l'ambiance et les décors constituent les seuls intérêts de cet objet qui tend plus vers la nouvelle graphique que vers le jeu. C'est un parti pris qui se défend, malheureusement les décors n'atteignent jamais la beauté des paysages réels dont ils s'inspirent (une simple marche sur l'Ile de Skye ou sur les cotes bretonnes suffira à vous en convaincre). L'écriture, inutilement complexe, métaphorique et empoulée distille une histoire aux enjeux narratifs insipides ; Dissimuler l'absence de propos derrière de tels artifices littéraires c'est un peu se moquer de celui auquel on raconte une histoire... Reste l'ambiance, très dépressive, qui peut plaire.

Au final, il ne subsiste de tout cela qu'une "longue" promenade neurasthénique sur les cotes écossaises, bercée par la voix d'un narrateur imposteur.
Une rando autour du cap Fréhel avec un bon bouquin dans le sac à dos remplacera avantageusement l'expérience.
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110 personne(s) sur 143 (77%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
9.4 heures en tout
Posté le : 26 août
As always, TL;DR at the bottom. This game deserves more though.

In recent years it has become more common to hear gamers, and even some non-gamers giving credit to games as pieces of art. Truly all games are art in some form as they provide a visual and narrative experience no matter what type of game they are. Some games are simply greater classified as art than others, but even inside of that it seems something such as 'Dear Esther' should be given credit on the art scale much higher than any old "video games are art" scale.

'Dear Esther' is claimed by many as "not a game". This is a debate I am no longer interested in, as I simply don't take a hard stance on what a game is anymore now that I have played so many adventure games, and what are more aptly described as "walking simulators". If you want to call it art instead, which it is, I can accept that, but debating on what a game is has become something I do not find interesting anymore. It's a game to me and great art at the same time.

Now that I have grown up a little and become able to appreciate games as great pieces of art, I look for games with beauty in narrative, visuals, music, and even atmosphere much more often than I once did. Giving games described as "walking simulators" a much greater chance than I once would have as a younger gamer. 'Dear Esther' is a game I never would have played maybe as recent as a year ago. I would ignore games such as this and mockingly call them "walking simulators", or games with a lot of FMVs like MGS4, "movies". It's actually quite embarrassing thinking about discussions I've had in the past about such games. >_>

I'm glad I came to my senses because games like this not only give you a sense of extreme beauty, but challenge you to think about things in abstract and interesting ways. Digging into you deeper than a more traditional game focused solely on the gameplay, which I considered the ONLY thing that mattered for the longest time. Games with these weird worlds, stories, and characters just stick with you longer and allow for us to spend more time with them after finishing by discussing them with other gamers. Isn't that something we all enjoy as a major part of gaming? Discussing games and trying to understand them when they give us something to talk about? (feel free to discuss in the comments of this review! Please be mindful of spoilers, however.) It definitely does for me, and 'Dear Esther' made me think, wonder, and read more about it the second I was done playing.

'Dear Esther' on a technical side is a magnificently wonderful game. While you can see in the store screenshots that the game has haunting and lovely visuals, you can't really know how wonderful the atmosphere is without playing it. The music in this game is so well done (I highly recommend buying this soundtrack and I rarely do that) that I found myself saving when I heard a piece start so that I could reload and listen to it again before moving on. The music is atmospheric, haunting, beautiful, and I can't think of a game where I was so enthralled by the music before.

With the musical score lending to the feel of the game, the island you find yourself on gives a tremendous feeling of isolation, dread, insanity, and fear. You will go into "every nook and cranny, John" to see the strange items and locations from all angles before moving down the correct path to move the narration along. Taking these extra paths may lead you to seeing extra narration, or even ghosts out of the corner of your eye. Making you feel like you might not be alone, and then dissipating into mist to leave you wondering if you had just seen something moving, or it was just your imagination.

The narration voice-over is spectacular. A voice that helps the atmosphere as much as anything else, but what is said is just as unnerving in many instances. Narration comes at you as you walk around and move through the island on your ascent up to the top. It will be strange and probably not make a ton of sense every time you hear it. You will feel the mind of the narrator, which is you, seem to disjoint, and speak about things that don't seem relevant at times, but interesting none the less. Strangely, although I have played through the first couple chapters more than once, the narration seems to change in different playthroughs, making it almost impossible to know what exact pieces you will hear in a certain area. The theme and dialog seems to be standard enough through the entire game that the story you hear is about the same as it would be any other time, but it is quite interesting to hear other blurbs as you reach a section from game to game. I have no idea how many of these different blurbs you can encounter, but I am planning to play through the game again, maybe several times not just because I love the feel and isolation I feel while playing the game, but to tread deeper into the depths of the story and hear various new commentaries.

If you read this far, this game is for you. If you are willing to take this much time to read a review, I think you can appreciate this wonderful game as the artistic piece of work that it deserves. I highly recommend this game to anyone that has accepted games as more than just gameplay, but as a form of true beauty, a place to lose yourself in a world without having to shoot at things and jump around, and challenge yourself to see what the creator is trying to say by making it less than easy for you to interpret their strange thoughts to us gamers.

A like-minded gaming friend gifted me this game, and I am truly grateful that someone cared enough to share this experience with me. It was a wonderful journey. Thank you. :)

TL;DR Glorious mix of graphics, music, narration, and atmosphere. Walking simulator that is a true masterwork of art in the gaming universe. Even if you don't respect games such as this, give it a try (Not sure there has been a game in more bundles than this one so there is no way you can't get this for cheap at some point. The forum has 75% off coupons being given away constantly right now as well so there is that too). and see if you can appreciate it for what it is rather than just disregarding this genre entirely without actually making an effort to understand why people DO like them. A challenging, insightful, chilling, isolationist walk through a place that could make you think, feel terror, and maybe, just maybe turn you into a fan of more than just games focused entirely on gameplay.
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52 personne(s) sur 64 (81%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
4.3 heures en tout
Posté le : 10 novembre
Dear Esther: Games as Art

Up till five years ago, discussions about games as a form of art, were largely considered as non-important. There was a more or less clear distinction between the "higher" arts, and the more "commercial" games, although many of those used elements from several arts (in-game music, often symphonic and with a classical feel to it, being just one example). With the rise of the Indie game-scene around 2010, things started to evolve fast. Since indie-developers are not bound by contracts to large (and indeed often very commercial) publishers, they found themselves in a position where experimenting with the medium of games itself turned into something viable.

One of the almost immediate consequences of this huge shift in focus, was the rise of what many have called since then "artistic games": games as the newest form of art, following in the footsteps of literature, music, architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, cinematography and the likes. This idea has generated some debate during the last five years, but it's still an underrated aspect of gaming. The one game that really stands out as maybe thé flagship of the artistic games, would surely be Dear Esther. Released in February 2012 by the small indie-company The Chinese Room, it made a huge impact on the gaming scene by the radical way in which it changes the entire concept of what a computer game is all about.

In this game there are no "goals" the player has to achieve, there is no such thing as "winning or losing", there is not even the possibility of playing well or badly, or of interacting with the environment. Actually, the gameplay is extremely limited: the player can only walk around on an abandoned island in the Scottish Hebrides in first-person view, with no running, jumping, climbing or crouching as in most first-person games. This immediately gives the game a very leisured pace, which may not be to the liking of everyone. Dear Esther has even been called a "walking simulator" - it's the most prominent of its tags on the Steam store at the moment. But it's nothing like that, in my opinion. Thsi game is not about the physical walk around the - extremely impressive and atmospheric - island. Dear Esther tells another kind of story: a story that happens within the main character, and one that is told with such emotional force that I as a player not only identified myself with the character, but also started to actually FEEL like he does. Now that's a rare experience in any game up till now: the feeling that the entire game, with all its components (visuals, story, music in this case) got under my skin in such a way that I got emotionally involved to a very, very large extent. I won't spoil anything from the story, but it's nothing light-weight to be sure and the game has stayed with me since I first played it three weeks ago.

And there is not really much more to say about this amazing, almost genre-defining piece of art. Actually, the debate may not be if it's a piece of art (most will agree to that), but to whether it's a game or not. To my opinion, it's certainly both, and as such stands proud as one of the prime examples of artistic games that give as rich and rewarding an experience as reading a novel by Daphne du Maurier, looking at a painting by Turner or listening to a sonata by Mozart. But be advised: this gem calls for your complete attention, so headphones and a dark environment are recommended. Especially so since the soundscape the game provides, be it from the howling of the wind to the eerie, haunting music by Jessica Curry, deserves every inch of attention.

Overall score: 9/10
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94 personne(s) sur 147 (64%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.9 heures en tout
Posté le : 16 août
I did really end up enjoying it even if I can't recommend it. On the surface this has a lot going against it. Dear Esther feels like less of a game, more of an experience. You awaken on an island at one end under a lighthouse and you walk your way to a red beacon on a radio tower in the sky. The whole thing takes an hour or less to complete the experience. The controls are simple, walk and zoom. There is no jump or sprint.

You will experience the morbid and yet gorgeous island in all of its glory. I say experience more than explore. As much as you can walk around and think you're doing your own thing, you're really just on a set path that is highly detailed and winds through coastal beaches, caves and cliff sides. It is a beautiful game and might be one of the most beautiful games ever visually.

The day turning into night was a nice touch, even if at night you can end up completely blind by the dark. It seemed like the day and night wasn't random as the game claims, but if I died, it did become darker until I was unable to see.

The whole thing is very immerse with only 3 loading 'screens' once the game begins. The game is short and sweet, it doesn't overstay its welcome for what is basically a glorified tech demo of the Source engine. Supposedly no play through is the same with different audio for each run, but when I played a second time everything felt the same even if I didn't hear the audio at the exact same spot. I explored a lot more, but everything was the same.

You can also find it in a few bundles for less than $10 which then the price is worth it, but for 1 hour of an experience, I can't recommend it.
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25 personne(s) sur 30 (83%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
9.5 heures en tout
Posté le : 15 novembre
This is an excellent way to share some time with yourself, in a very intimate way. Only for loners.
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25 personne(s) sur 31 (81%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.5 heures en tout
Posté le : 4 novembre
"How many dead shepherds could fill this hole?"

Dear Esther is the kind of video game which is doomed to be criticized. The reason is gameplay for you only do three things: walk, listen and watch. Formula like this can encouraged a decent number of people to confer a title of Walking Simulator - 2012 on this adventure game from the young British developer The Chinese Room , who previously worked on the atmospheric Half-Life 2 mod Korsakovia. But at this point gamers of all ages should ask themselves a question: do they need another rank-and-file FPS on already flooded modern VG market or are they open for innovative ideas and blending of various kinds of art?

Dear Esther originated from a Source engine mod of the same name made by The Chinese Room in 2008. In this completely reworked standalone only WASD and a mouse are required to play (get your left-hand middle finger ready). Taking into consideration this fact, if Dear Esther was the first video game ever made by man, the industry would have been slightly different... However, alternate history theories aside, DE is to be considered as an unusual experiment, which strays from traditional principles of electronic entertainment. Gameplay is stripped of some now widespread features: interactive objects, logs, and puzzles. It takes away the fun in a traditional sense of the word though it may be all this have been sacrificed for the sake of storytelling and getting more engaging and emotion-focused experience.

The storyline is one of the strongest points of the title. Presented in a form of an audio messages, it tells about the man who lives (lived?) as a hermit on an island in the Hebrides - an archipelago just off the coast of Scotland. He wrote a letter to Esther, supposedly his wife, and messages you hear exploring as an unnamed silent protagonist are clippings from this writing. They appear when you reach certain spots of four different locations. This feature adds some replay value to a mature, if rather short journey as one can discover new pieces of the story should he visit places he missed in the next play-through. Writing is top-notch, the narrator is brilliant and reminds of the great Richard Burton, who lent his voice for Jeff Wayne's 1978 epic rock opera War of the Worlds. The story raises some major existential questions, leaves room for interpretation, and overall feels like it has been inspired by H.P. Lovecraft works.

Dear Esther looks and sounds gorgeous. It is not about photo-realistic visuals but about crafty game of light and dark, sounds, colors, and shapes. The island feels alive: grass sways, water flows, caves breathe and glimmer. The result: the most impressive landscapes which are competing in one league with Dead Space franchise and Skyrim. Sound design is faithfully backing it all up as everything - from chilly wind to distant ship horns - sounds naturally yet somehow unusual, out of this world. Combined with serene, at times dreadful music by Jessica Curry, it makes a huge impact, immersing one into the atmosphere.

Giving the game credit where credit's due, it is more than just a bold experiment. Dear Esther is an indie title which shows that gaming has grown up and is not just about mashing buttons and shooting galleries anymore. It offers no challenge but challenges your mind. It doesn't pull of any tricks but occupies it's own niche and broadens the boundaries of PC gaming, thereby bringing rage upon itself. For $10 you get 2 hours of sheer aesthetic joy on your PC. Only if your slogan is "No gameplay, no game", there is nothing for you here and there will never be.
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17 personne(s) sur 20 (85%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
4.1 heures en tout
Posté le : 1 juillet
Dear Esther is not a game, it's a playable poem with a stunning soundtrack

Recommended
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29 personne(s) sur 42 (69%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.9 heures en tout
Posté le : 12 octobre
Absolutely mesmerizing storytelling, with the tone of a masterfully penned novella and music that bears the weight of endless sorrow. An island that feels more like a character than a place. The only choice you have is to keep advancing or stop playing.
Dear Esther manages to be a profound and unique experience, even though it consists solely of walking through a virtual environment and listening to a man slowly lose his sanity for a little over an hour. I've replayed it many times and loved it more each time, while still feeling like I hadn't understood all it had to offer. Whether you consider it a game or not, Dear Esther is certainly a work of art.
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15 personne(s) sur 18 (83%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.5 heures en tout
Posté le : 10 octobre
This is a work of art.

There is little story, and even less gameplay. You're mostly railroaded along a path, where you will hear and see things. The world is visually appealing, and the voice work is wonderful, but the overall mood may or may not appeal to you.

Like any purely artistic work, it either speaks to you or it falls flat. Personally, it's not my cup of tea, but it might be yours.
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51 personne(s) sur 84 (61%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
4.1 heures en tout
Posté le : 30 juin
A game that is not afraid to change up the formula by reducing gameplay and adding an amazing atmosphere. Instead of gameplay Dear Esther focuses on conveying a meaningful, interpretative story with a soundtrack to match it. If you are looking for action you have come to the wrong place, if you are looking for a game that has will leave you with something more then your typical game I recommend this.
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20 personne(s) sur 32 (63%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
2.2 heures en tout
Posté le : 28 octobre
My recommendation to anyone thinking about playing this game is to go into it with the proper mindset. It is not so much a game in the traditionally understood sense of the word. Rather, Dear Esther is an almost entirely cerebral experience. It works on the player in much the same way a good painting will effect an observer who sees in the art not merely a window looking out on our own world, but that same world slightly altered by the surreal, and thus bringing to light things about ourselves we might not otherwise see. That said, Dear Esther, by it's very poetic nature, is one of the most immediately captivating games I have encountered; I do not believe it should be overlooked simply because it does not conform to the usual way in which people have come to view video games.

Overwhelming is the sense of solitude on this gloomy, desolate Hebridean island. Heavier still is the desperately sorrowful soundtrack, by Jessica Curry. In style, it is similar to film composer Christopher Young's most sparsely written music, and plays as a more effective voice in this introspective journey than does the admittedly potent narrator. I often find game music lacking in its ability to plunge beneath the fabric of a game and tug to light its individual and vibrantly beating heart, but this is a rare instance where such a feat is accomplished. Haunting as any chamber music has ever been, the score to Dear Esther will probe the emptiness within each of us, and get us contemplating questions most prefer to ignore.

This is a relatively short journey, requiring the gamer to simply progress across the island until they have reached a lone radio mast. There are no decisions to be made, no objects to interact with, and the fragmented narration of the main character plays out as you progress. The epistolary narrative renders the intent of the story in a vague light, like a sequence of events seen through shimmering tears. It is debatable what Dear Esther is actually trying to say (and I believe it to have been done that way intentionally), but anyone willing to open themselves to the voices haunting this Scottish island are certain to draw some very strong conclusions.

To me, the story deals primarily with unspeakable loss, and how we set ourselves up for even greater heartache (potentially leading even to madness) if God is not our anchor in all things. I, for one, see the issue of personal transcendence (as it is articulated at the end of the game by the main character's leap from the radio tower, who then begins a ghostly flight across the moon-dappled sea, followed by a black fade) to be illustrative not of our ability to achieve such a spiritual shift on our own, but exactly the opposite: There exists within fallen humanity a perpetual, aching cry to be delivered, redeemed--to transcend the shattering effects of our sinful natures.... But humanism cannot accomplish this miracle, nor any form of man-centered religion focusing on personal moral performance or upon the sincerity of their emotions as they are connected to a certain belief system. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only atonement by which we can be saved from all this death. He is the only peace, the only Truth. The end result of all other efforts at redemption lead only to chilly shadows and vacuous spaces brimming with regret.

Hopefully sharing my personal interpretation of Dear Esther does not come across as a clumsy effort to proselytize (if that were the case, I would certainly have given the Gospel in its fullness), but rather illustrates the power and versatility the player can expect to experience by such an unconventional game as this.

For anyone looking to plunge beneath the surface within themselves as they embark upon the solitary journey to the radio tower, Dear Esther offers surprising treasures that periodically flash their brilliance even years after the experience has ended.
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7 personne(s) sur 10 (70%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1.2 heures en tout
Posté le : 6 juillet
Pros:
- Immersive atmosphere
- Beautiful soundtracks
- Unique experience

Neutral:
- Vague story: open to different interpretations.
- Slow paced.

Cons:
- It's a bit pricey for an 1-2 hour experience. Get it from a bundle or when it's on sale!
- Word and languages choices might be difficult for people who use English as a second language.

Final verdict: 7/10.
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9 personne(s) sur 14 (64%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
4.7 heures en tout
Posté le : 8 novembre
Ever noticed how, very occasionally, you will play a game, listen to a piece of music, watch a movie or whatever, and you know, as soon as you've finished that it will stay with you for a long time?
I'm getting that right now.

I've just played through Dear Esther twice and I find it to be time and money VERY well spent.
This is not a game in the conventional sense.
If your fix is usually space marines shooting aliens, this might not be for you. It is very unorthodox.

It has no enemies, no other characters, no items, no object interaction at all. All you do is walk and explore as the back story unfolds through often dreamy monologues.
But therein lies its strength. It really does try something different, and it pays off.

It really is beautiful. It's a couple of years old now, but if you crank the settings up to full it really shines. This is due in large part to the actual art direction and creation of the island setting. It looks very natural with no copy and paste going on and it all takes place in dusk or night time so it looks moody and washed out.
Seriously, take time to look around at the scenery.

The sound is completely perfect and enhances the experience no-end.
The musical score is haunting and perfectly timed to coincide with epic scenery or other happenings. The narrator (the only voice in the 'game') does an excellent job as well.

It's a strange thing that a game in which you do so little can have such an impact, but that really is the case for me.
This game is as beautiful/haunting/mysterious as it is unorthodox.
It won't be for everyone, but if you are open to something different, put those headphones on, turn out the lights and go for a walk :-)
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