Day 178, Game 178 - Dear EstherRead Now
So tonight, I played Dear Esther. Well, I think I played Dear Esther. I took to Twitter while playing it, actually, stating that I thought I was playing this game wrong. After finishing it, I'm still not even sure if I played it correctly or not, but regardless, I played, finished it and, well, that's about it.
For some reason, I thought this game was going to be inspirational, motivational or thought-provoking. Instead, I'm left feeling like I wasted a lot of time sightseeing and not doing much of anything else. If there was a message to pick up from the game, I didn't get it. Shame on me, I suppose.
I played it with headphones on, getting the full audible experience. I couldn't tell at first if the narrator was just speaking about random things, or doing his best Bastion impression and narrating what I was doing at the time. Pretty sure I figured out quickly that he was just reading letters or something like that, about a bunch of characters that had no context.
You see, you are just dumped on this island, with no explanation and no context for anything, letting you just walk around and "explore" this desultory, lonely and essential dead local. When I say explore, I mean just walk around looking at stuff, zooming in if you chose to, but never interacting with anything. And when I say walk, I literally mean walk. Just walking. There is no way to move faster - run, sprint, hurdle objects, swim, anything - just walk. This was easily the most frustrating part of this game, as the boredom sets in even quicker when you can't accelerate the game play any faster.
The graphics look really good, especially when you remember to bump up the graphics (which I didn't do for a while, to be honest). The scenery was great looking, but honestly, wasn't anything I haven't seen before, nor was it breathtaking. If I wanted to explore the outside, though, I would just go for a hike. At least I could travel at my own pace.
By the time I got to the ending, I was pretty much done with this game. Sure, the ending made a decent attempt at making the game have some sort of deep meaning, but really, I was so bored, it didn't do anything for me.
Maybe I am just being overly cynical because I'm on vacation in stupid-hot weather, but I know for sure I'll never return to this island to see if I missed anything. If I did, so be it.
As a fan of Dear Esther, I couldn't disagree more with your sentiment. Don't think of it as a game, but more as a fictional, interactive experience. I do know that makes me sound like a total Indie Game super fan, but again, I love this experience. Unfortunately, it is best experienced once, so I guess we can agree to disagree.
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Games played for project : 365