Sunday, 8 July 2012

Esther Dear

I played Dear Esther. Then I played it again. Is this a game, strictly speaking? Is it an interactive novel?

You wander an island, while hearing excerpts from letters to Esther from the narrator. Something happened (hint: it gives a little away on the game page), and now the narrator is coming to terms with everything, and you are going on the trip with him.

Um... game wise, there are motion controls, but no jump button no matter how many times I hit space bar. Nor a run button so you go at the same pace all the time. Don't expect to run through this, because you can't. Your job is wander around and look at things. Exquistly realised things, this is Valve's Source engine, but this isn't a game in the sense of items to discover, doors to open and certainly nothing to fight. It's a story, for the player to piece together.

Because what bits of narration depends on where you go. And what you see can change to. I'm not sure how much of that is determined randomly by the game when you start a new game, and how much is determined by where the player goes. I don't see me playing it again soon to find more differences.

Because... it's a nice wee thing, but, despite the changing nature, I wouldn't say this was eminently replayable. [And I'm glad I got this half price.]

Now to get around to playing the Stanley Parable some time...


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