This is day nine of my Lent 2013 Steam Game Back Catalogue Challenge.
I knew that I’d like Dear Esther but I was worried about pacing. About getting lost. About hours of wandering, having missed the right turning, not spotted a cave, getting bored.
I needn’t have worried. Steam tells me I just played this for 92 minutes – which will have inevitably included at least a few toilet breaks, snack stops, and checking on Polly, and there were only a couple of moments where I felt I was back tracking. It is, in retrospect, actually very linear – that, or it’s signposted perfectly.
There are, now, lots of screenshots. I’m going to attempt to hide them beneath the fold in case you are spoiler-averse – though these can’t really spoil anything. I took care not to include any text. But if you want the locations to be completely new to you, maybe you don’t want to look. I’m pretty certain it won’t hurt much though.
It is evening. You are in such a very real place. It reminds me of several coastal areas I’ve been. You can believe it completely.
Often, I turned a corner and thought “Wow!” – some breathtaking scenery, dramatic coastline.
This aerial/beacon is an ever present marker. I’m suddenly not sure if this is what I was pointing at the whole time. Did it always mark the “end” of a section?
While the island feels alive in terms of its shape, the sea, the plants, the paths, the fences – it’s pretty dead in terms of everything else. Every relic of life is abandoned and ancient.
The sky is beautiful. It’s getting later into the evening. I wonder if I could stay out here for too long. What would happen if I just sat on the cliff, watching the sunset?
There is a change of scenery, though, in chapter three.
….but entirely strange.
But before long we’re back to real and beautiful.
It’s late. I hope I’m dressed for the cold.
I don’t suppose it matters, really.
What also doesn’t matter is the “is it a game?” question. It’s an entirely pleasant (if very dark and contemplative) foray into another world. What more do you want?