Dear Esther Page 2

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  • Metalfish 15 Feb 2012 13:12:41 8,834 posts
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    For the love of god, turn the subtitles off. Audio only is the only way to experience this.

    /Dons Pretentious Sarky New Games Journo Hat

    It was a game. Or was it even a game? Had the pairing down of elements stripped this atom down to its very nucleus -a dense core of unreactivity? It doesn't even matter any more, a lesson is being taught to us, if only we slip between our rigid categories and open our eyes to see it. We could learn that great level design is interesting even when experienced at a snails pace, that a narrative emerges from the simplest of things when the mind is tuned to them.

    But we will more likely resort to submerging ourselves in overblown metaphors, drowning in smug protests of purple prose, sinking deeper into the murk of missing the point slightly. Or something.

    /Bored of hat now

    Yeah, so it's easy to take the piss, but I'd say there's definitely something worth experiencing here. It isn't really a game though. Just an experience.

    Edited by Metalfish at 13:13:28 15-02-2012
  • MetalDog 15 Feb 2012 13:15:00 23,740 posts
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    I'm waiting for the Let's Play :)
    Heavy Rain was irritating enough.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • orpheus 15 Feb 2012 16:22:32 1,007 posts
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    Yeah the subtitles are pretty dire & outright wrong in places, much better with audio only.

    I only peripherally knew about this before yesterday, but having been through it once now I know I'll be doing it again. It's not a game, its an experience as some have said, but the line is so blurred (mirrored in the narrative itself) it can be difficult to tell. The level design is outstanding, twisting and curving back on itself in ways that remind me of Dark Souls a little; that 'ohh' moment when you round a corner and realise there's been a path above you, just out of sight, the whole time.

    You could take a serious literary theory stick to the narrative sections: beautifully fragmented, interweaving story fragments that give a past life (or lives) to the island, the felt presence of characters like Jacobsen that are never depicted or even explicitly described, the Damascus metaphor that swells like the ever-present waves to final, terrible climax and redemption, the erratic narrator and his grief and even the sublimity of moments like the first view of the cave, or the beached trawler, the candles on the sand... man you could get dissertations out of this game.


    It's a glorious blending of game & story, less interactive than inter-directive, offering paths and then withdrawing them, taunting you with the road not taken. Play it without interruption and it will echo in you for hours afterwards.

    Everyone should own this game. It feels expensive, and initially I begrudged that, but the more I think about it, the more I think it was worth every penny.

    Edited by orpheus at 16:23:00 15-02-2012
  • the_dudefather 15 Feb 2012 16:31:10 9,328 posts
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    Metalfish wrote:
    /Dons Pretentious Sarky New Games Journo Hat

    It was a game. Or was it even a game? Had the pairing down of elements stripped this atom down to its very nucleus -a dense core of unreactivity? It doesn't even matter any more, a lesson is being taught to us, if only we slip between our rigid categories and open our eyes to see it. We could learn that great level design is interesting even when experienced at a snails pace, that a narrative emerges from the simplest of things when the mind is tuned to them.

    But we will more likely resort to submerging ourselves in overblown metaphors, drowning in smug protests of purple prose, sinking deeper into the murk of missing the point slightly. Or something.

    /Bored of hat now
    Love the EG review: 'buckle up motherfuckers - this may shock you, but this artsy indie game doesn't have guns or high scores, how Zeitgeisty is that eh?' (may be slightly paraphrased)

    Edited by the_dudefather at 16:31:31 15-02-2012

    (ง ͠ ͟ʖ ͡)

  • RobAnybody 15 Feb 2012 18:19:59 927 posts
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    It's certainly very atmospheric - and the caves are stunning to look at.
  • Phattso Moderator 15 Feb 2012 18:26:24 13,572 posts
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    I played the mod when it came out, but I'll be waiting for the Mac port before shelling out for the full version. It's ripe for being 'sale fodder' as well.
  • RobAnybody 15 Feb 2012 19:15:54 927 posts
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    Just 'finished' it - it's an extremely atmospheric experience and easily worth the asking price. Don't look for answers, don't actively try and decipher the 'meaning' of it - just immerse yourself in the experience and what it makes you think and feel.

    Definitely worth replaying (in my view).
  • RobAnybody 15 Feb 2012 19:30:40 927 posts
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    Phattso wrote:
    I played the mod when it came out, but I'll be waiting for the Mac port before shelling out for the full version. It's ripe for being 'sale fodder' as well.
    Mac port on the way:

    http://www.shacknews.com/article/72454/dear-esther-mac-port-confirmed
  • Phattso Moderator 15 Feb 2012 19:35:52 13,572 posts
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    Aye, that's why I said I'd wait for the mac port... because it's on its way. :)

    I was in a huff about it yesterday (when I went to buy it, thinking it'd be SteamPlay) and discovered the good news.
  • Ged42 15 Feb 2012 23:03:32 7,757 posts
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    I now want to go on holiday to the Hebrides. :D
  • MrWonderstuff 16 Feb 2012 00:19:23 1,940 posts
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    I enjoyed my time with DE. Love the forced walking pace...found myself reaching for the non-existent run button (using a controller). The atmosphere is stunning as was the landscapes. Be great to see a Skyrim like open world be as dense as this. The writing was ok...a little bit too up its arse at times but poetic in others. I love a good walk in the real world and this really nailed the same feelings you get. Worth the money as I will be showing this off to the g/f to see if it will change her perception that gaming is just about killing people.

    Edited by MrWonderstuff at 00:21:25 16-02-2012
  • RobAnybody 16 Feb 2012 09:48:06 927 posts
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    Some interesting stuff (spoilers of course) in an area for Dear Esther on the Steam forums:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1346

    Also:

    Did anyone notice the other figures that are sometimes viewed in the distance?

    Edited by RobAnybody at 09:48:42 16-02-2012
  • RobAnybody 18 Feb 2012 12:57:10 927 posts
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    Having now played through Dear Esther twice, I have to say that it's quite an experience. It's fascinating trying to figure out all the clues left dotted around the island, and the creepy, sad atmosphere is marvellous.
  • skuzzbag 18 Feb 2012 13:46:40 5,651 posts
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    MrWonderstuff wrote:
    I enjoyed my time with DE. Love the forced walking pace...found myself reaching for the non-existent run button
    LOL - wouldn't quite be the same experience if you could strafe jump around the landscape.
  • FogHeart 20 Feb 2012 00:25:51 954 posts
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    Haunted
  • RobAnybody 20 Feb 2012 09:26:21 927 posts
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    FogHeart wrote:
    Haunted
    And that's not the only one ............ :)
  • NosferatuPT 21 Feb 2012 10:10:14 2 posts
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    There's no saving, right? I played for about 30 min then I quit because I had to do other stuff. When I'm back in the game, I had to start everything from the beginning =/

    It remembered me of those old game boy games (like Super Mario World) where there is no saving and it's so frustrating xD

    But this is supposed to be a one time experience.. so I guess no savings was the right choice(?)..
  • richardiox 21 Feb 2012 10:12:17 5,640 posts
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    F6 is quick save, F7 quick load I do believe
  • NosferatuPT 21 Feb 2012 13:33:16 2 posts
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    @richardiox lool.. thank you very much :)
  • Metalfish 21 Feb 2012 13:35:59 8,834 posts
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    You can also start at different "chapters"
  • RobAnybody 21 Feb 2012 18:15:21 927 posts
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    And don't forget the 'swim up' key - there isn't one mapped by default because the usual way to swim up is to point up and move forwards.

    I find the easiest way to play the game is simply with the mouse - re-map the 'W' (forward key) to the right mouse button, and 'zoom' defaults to the left button. That's all you need really besides F5 for screenshot, F6 and F7 to save/load (remember that there is only one save slot, although to be honest only one is needed).

    A small tip - turn off the subtitles, they just get in the way of the lovely graphics. :)

    Edited by RobAnybody at 18:16:53 21-02-2012
  • RobAnybody 25 Feb 2012 14:56:45 927 posts
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    On the 500th walkthrough.
  • Machetazo 8 Mar 2012 13:40:56 6,372 posts
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    I saw a WTF Is... on this, and the reason I didn't like what I saw of the game there was not that there's minimal things to do in it, but that there's no player. Had the world showed the presence of the player I think it would be more interesting to me, but instead, it's mute. (Here, I would like to know, is the audio of footsteps, the surface, environment, and breeze present?)

    Had the motion of the player caused the world to react around it, such that TB's analogy for it of strolling through a gallery would not be apt, then I might see more to this, but it just looks so empty. I wouldn't want to pay for this kind of thing, because I don't feel that my time with it would be well spent, either.
    I was looking at Blu-Ray discs for my new player recently, and towards the back of the catalogue, I came across these programmes that are basically just recorded footage. Bold, attention-grabbing visual showcases. This may be the equivalent of that.

    The scenery of DE, the way it is and moves reminds me in parts of STALKER (SoC), and of course, the premise a little of Myst.
  • RobAnybody 16 May 2012 19:31:34 927 posts
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    I see that Dear Esther is part of a 50% off Steam sale right now, so it's a mere snip at 3.49 (offer ends midnight Thursday 17th May).

    The Mac version has also just been released! :)
  • mrpon 17 May 2012 15:21:04 29,206 posts
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    Just bought to add to my billowing pile. I'll get round to them one day, when I'm old and decrepit.

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • caligari 18 May 2012 00:44:02 17,081 posts
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    I couldn't resist, either.
  • boo 27 Aug 2012 22:33:02 11,846 posts
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    Just picked this up.
    It's a bit on the minimalist side. At least give me a clue as to the controls!

    Just seen that there's actually a save/load option (not that the game tells you!) For a while I thought it was going to make you do the whole thing in one sitting.

    Only wandered about for 15 mins, but it looks lush, and the sound / soundtrack is great.
    In fact, downright creepy with headphones!

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • caligari 7 Nov 2012 01:44:04 17,081 posts
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    Finally got around to playing/experiencing this a few days ago.

    I'm sure it's all been said before, but it really is utterly spell-binding.

    It took a while for my brain to adjust to the 'serenity' - I kept expecting an ogre to jump out at me from behind a rock.

    More pleaze!
  • RobAnybody 7 Nov 2012 09:46:30 927 posts
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    thechineseroom are currently developing 'Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs', but also in the pipline is the "spiritual successor" to Dear Esther, and that's 'Everybody's Gone To The Rapture':

    http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/19191/dear-esther-spiritual-successor-everyones-gone-to-the-rapture-revealed

    As an aside, Dear Esther is doing very well for awards (it picked up six last week at the TIGA Awards):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Esther#Awards_for_the_2012_commercial_release


    And it's sold more than 250,000 copies, according to the guy responsible for the sumptuous graphics, Robert Briscoe:

    http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/dear-esther/my-retrospectivepost-mortem-on-dear-esther/
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