Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 586 Ratings

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  • Summary: Dear Esther is a first-person ghost story. Rather than traditional game-play the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of a lonely island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly uncovered when exploring the various locations of the island, makingDear Esther is a first-person ghost story. Rather than traditional game-play the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of a lonely island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly uncovered when exploring the various locations of the island, making every each journey a unique experience. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Mar 9, 2012
    100
    Dear Esther is an auditory and visual experience that interweaves a consuming narrative and array of emotions. The game's actual value must not be solely based upon its gameplay length, but rather on the random elements and new secrets discovered through multiple playthroughs. Those that brave the journey into the narrative and world of Dear Esther will discover an experience that few games have been available to accomplish in years. Highly recommended.
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    90
    The beauty of Dear Esther is that it raises questions about content rather than mechanics.
  3. Feb 16, 2012
    90
    Dear Esther. I will take flight.
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    80
    The game is recommended for anyone who likes taking a close look at a piece of art that goes against the grain of the medium. You should consider checking out Dear Esther the same way you'd appraise a film. If you're interested in absorbing an intellectual story and gorgeous visuals without having to exert a drop of effort, take a chance on this curious experiment.
  5. Feb 20, 2012
    80
    If you're into the idea of experimental "games" pushing the boundaries of the medium, you might like Dear Esther, but if you're looking for a detailed story of Event A causing Event B which then naturally led to Event C, then this is not for you.
  6. Feb 29, 2012
    77
    Play this just for yourself and try to see where things might go from here. The possibilities are endless and almost completely unexplored.
  7. Jan 10, 2013
    30
    With no story or true narrative to latch onto, there's no reason for players to care about what's going on. And there's only one thing ever going on in Dear Esther: nothing. Broken up into individual pieces-the graphics, writing, and music clearly show talent and might have led to interesting stories or games-but together they form a dull, lifeless experience that's quickly forgotten.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 232
  1. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    This game is beautiful. I have never written a review before and created a metacritic account specifically to say how wonderful this game is.This game is beautiful. I have never written a review before and created a metacritic account specifically to say how wonderful this game is. It made me smile at how stunning and ethereal some of it is, it made me sad, it made me a little scared in places, it even made me shiver while sitting in a warm room because the mist blowing off the sea is so effective. I played through this in one sitting and I am glad for the experience. It's important not to go into the game expecting the usual fare, it's a very passive experience. Having said that the game does reward players partaking in the small amount of exploration available. As a gamer I think we need more of this. A game made out of love, with attention to detail and not to a financial bottom line. Game designers have a duty to make good games, true, but game players also have a duty: to support pieces like this when they come along and reward them like they deserve. If your looking for a unique experience that is a far cry from the usual FPS on rails shooter then I cannot recommend this game highly enough. Incredible Expand
  2. Dec 2, 2012
    10
    Great interactive story. Be ready that you won't get a game, but you'll get a story. Story is just clear to me, game (uhm, story) has a greatGreat interactive story. Be ready that you won't get a game, but you'll get a story. Story is just clear to me, game (uhm, story) has a great idea behind, visuals are incredible, music is spellbinding. I really admire projects of these kind because developers respects not only instincts but also a brain. I really glad that more projects are on the way, not only from "the chinese room" but from other independent developers. Great stuff, really worths to spend money and time. Expand
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    10
    To call this a game would be almost entirely inaccurate. This piece is better described as an interactive fiction narrative. The only gameTo call this a game would be almost entirely inaccurate. This piece is better described as an interactive fiction narrative. The only game play mechanic in this work is to guide your character through the story. However, what makes this piece of work interesting and outstanding is the atmosphere that is created through the narrator's speech, the beautiful graphics, perfect music score, and amazing ambient sound. This is an experience that no one should pass up, my first play-through took up a little over 2 hours of my time; for $10 this is a fantastic deal. Expand
  4. Jul 28, 2012
    7
    This...story has surely some good points, but also some bad ones. I said "thing" because I can't really talk about game because it has almostThis...story has surely some good points, but also some bad ones. I said "thing" because I can't really talk about game because it has almost no game elements in it except, maybe, for the menus, but I can see why people are both discouraged and impressed by this: the first thing that actually disappointed me is that the story itself is very slow and sometimes very confusing...but that is actually one of the main points of the story, and at each playthrough the lines change among them, making the story more or less clear; however I can see people having issues with the story and even I had some issues to understand, at least in the beginning. Also, the fact that there is no exploration can be a little frustrating, because there's isn't much else to see and, unfortunely, you can't even run. Another flaw maybe is the length: it lasts only 1-2 hours tops and I can see why people are discouraged to pay (not a lot at least), for a game that don't even last like a movie. But with that said, this story is actually a good one, even if it's confusing: even if the lines and the descriptions takes a little to understand, once you get it you see that it's extremely touching and very deep, because it's basically a travel in the mind of a man and his thoughts about things around him and his past, and all of this has a reasonable but also a more confusing ending, after you have seen all of the places... and about these places, I must say this: even though I'm not a graphic lover, the scenery in this game are simply beautiful. I honestly never seen such beautiful scenery put in games: it looked like I was in a real place! And even though graphics alone are never worth the price in ANY game, this game showed that graphics can create a great scenery and beautiful places, and not only make a game more realistic. I can't say to give it a try mainly because, as I said, it's short and there is almost no gaming elements, but if you are interested in something different, in a different story, and in a different yet beautiful scenery, this is a ticket for a graphical museum that will accompany you together with a good, but also confusing, story. Expand
  5. Mar 2, 2012
    5
    Art = 10/10
    Game = 0/10
    Overall = 5/10 It's really really nice, but it's also really rally booooring! I almost slept when I was 'playing' this
    Art = 10/10
    Game = 0/10
    Overall = 5/10
    It's really really nice, but it's also really rally booooring! I almost slept when I was 'playing' this 'game'...
    Expand
  6. Sep 25, 2012
    3
    WARNING! THIS "GAME" IS 20 MINUTES LONG!

    I'd give the score lower were it not for the beautiful graphics. There are SO MANY DAMN BAD THINGS
    WARNING! THIS "GAME" IS 20 MINUTES LONG!

    I'd give the score lower were it not for the beautiful graphics. There are SO MANY DAMN BAD THINGS about this game that it's hard to decide where to begin. FIrst of it ISN'T A GAME, there is 0 INTERACTION with everything! No, really! THIS IS A HOLD W (forward) SIMULATOR! The story is really really uninteresting, this game is the equivelent of watching a **** film major's indie film that he couldn't get funded so he put it onto a game instead, easy to understand but arrogant and pretentious enough to believe it self to be otherwise, you will simply rather early begin to wonder when will the narrator shut up since you already got the idea of what occur a while back.

    So yeah, if you wanna spend 10 bucks like I did to see nice graphics go ahead or just you know....buy a GAME with good graphics rather than this......thing.
    Expand
  7. Jan 15, 2013
    0
    As a mod for a game, this is cute. As it's own game, it's nothing worthwhile. The story could easily have been packed into 20 minutes insteadAs a mod for a game, this is cute. As it's own game, it's nothing worthwhile. The story could easily have been packed into 20 minutes instead of 60-90 minutes of walking through beautiful, but generally uninteresting terrain. Expand

See all 232 User Reviews

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