1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    stepat201's Avatar
    July 2007
    2,877 Posts
    I'm sure a lot of you have played this, but this thread is for those who don't know about it.

    A deserted island... a lost man... memories of a fatal crash... a book written by a dying explorer. Dear Esther is a ghost story told using first-person gaming technologies. Rather than traditional gameplay, the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly triggered by moving around the environments, making every telling unique. Features a stunning, specially commissioned soundtrack. Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it's because it may just be all a delusion. What is the significance of the aerial - What happened on the motorway - is the island real or imagined - who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here? The answers are out there, on the lost beach and the tunnels under the island. Or then again, they may just not be, after all...




    This is my personal favorite Half Life 2 mod. It's really beautiful, would probably be described as art by most people. The writing is amazing, the music is incredible and the atmosphere is really immersive. It's been over a year since I've played this (came out 2008) and the experience has still stuck with me.

    This has to be played, you will thank me.

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/dear-esther/downloads
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    salty peanut's Avatar
    June 2006
    1,819 Posts
    I tried it last week and had no idea what the fuck was going on.

    You walk as slow as a dead snail covered in syrup, I had to bunnyhop through the whole thing. It's a bit buggy too, I came up to these citizens who just stand there not doing anything. :raise:
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  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    Street_Wolf's Avatar
    November 2007
    1,242 Posts
    People say this is amazing. I don't know why. I understand not every game needs to be guns blazin', but this just. . . sucked.
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  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    CunningHam's Avatar
    November 2006
    1,749 Posts
    I did not like this mod at all, it's very boring, doesn't have a real intelligent story at all, and is overwhelmingly underwhelming. It gave me the feeling that it was throwing as much enigmatic stuff as it could at me in an attempt to dazzle me into thinking I was taking in some sophisticated art. Oh and the game looks like shit too.
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    Furioso's Avatar
    October 2006
    4,397 Posts
    Terrible gameplay, poor story.
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  6. Post #6
    Fidchell's Avatar
    October 2007
    449 Posts
    I remember playing this. I really liked it. A few big problems though.

    - Although the pacing seemed...necessary to help the dialogue flow, it was painful to walk at such a low speed.

    - The dialogue was SHIT-QUIET compared to the other sounds.

    - The music, although as beautiful as it was, drowned out the dialogue.

    - The actually storyline is told in a very weird and erratic way that would probably require several playthroughs to figure out.

    - Short as hell.

    But either way this was still worth my time. Intriguing mapping mixed with peculiar monologues and wonderful music made this a joy to play through.

    The caves were fucking awesome.
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  7. Post #7
    Fyr
    Fyr's Avatar
    July 2009
    92 Posts
    The first part was really confusing, and the story was boring and very short. I hated this mod.
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Rich209's Avatar
    January 2006
    1,050 Posts
    Anyone have any idea how to get my hands on the sheet music for the piano music in Dear Esther?
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  9. Post #9
    WillerinV1.02's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,710 Posts
    Can someone actually fucking tell me what the hell happened in the story
    I literaly didn't get anything
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Clavus's Avatar
    September 2009
    6,049 Posts
    I never played the original, but apparently it's getting a remake with some of the most gorgeous graphics in Source (the guy who's working on it is one of Mirror's Edge level designers at DICE):
    http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/devblog/



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  11. Post #11
    PlazmaBurst's Avatar
    July 2008
    327 Posts
    One of my favourite mods, though I haven't played lots of mods.

    Can someone actually fucking tell me what the hell happened in the story
    I literaly didn't get anything
    I think that the story is incoherent on purpose. It gives you some vague information and lets you fill in the gaps, and as you create a story by yourself, you get more immersed in it.

    There are actually more than one story in this game. One is that of a woman called Esther, and the narrator is reading some of the letters to her. She was killed in a car accident. Than there are the stories of the other characters: the shepherd, the hermit, Donnelly, Jacobson, Paul and many more. Later in the game these stories converge, collide and even contradict.

    Those electrical diagrams you see painted on the rock represent the anti-lock brakes, while the chemical diagrams represent the alcohol, both responsible for the car accident that killed Esther. At least that's how I think.
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  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    wewt!'s Avatar
    July 2008
    12,186 Posts
    I loved this mod
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Hazrd24's Avatar
    December 2007
    2,047 Posts
    I installed the original version and tried to play it, I got stuck in between some rocks. I'll wait for the new version to come out before I play it again
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  14. Post #14
    "Suicidal thoughts? Depression?  Harden the fuck up." -uzikus
    uzikus's Avatar
    February 2010
    1,757 Posts
    I played it once or twice, the only reason I didn't like it was the narrator's voice volume that was too low and I couldn't turn it up without turning the ambient and world sounds up.. It also had no subtitles.

  15. Post #15
    AUTISTIC DOTA WANKER
    Dr Bob's Avatar
    June 2006
    7,361 Posts
    I don't see what's so great about this mod.

    Perhaps the remake will be better?

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    Rich209's Avatar
    January 2006
    1,050 Posts
    I don't see what's so great about this mod.

    Perhaps the remake will be better?
    Well the remake is just the levels themselves. But the way I think of this mod is as if I'm reading a stephen king novel, instead of reading your walking through ambient enviroments, listening to haunting music, while a man tells a story. Its about you trying to figure out whats going and piece it together. Its art is what it is, most people though only care about the gameplay itself. And if thats what your looking for then you will think there is nothing special about this mod.
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  17. Post #17
    KarmaPolice's Avatar
    May 2009
    953 Posts
    I'm waiting for the remake to release before I try it.
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  18. Post #18
    Extraction Point
    Empty_Shadow's Avatar
    July 2006
    8,040 Posts
    Didn't the guy go crazy because of his syphilis?
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    wewt!'s Avatar
    July 2008
    12,186 Posts
    Didn't the guy go crazy because of his syphilis?
    I thought it was because of    an injury while he was on the island   

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Watevaman's Avatar
    August 2005
    6,637 Posts
    I don't see what's so great about this mod.

    Perhaps the remake will be better?
    It's a narrative, so if you go into it thinking it'll be anything but that, then you'll be disappointed.
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  21. Post #21
    ryokomasaki2's Avatar
    August 2010
    26 Posts
    People say this is amazing. I don't know why. I understand not every game needs to be guns blazin', but this just. . . sucked.
    This mod was a different take on the normal game play of HL2. It is a great mod do to the dialogue, and personally, it scared the crap out of me the 1st run through.
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  22. Post #22
    WillerinV1.02's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,710 Posts
    People say this is amazing. I don't know why. I understand not every game needs to be guns blazin', but this just. . . sucked.
    Its one of those games which doesn't ACTUALLY make sense, but people like to seem intelligent by being like "Yeah bro i loved it"
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  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    Athena's Avatar
    August 2005
    1,497 Posts
    This mod and I have a special relationship. I tried to like it, I really did, but it crushed my balls with its suckiness.

    The mod starts off simply with a small jump across a crevasse, but this ordinarily easy task is made difficult by your moving slower than a goddamn glacier. I fell down the cliff and sustained no damage, so I initially thought that this was supposed to happen. After forever of walking down the coastline and nothing happening, I come upon an insurmountable slope and only then is was it evident that I'm not supposed to be there. What kind of level design is this? Why is it so easy to fall down here, and why am I allowed to keep going for another ten minutes before I realize what's wrong?

    Pissed, and totally unimmersed by this point, I noclip back up to where I was supposed to be; some fenced grassy clearing. There is absolutely no indication where I was supposed to go from here. At one point I plain walked off the edge of the world. A noclip back in and I spot the boat. I chase the shadowy figure while my character gives some pretentious soliloquy, but by the time I get there (an especially long time, given how fucking slow he moves) it's gone and it's a dead end. What was the point of that? Why did the maker lead me in exactly the opposite direction of where I was supposed to go? What did this accomplish?

    I make it to the tunnels, but not without falling off the world a few more times. The proper route is largely indistinguishable from scenery. The displacements are brutal, the sky bland, and the lighting dull, but I continue on.

    In the tunnels the character/narrator falls into some pool of water and unlike my earlier fall off the cliff, it breaks my leg somehow. But I'm still able to move unimpaired and my character doesn't seem to mind that much. "Oh dear, my leg is broken, this will surely make teatime difficult!". Even the game forgets about it after five minutes. I'm left to navigate the most homogenous and cramped tunnels in the world with electrical symbols painted on them. At this point I've been playing the game for over half an hour, and I have no idea why I'm here, what the point of any of this is, or what I'm supposed to accomplish.

    In what I suppose was the creator's attempt at a climax, the game all of a sudden turns into F.E.A.R., but the girl ghost trying to haunt me is but a minor nuisance. No insights are ever given to why she's there. I eventually make it to the top and the game just ends. It literally has no ending. The camera peels back and spins. Roll Credits. I feel extremely unrewarded and confused at what the hell I just wasted the last hour of my life on. If there is art in here, it was totally ruined by the delivery.

    I'm unconvinced that there's something spectacular in here. It's broken in pretty much every conceivable way. But worse, because it parades itself as art, there's a disturbing number of pompous fans who will attack critics for being too plebeian to recognize the the multi-tiered intentional ironies embedded into the plot or some stupid shit. It's an opportunity for people to brag about how sophisticated they think they are.


    This mod is Big Rigs tier. 0/10.
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    booster's Avatar
    July 2006
    20,743 Posts
    I can't wait for the remake to come out, it looks outstanding.
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  25. Post #25
    TheDudeGuy's Avatar
    September 2009
    980 Posts
    People say this is amazing. I don't know why. I understand not every game needs to be guns blazin', but this just. . . sucked.
    It's like visual poetry, you just have to focus on the emotion in the story, not the visuals and gameplay.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    Athena's Avatar
    August 2005
    1,497 Posts
    It's like visual poetry, you just have to focus on the emotion in the story, not the visuals and gameplay.
    Yeah, let's not focus on the gameplay of a game. Let's instead focus on the emotion of wandering around a field for an hour.

    Tip: If after I've done the thing I still have no clue what the fuck just happened then there was no story.
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  27. Post #27
    TheDudeGuy's Avatar
    September 2009
    980 Posts
    Yeah, let's not focus on the gameplay of a game. Let's instead focus on the emotion of wandering around a field for an hour.

    Tip: If after I've done the thing I still have no clue what the fuck just happened then there was no story.
    Have you ever read any kind of poetry? Or even read a book? Maybe you haven't noticed but this mod wasn't intended to be a shoot-em-up hardcore style game. The creator of it put a lot of emotional effort into it. You're just too dense to notice these things.
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  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    Athena's Avatar
    August 2005
    1,497 Posts
    Have you ever read any kind of poetry? Or even read a book? Maybe you haven't noticed but this mod wasn't intended to be a shoot-em-up hardcore style game. The creator of it put a lot of emotional effort into it. You're just too dense to notice these things.
    Robert Frost is poetry. Edgar Allen Poe is poetry. Dear Esther was not poetry.

    Just cause some po-mo artsy fartsy guy puts effort into something doesn't make it good.

    You just don't get it, maaaan.

    edit: Explain why it's so good. If it's as good as you say it is then the analysis should be easy.
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  29. Post #29
    TheDudeGuy's Avatar
    September 2009
    980 Posts
    It's an entirely new style of poetry. A style that uses new game technologies to tell a story. It is art, and it's got to be one of my all time favorite mods.

    Edited:

    It must be painful to be so dense as to not understand any of what's happening in this mod.
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  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    Athena's Avatar
    August 2005
    1,497 Posts
    It's an entirely new style of poetry. A style that uses new game technologies to tell a story. It is art, and it's got to be one of my all time favorite mods.

    Edited:

    It must be painful to be so dense as to not understand any of what's happening in this mod.
    If what is going on is so obvious and so missed upon by the masses then explain why. You haven't said why it is great, only how great it is. I've said why it's bad.

    Art can be bad. This mod was wrapped up in too many technical issues to be good. There's nothing new about games telling stories and even if it was new, that doesn't automatically make it good.
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  31. Post #31
    WillerinV1.02's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,710 Posts
    It's an entirely new style of poetry. A style that uses new game technologies to tell a story. It is art, and it's got to be one of my all time favorite mods.

    Edited:

    It must be painful to be so dense as to not understand any of what's happening in this mod.
    have my shit
    dont like it? you have to, its art
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  32. Post #32
    TheDudeGuy's Avatar
    September 2009
    980 Posts
    As if I could explain art through words. Too understand why it's so great you have to understand the artist way of life. Go ahead and call it stupid, pretentious and a waste of time. I'll just tell you straight up that it's not.
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  33. Post #33
    WillerinV1.02's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,710 Posts
    As if I could explain art through words. Too understand why it's so great you have to understand the artist way of life. Go ahead and call it stupid, pretentious and a waste of time. I'll just tell you straight up that it's not.
    aw shit man i can't explain to you why my fecal matter is so good through words, you can call it stinky, dirty and full of diseases, but I can tell you straight up its not
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  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Athena's Avatar
    August 2005
    1,497 Posts
    As if I could explain art through words. Too understand why it's so great you have to understand the artist way of life. Go ahead and call it stupid, pretentious and a waste of time. I'll just tell you straight up that it's not.
    This is the best cop-out post I've ever seen.
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  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    Flaming Neko's Avatar
    March 2007
    1,666 Posts
    Can someone actually fucking tell me what the hell happened in the story
    I literaly didn't get anything
    the only part that i understood was when the narrator said that, esther or something, fucked a sheep.
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  36. Post #36
    Irespawnoften's Avatar
    February 2009
    3,875 Posts
    Fighting over opinions :geno:
    You know what I don't get? I love this mod, ever one seems to hate it. But when they do the same thing in Korsakovia, every one loves it because they threw in a shitty combat element.
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  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Killerjc's Avatar
    August 2008
    4,586 Posts
    Robert Frost is poetry. Edgar Allen Poe is poetry. Dear Esther was not poetry.

    Just cause some po-mo artsy fartsy guy puts effort into something doesn't make it good.

    You just don't get it, maaaan.

    edit: Explain why it's so good. If it's as good as you say it is then the analysis should be easy.
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  38. Post #38
    drcortex's Avatar
    July 2010
    603 Posts
    half of the people in this thread look like this:
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  39. Post #39
    TheDudeGuy's Avatar
    September 2009
    980 Posts
    I just replayed it again after a year, and it remains to be one of my favorite mods, if not my favorite. The music was beautiful and the narrating was immersive and full of emotion.

    Sure the mapping wasn't that great and some of the textures and stuff could use some work, but I ignored all of that and enjoyed every bit of it.


    I can't remember the last time I actually immersed myself like that. Those of you who want to wait for the remake to come out, I strongly recommend you play the one that's already out. To really enjoy it you have to be patient, not notice the small flaws in mapping, and really immerse yourself. It is truly an incredible mod.

    Edited:

    It's almost like reading a really good book. You have to be patient to get it through the pages, but it brings out so much emotion.
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  40. Post #40
    I sell weed to elementary school students
    Stizzles's Avatar
    February 2009
    11,680 Posts
    I just played this for the first time, it was cool in some aspects, but not perfect.
    I can't wait for the remake, it looks BEAUTIFUL.
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