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Dear Esther certainly creates some striking scenes with its graphical and aural combinations and there are some deeper elements to uncover if you're dedicated to going through it multiple times to seek them out.
While Dear Esther is visually captivating, it amounts to a little more than a countryside slog in every other aspect.
Dear Esther may have played a huge part in the growth of interactive drama, but it remains an acorn compared to the trees it helped grow. It’s an ultimately shallow game, one that rattles off a story directly without any finesse or attempt to integrate it with the gameplay. Its disparate elements are boldly segregated, and there are none more filtered from the production than the players themselves. It’s a landmark title, that much is true. Like most landmarks in the real world, however, it’s something you get to look at for a few minutes before growing weary and deciding to have much more fun in the nearby pub. I’ll see you all again when Dear Esther gets a third rerelease in a few years’ time.