Saturday, 5 May 2012

Dear Esther: The world's first Interative poem?

A Review Of: 'Dear Esther' by 'The Chinese Room.'

I've heard a lot of rubbish said about 'Dear Esther,' both from the pro and anti lobbies.
So I decided to give my own take on this rather unique peice of entertainment software.

Okay, I didn't call it a game, you probably noticed that, well I'll come back to this latter...

The program was originally released in June 2008 by 'The Chinese Room' as a 'Half Life 2' MOD. Later a much-improved stand-alone version was subsequently provided as a full stand-alone release through Steam in 2012. This is also now available through the
OnLive service.

'Dear Esther' is essentially an interactive story at heart. There are no puzzles to solve and no guns to shoot. In fact there are no protagonists at all, so any weapons would be a mute addition...
The story is told by allowing the 'player' to wander freely through a 3D landskape, where the plot progression is marked by peices of auidio being delivered over the ever changing background music at randome points as the player progresses through the landscape. This audio loosly describes a journey, or back-story; through seemingly disjointed peices of a letter, or the unnamed narrator's reflections.