If you can get past the non-interactivity, this is a beautiful, worthwhile experience
Dear Esther, the former Source mod that was given a face lift and retail release in 2011, has seen its share of controversy and discussion. Specifically, it has been at the forefront of every conversation that contains the phrase “but is it a game?” Let me say up front that I will not be addressing this question. Because to me, “what should I call it?” is far less interesting than “what did I get out of it?”
And what I got was unique and valuable. An engaging narrative, absolutely stunning visuals and music, and impressive atmosphere all come together to make Dear Esther a worthwhile experience. It has its problems - some of the writing is too opaque and florid, and the lack of interactivity is occasionally frustrating. But what it does, it does very well, and there’s simply nothing else like it out there.