I played Dear Esther around two years ago, I think. Possibly more. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played and definitely the best mod. The game involves no running, shooting, stabbing, driving, flying, blowing up or indeed down, no stomping, belching, inventorying, levelling up or in fact any concrete goals of any kind, save one: explore. You play a character visiting an island in the outer Hebrides. You explore the island. There are buildings and strange landmarks to visit. As you journey around the island, music is played (the music is beautiful, as far as I’m concerned, and worth the price of admission alone) along with a voice over recalling, perhaps, a car crash. Things aren’t quite clear; someone, certainly, is absent, and sorely missed. The mod was so successful that, when the original team decided to re-develop it – expanding the soundtrack into full orchestration, re-building the island in high-resolution – Valve, the makers of Half-Life, decided to give it a full release via Steam, their digital distribution network. It’s out in February – I honestly haven’t been this excited about a game ever. It’s given to be absolutely beautiful.
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