Don’t you know that love and understanding go together? (Dear Esther, 2012)

I dont care much for horror-based stuff: why would I punish myself by drawning deliberately into unpleasantness? Some psychological horror oriented games are interesting though. I enjoyed the slow-paced video game The Path during which you reenact the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. In The Path, you are not provided with a set of instructions. You just move the character you play with and see what could happen. And stuff happen. I won’t say more in order not to spoil anything but it worth a shot.

2012-07-17_00002

The other day (steam summer sale guilty as charged!), I gave a try to Dear Esther; the 2012 version, not the original one. I’m not sure what to think about it. It is slow paced, sure. It extensively uses the Source engine, that is to say the rendering is quite nice. But as much as I was amazed in 2004 playing the Source version of Counter-Strike then Half-Life 2, I got used to. Recent games (L4D2, Portal 2, TF2, etc) still based on this almost a decade year old game engine cannot just focus on aesthetics, because even if this engine proved to be quite potent, many much more recent engines can do more in this regard.

2012-07-17_00013

Is it a spoiler if I say that, in Dear Esther, you have absolutely nothing to do, just slowly travel on a map? I get the point of slowly walking: so you can enjoy the sight. It’s true it is well designed. It’s like going on a trek in the hills. Except that you are not moving your body at all, except you cannot breathe fresh air. And now I realize that this part of trekking is not so much secondary. Fast enough, I was a bit bored and missed the point of being able to move wherever I wanted to, because it made no difference. Trekking on Skyrim makes much more sense. I’ve read some reviews of the game saying it should have been made a movie instead of this kind of interactive truly non-interactive game. Sure. But I’m not sure I would have a enjoyed this movie too. I guess it’s just too slow paced for me.

2012-07-17_00014

Maybe this review is harsh: this game was not supposed to be more than an experiment with the engine. I’m not saying the game is not worth the price I paid during steam sales, I’m not saying I had a bad time. The point is I like video game because I enjoy interactivity. So whenever you provide me with a game with almost no interactivity, I get bored über-fast. In the end, truly enjoying this game surely depends a lot on what you expect from a video game in general. Ask too much of one….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s