The plot is relayed through a narrator, presumably the protagonist, who simply talks while you walk around an island. You never interact with anything, you simply walk from point A to point B. Luckily the visuals on the island are quite beautiful and the idea of a story being told about the real world while you walk around in a metaphorical world is something quite interesting.
Unfortunately, what I found was a fairly good concept hindered by literary masturbation and poor narrative masturbation. At every turn the language turns into a contrived mess. Perhaps the writers goal was to show he had access to a thesaurus, or they simply wanted the player to work hard to understand the basics of what the game was saying. Regardless the purpose of the language is to convey meaning, instead, it hindered understanding and made me dislike the protagonist at every turn.
The problem was I wasn’t even sure who I was disliking. You hear about different characters throughout the game and yet its hard to truly understand who you are and why any of these characters matter. It made the plot very difficult to connect to.
I’ve heard many people complain about the lack of actual gameplay in Dear Esther. While that is certainly true, the lack of engaging story in a game that completely focuses on it is far more troubling.
Ratings are out of 5 yarns and the Overall is not an average.