Dear Esther: Landmark Edition walks (har har) its way onto PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, September 20. As the seminal "walking simulator," the granddaddy of a genre that still baffles many gamers today, this is an experience that started off as a Half-Life 2 mod in 2008, and paved the way for award-winning games like Firewatch, The Stanley Parable, Gone Home and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
Best of all, Dear Esther: Landmark Edition includes director commentary from three of the four people that made the game. There's super good insight from writer Dan Pinchbeck, composer Jessica Curry and artist Robert Briscoe. The only person missing is the narrator—voice actor Nigel Carrington. In addition to the director commentary, Curry got live musicians to rescore the original's all-samples soundtrack.
It can be a bit tiring to describe a video game as "haunting," but that's exactly what Dear Esther has done to me for the better part of the last five years. It hasn't dominated my psyche, but it's never fully left it alone either. If you're interested in story-first gaming, then you already know that you should play Dear Esther. And, trust me, the directors' commentary really deepens an already deeply moving and surreal experience.
Watch for our review, coming in hot.
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition is out today, September 20, on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.