Dear Esther began life as a Half-Life 2 mod back in 2008. It was ambitious, but a little rough around the edges. In 2010 Valve allowed Dan Pinchbeck and dev team The Chinese Room to develop the MOD for an indie, commercial release via Steam.
I’ve been keeping half an eye on the team’s progress, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this indie game has passed under a lot of people’s radars. That will in all likelihood change over the next couple weeks as the game approached its 14 February release date. It’s also already received its first review score of 8/10 from Edge magazine.
The game is described as a first-person ghost story. You play a man stuck on an abandoned island looking for clues and information on why he’s there and who he actually is. There are hints about a delusional state of mind and things not being all they appear to be at first. In short, expect tons of exploration in a really, really good looking environment. With enough exploring will hopefully come a better understanding of what on Earth you’re doing on the island in the first place, and why Esther bought you here. Ooh, intriguing; I’m dying to play this. Hit the jump for a truly spectacular trailer and check out the game’s official webpage here.