Two years in the making, the highly anticipated indie remake of the award-winning mod Dear Esther is set to arrive on PC in February. Dear Esther promises to immerse you in stunningly realised environments spanning a remote and desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides. Abandoning traditional gameplay for a purely story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses its beautiful landscapes with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption.
Originally launched as a Source mod in 2007, Dear Esther has gained a cult following, critical acclaim and a number of international awards, including Best World/Story at Indiecade 2009. The extraordinary success of the mod, with over 100,000 downloads, prompted thechineseroom to begin a collaboration with Mirror’s Edge artist Rob Briscoe on a commercial rebuild powered by Valve’s Source Engine technology.
The project is being backed by Indie Fund, the high-profile independent game investment group that includes Braid’s Jonathan Blow, World of Goo creator Ron Carmel, and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany.
The game has already garnered attention for its exceptional standard of art and audio, which delivers an experience of AAA-quality gaming wrapped around an innovative core of storytelling. The narrative is semi-randomised and abstract; poetic, deep and emotionally resonant. This, combined with a quality of presentation that rivals the highest-budget commercial titles, makes Dear Esther truly unique as an independent production.
It will be the first time a game that started life as an academic research project to explore new opportunities for design and storytelling in first-person gaming will be realised as a full commercial product, and a milestone for the indie sector’s ability to once again deliver game experiences that are as innovative as they are engaging.
Dear Esther will be released for PC on Steam on the 14th February 2012, priced at $9.99.