This game is absolute trash. Protip, just because a video game has no gameplay, that does not make it some grand artistic achievement, it makes it shit. There is absolutely no player interaction with this. Absolutely none. All you do is walk around slowly through a kind of beautiful island and hear this British man narrate passages from letters. That is literally it. The game is so pretentious that it is upsetting to play. Everything from the lack of player interaction to the only slightly okay graphics to the incomprehensible story where the player is given no reason to care about because the game is not about the player but the narrator. The game is trying WAY too hard to be artsy and groundbreaking but in doing so, it manages to destroy everything that makes a video game unique. It stupidly isolates the player from the story and the world and trades it in for art school wankery that would have been laughed out of any other medium.
I'm sick of people calling this an example of video games as art. Why must we only give artistic merit to video games that take away the elements that make video games unique? The player interaction in Dear Esther is so minimal that it might as well not have been made. Good video games are not about shutting the player out from the process, it's about integrating the player into the story and making it their story as much as the characters' story. And Dear Esther absolutely fails at being a video game. Seeing the efforts of the studio's absolute desecration of the Amnesia franchises show that these people are not interested in making games, they're interested in making art installations on laser disks.
There is nothing redeemable about Dear Esther. It is a pretentious piece of shit that passes itself off as artistic by violating the basic rules of making a video game. This work has no artistic merit as a video game. It's like a book with no words or a song that's just silence. It is an affront to video games and it does not deserve any praise or consideration. This is the worst game I have ever played and I hope I don't see any more like it in this world.