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‘Dear Esther’ heads to consoles next month with director commentary

Developer The Chinese Room’s Dear Esther drew praise in 2012 for its nontraditional approach to first-person adventuring. Some said it wasn’t truly a “game,” relying less on challenge and more on simply observing the captivating world around you, but its atmosphere and minimalist approach to storytelling can be seen in countless indie games today. Until now, the game was limited to PC, Mac, and Linux, but console players will get their hands on Dear Esther for the first time next month.

Dear Esther: Landmark Edition will be available in September on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The console version brings with it “graphical and gameplay updates,” as well as a new directors’ commentary from developers Jessica Curry, Dan Pinchbeck, and Rob Briscoe.

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“The console release of Dear Esther will mark the start of a monthlong celebration of its legacy,” publisher Curve Digital adds.

In September, The Guardian will also hold what it’s billing as a “directors’ commentary directors’ commentary” in London, where the team will discuss the game’s development for 90 minutes. A live musical performance by Curry, hosted by The Barbican, is set for two weeks later. It will also feature a live, on-stage playthrough of the game.

Dear Esther has seen an unusually long development time, beginning as a Half Life 2 mod in 2008 before being released as a stand-alone game four years later. After The Chinese Room wrapped up work on the project in 2012, it next tackled the much-anticipated horror sequel Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. It received lukewarm reviews, with many critics comparing it unfavorably to the original game and not finding its particularly scary. The equally atmospheric adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture followed last year, first on PlayStation 4 before making the jump to PC. An Xbox version has not been announced.