Journey and Dear Esther Comparison

Hello, ladies and gentlemen In this video I’ll be looking at two fairly recent releases and giving my thoughts on them The games are Journey for the PlayStation 3 and Dear Esther for the PC If you don’t want either of these games spoiled on you, then I recommend you stop watching now as I’m about to talk about both games in their entirety If there’s even a vague chance you’ll be playing Journey at some point in the future, pause this video and have a think about whether you should watch on The first thing I’d like to do in this video is establish why I think it’s ok to talk about Journey and Dear Esther are together by showing what similarities the games share Although Dear Esther had been released as a free mod back in 2008, it was recently given a commercial re-release, which worked on an updated version of the Source Engine, and was a total overhaul as far as the graphics go For the purposes of this video I’m going to talk about the 2012 version though since it’s the latest one and also the one which players were charged money to play Journey also released in early 2012, and both games launched at a similar price point Journey was $15 and Dear Esther was 10 Neither game had a large development team Both games start out with the player being far away from their objective, but with their objective being immediately insight In Journey, the mountain is the focus of the game, with the player constantly working their way towards it In Dear Esther, the radio tower is visible from the start, and, similarly, the player is moving in that direction for the majority of the game The objective then is pretty much the same for both games — get from point A to point B Both games also lack combat Well, it’s true that Journey has a couple of enemies, none of them can be confronted and must instead be avoided Dear Esther features no other characters are enemies at all, so there’s no combat there either This alone is a very distinguishing feature since the vast majority of games are built on conflict in one form or another Neither game is very challenging, and neither game punishes the player harshly for mistakes The gameplay is minimalist from both titles compared to most games Both games are very visually orientated The artistic direction and graphical prowess of both Journey and Dear Esther is impressive, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that they both push the boundaries of their respective platforms at least somewhat Neither game has a heads-up display, and the scenery is a large focus for both games You can tell they both want the player to drink in the sights of the game as much as possible Each game is focused on engaging the player on an emotional level, although the way they go about it greatly differs from each other and from the majority of games in general There are few concrete details given to the player about the narrative of either game, and the ending to both games is ambiguous, leaving it up to the player to decide what exactly it was they experienced With all that said, I think it’s fair to compare these two games to one another The reason I’ve set out to make this video is because I played both games quite close together, and I was struck by how much I enjoyed one, while simultaneously hating the other By contrasting them, I hope to explain why. So let’s begin In Dear Esther, the player assumes the role of a man on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland While moving around the island, the narration recounts letters sees as written to Esther, and by going into dead end and exploring the island more thoroughly, the player can hear some optional pieces of narration The narration in Dear Esther is intentionally randomized and fragmented, so the player isn’t given a clear idea what’s going on Considering how little else is going on while the game is being played, these bits of narration quickly become the most prominent element to the game On a basic level, I didn’t feel like the narration was well-written enough to warrant this kind of focus Half of it is worded so obtusely that it sounds like a parody of itself [“𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘌𝘴𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘐 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘢𝘯, 𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘰𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘢𝘺, 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘺 𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘺 𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘮𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘺’𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶; 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘮𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳.”] The prose here is so flowery that it draws attention to itself, and I couldn’t help shake the feeling that a thesaurus had seen a fair amount of use during a writing stages Ultimately, It sounds like something a self-indulgent teenager might write, although thankfully its elevate a little by the excellent voice acting Dear Esther is populated by a huge number of words Words [“…𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴…”] [“…𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴…”] Words [“…𝘐𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶…”] [“…𝘐𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶…”] Words [“…𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘐’𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶…”] [“…𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘐’𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶…”] Journey, on the other hand has none Not a single word is spoken over the course of the entire game The cutscenes tell some history trough pictures, and the story is advanced by the different scenarios the player encounters on their way through the game I’m a big believer in the power of words You might even say I’m a fan of them I’m speaking to you with them right now, and believe me when I say: I actually find that a little amazing The ambiguity of human language is both a blessing and a curse, and harnessing that for creative purposes can be wonderful If you ask me what my ideal job would be, I might just tell you I’d like to be a computer game writer And it’s hard to get people to hire you for that if their game has no words You can see then that I have no agenda against words That said, Dear Esther has far too many fucking words

But at time the ending rolled around in mere hour after I had started, I was incredibly tired of listening to the overwrought narration Nothing about it struck me as genuine or a brought me any closer to the emotional core of anyone involved in the story It’s incredibly hard to relate to any character in Dear Esther because the narration seems almost obsessed with being as obtuse as possible [“𝘐𝘧 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦, 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘮 𝘐 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥, 𝘴𝘰 𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘺𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘴, 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘢𝘱𝘴𝘦𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.”] Both games feature some details hidden in the environments, but Dear Esther’s never made much sense to me and once again just seem to be trying too hard The first one I and probably most players noticed was the symbol for ethanol and the lighthouse at the beginning By the end of the game this makes a lot of sense and it would have been fine as an isolated incident The second one I noticed is the one which annoys me the most — the Fibonacci spiral near the start of the game I never expected this to be resolved, and it wasn’t It feels as though someone threw it in just because it looks interesting and I can’t imagine any context the game would give to explain what relevant such a vague symbol could have on the events or why it’s placed on the beach It doesn’t get much better after this either There’s also circuit diagrams, pictures of neurons, and passages of biblical text You’re not likely to understand any of the circuit are chemical diagrams at all, so these feel like they were chosen just because they look deep and visually appealing You might defend these as a way to give the story depth, but to me they’re worthless If you have to look them up one line layer to figure out what they’re about They add nothing to the game while it’s in motion The biblical passages are even more pretentious though because they’re pointlessly obscured They’re the only thing written in the game in plain language, but they’re spread out over a huge area, and the player is forced to walk past them up close, sometimes going past whole sentences backwards If you wanted to figure this all out just by playing the game, you would have to tediously write it all down, which would shatter the atmosphere Not only that, but I’ve read the entire passage that it quotes and couldn’t derive any meaning from it either The first set of symbols I came across in Journey were these, and at the time I didn’t understand them either By the end of the game I understood the visual language though, and on my second playthrough I was able to see it and it was clearly depicting a grave site It’s not deep. It’s not trying to be But it’s not without reason either, and it’s admirable that it uses its own little pictorial style to get some things across Journey relies on nothing, but itself to convey its themes, and as a result it probably crosses every cultural barrier there is Out there somewhere on planet Earth there’s still humans living away from the wonderful touch of civilization If you abducted one of those guys and sat him in a room with Journey, provided you could teach him how to work the controls and convince him — TV wasn’t about to swallow the entire universe, he would probably finish the game as emotionally got punched by it as anyone else I wouldn’t be surprised to see him curl up in the fetal position, let loose some primordial sobbing noises, and go home to his tribal people to hug every single one of them Now, normally, I’m not an advocate of appealing to broader audiences, but Journey is able to hit closer to home precisely because it’s so universal I’ll get into that in a while, though The first the most obvious falls to anyone is likely to find with Dear Esther is its lack of gameplay Well, It’s true that it’s interactive The most the player will be doing for the entire duration of the game is walking and looking around The walking is agonizingly slow, and there are no options for the player to run, jump, or crouch, just move The game could be completed solely by holding down the “W key” and moving the mouse Journey is more effective because the gameplay has room to shift tone It’s not supposed to feel good to see your character struggling to make it uphill, and it doesn’t, largely because the controls are so constrained during this time compared to what they were earlier This also leads into the beautiful reversal where the player can once again freely move and jump around again before the game closes out This helps to put the player in the characters shoes more so than it would have otherwise It’s a range of events that occur and arc Dear Esther’s gameplay has no arc, it’s the same from the beginning to end, and literally involves holding one button Since Dear Esther is so static, with gameplay involving nothing but walking, the main question this raises — is why Dear Esther is even a game at all? You could argue, and I would, that it gains extremely little by being interactive If you watch someone do a playthrough of the entire game, you’ve essentially experienced it The only thing you would lack in that case is the ability to play it again, and here a few new randomized lines the second time around I often see Dear Esther referred to as an experiment, even by its creators Experiments are a good way to improve the medium And if I hadn’t paid money for Dear Esther, this video wouldn’t exist I’d have labeled it as a failure and moved on It would stay with me as a warning of what happens when a developer lets a pretentious rejection of interactivity make its way into a game This version of the Dear Easther, however, isn’t free, and that alone to me says that the development team considers it worth paying for For something to really be an experiment, it needs to be able to be called a failure You don’t learn anything by creating something which doesn’t work, and yet stubbornly trying to insist it does

That said, the interviews I’ve seen with the developers never paint them as unreasonable, but the fact that there’s a price on the admission for the latest version still rubs me the wrong way The developers of Dear Esther set out to create an experiment, whereas the developers of Journey most likely set out to create a success instead, which is probably a much better goal I’ve mostly talked about why I disliked the Dear Easther, so let me say a few things about what Journey did right First and foremost, Journey is much more comfortable when its status as a game Although it’s rather minimalist compared to a lot of games out there, it’s still very much a game-like experience The movement is a lot more traditional than the Dear Esther, and it features some very common game elements like AI and multiplayer It’s clearly stripping out the fat, but where Dear Esther indiscrimi- nately removed too much Journey only removes whatever’s necessary Take multiplayer, for example You wouldn’t imagine a minimalist game to include such an element, but it’s the way Journey handles it, which makes it unique, seamlessly dropping players in and out of each other’s worlds and limiting the amount they can communicate with each other In fact, Journey is so comfortable being a game, It takes the cyclical nature of replaying a game and incorporates it into the world Journey introduces its gameplay elements flawlessly and again, without saying a word The most the player will ever have to put up with is a faded button prompt coming up on screen to introduce them to the moveset The introduction to the enemies is also extremely well-done, intentionally drawing the players attention towards the flying creature in order to introduce the threat There’s also a clear visual language in play when two pieces of cloth come in contact, which indicates the player is receiving power The length of the scarf is an intuitive way to represent the length of the glide as well, and if it wasn’t presented like this, the “Glide Meter” would need to be part of some kind of on-screen HUD The level design is also worth commending, striking a nice balance between linearity and openness It rarely feels constrained, but it also clearly pushes the player along a path The fact that players can barely communicate with each other is another important element to the game as well, because it makes other players less annoying These are all handled so well it’s easy to forget that Journey as a more traditional game experience than Dear Esther needs to set up a lot of different premises Even though there are many more elements at work in Journey, they never get in the way of the experience One thing I won’t hold against the Dear Esther is that it isn’t fun This is an argument I sometimes see thrown around about more artistic games that they terrible if they’re not fun It’s fair enough to say that most people play games to have fun in that most games If they want to be a success, should try to be as fun to play as possible Not every game needs to be enjoyable in that way, however Horror games seem to be the one genre which gets away with this without question If you play a horror game and you’re having fun, then it’s probably not a very good game You play a scary game like that in order to experience being frightened and immerse yourself in that atmosphere Dear Esther is similar in that way, just that it lacks any horror elements. It’s more about the experience As far as I’m concerned, it’s still perfectly okay to call it a game, however, since it does have an objective and an end condition: getting to the tower, completes the game Although I think it’s a little misguided to criticize the Dear Esther for a lack of fun, I don’t think it’s unfair to praise Journey for managing to be fun and artistic at the same time It’s a tough balancing act to manage both teams simultaneously, but Journey makes it look effortless I mentioned earlier that both games have good visuals, but their styles are very different from one another Dear Esther style is much more realistic, and this works very well to establish the bleak atmosphere of the island It’s the caves where Dear Esther puts its best foot forward, I wonder, some parts of this area which had me in disbelief that my computer was actually outputting what I was seeing on screen There’s less gameplay a more linearity in Dear Esther than some tech demos though, so it’s not too much to expect the graphics to be pretty good Journey features a more stylized approach, and although it runs on a PS3 and thus has a lower resolution and framerate than in Dear Esther, for my money it’ll age a hell of a lot better Dear Esther looks great now, but since its mimicking real-life, it would inevitably become outdated a lot quicker Already I found after having played it a few months ago, and then coming back to it for this video, It was a little worse looking than I had remembered, while Journey looked exactly the same I would say this extends to the themes of the games as well While Dear Esther is obviously about loss, which is a universal human experience, it’s always vaguely going to be about a car crash on the M5 It’s not that this is a particularly bad thing Lots of art reflects the modern world It’s just that I’m not convinced Dear Esther needed any contemporary elements in order to accomplish what it set out to do Both games left me thinking a lot after I completed them But I found that when I was thinking about the Dear Esther, I was never thinking about the game itself, but more about the superficial questions surrounding the game

It made me wonder what exactly is a game Is the Dear Esther a game? Is this some new genre of walking simulators that will really take off? These are largely questions about the games industry, and honestly a lot of it comes down to semantics, which is really a way for people to argue about lines in the sand When I thought about Journey, I thought about my life and what had happened to me over the course of the game Halfway through my first playthrough I lost my partner, and I spent a few minutes just waiting to see if they would be able to catch back up to me or if they were gone for good This was one of the most important parts of the experience for me But it didn’t happen to everyone By waiting and then eventually moving on, have I been pulled into my own little story about loss I’d bumped into a few different players over the course of my journey and I had enjoyed playing with every single one of them Who’s to say I wouldn’t have hated them in real life? If you play the game and never see anyone else, will you feel lonely? Will that get you thinking about people in real life who are lonely? If you complete the game with a single person, will that make you think about lifelong relationships? If you play through the game a second time, will that make you think about somebody else’s life? How much control do we have over each playthrough, and how much of it is merely chance? Are we lucky to end up with the people that we do? Does anybody ever really make it up the mountain or is it just the dream? The best thing about Dear Esther is that it has allowed me to think more clearly about Journey Dear Esther is all about subtracting until only the bare minimum of the game remains, while seeing if the player will still care Dan Pinchbeck, the writer on Dear Esther, feels that “something else rushes in to fill that gap” Journey works so well because it has no context we can relate to other than the interaction between the two players and the ultimate goal of climbing the mountain With nothing else to contradict the player, they can then create their own story just by playing the game With no characters to explain everything and give something to cling on to, ultimately it’s the little things that count The tiniest events can have meaning, like the way your partner pings at you, are temporarily getting separated and reuniting These are the moments that make Journey work so well, but the real secret isn’t that these moments exist, because they do in a lot of games It’s that there’s nothing else to contradict them When I played Dear Esther, the one thing that kept me going through it all was the hope that I would reach the ending and finally understand why the game was the way it was Maybe I would find a twist to make me re-evaluate the entire experience and appreciate it retrospectively Maybe I would come across some kind of meta-narrative to make me think about the time I had spent playing the game Maybe somehow the ending sequence could redeem the entire thing, but it didn’t Funnily enough, even though the entire game just involves moving from one point to another while some narration plays, it still relies on a cutscene to end the game, wrestling control away from the player at the only point where something actually happens Journey has more cutscenes overall, but the most important parts of the game are all played Granted the player usually isn’t doing anything complicated, but they are in control Specifically I’m talking about this This This And this The ending sequence that Dear Esther was about as anticlimactic as I could imagine, and I think the story would have stuck in me a lot more had the narrator fallen on the rocks and simply died This confusing sequence where he turns into a bird just left me feeling like I didn’t understand anything, and he didn’t compel me into figuring it out A second playthrough didn’t do much for me either, although since I knew not to expect any puzzles, interactivity, or payoff, I was able to enjoy the atmosphere of the island a little more On my second go-around I know there’s some of the ghosts in Dear Esther, which are possibly the biggest draw for replaying the game You can find them dotted around a landscape at certain points It’s kind of enjoyable to keep an eye out for them, but ultimately they’re just another unsolved mystery to thrown on to the pile I can handle when the game doesn’t want to give me all the answers I was able to enjoy Journey perfectly well, even though it leaves plenty of things unexplained But Dear Esther is just so vague that it feels pointless It feels like a bunch of discohering stuff thrown onto an island into hopes that it will look meaningful and artistic Maybe there was some definitive statement our feeling to be awoked by Dear Esther, but somewhere along the way it became too obscured for me, ultimately leaving me apathetic towards the whole experience Considering how much Dear Esther sacrifices in order to tell its story, I expected to at least get something back in return But there was nothing at the end of the tunnel Ultimately, I think both games were striving for fairly similar goals, that “filling in of the gaps”, which Dan Pinchbeck described The success of Journey on this front and the failure of Dear Esther for me largely comes back to that lack of context I mentioned a moment ago If the story of Dear Esther has no concrete resolution the player can rely on, then they will need to create a story of their own in order to enjoy the game But rather than giving them a framework to do this, the game enforces more and more restrictions on the plot as it progresses You need to contextualise Paul, Donnelly, Esther, the narrator, and the various events alluded to over the course of the game Since it’s randomized and vague, Dear Esther doesn’t form a satisfying story,

but it doesn’t form a satisfying game either Journey removes Esther, Paul, Donnelly, and the narrator It removes almost everything except a player and possibly a companion trying to get from point A to point B It doesn’t get more simple than that and, amazingly, it’s all the more satisfying as a result At the start of this video I talked about the similarities these games share, which are substantial Despite how similar these games are in a lot of ways, the biggest difference I found is how I felt after I finished playing them Journey left me satisfied, thinking very real thoughts about life and what it is to be human Dear Esther just left me regretting the money I had spent on it