Review: Firewatch

At a glance.

Travel back to 1989, where you play Harry, I mean Henry. After a few questions to build your characters story, you make your way out to the sparse wilderness in Wyoming for the summer. You need to get away from the hand that life has dealt you and just escape it all for a time.

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1989, when walkmans were the main source of music on the go and a boombox for the more party driven folks. Cell phones are a concept that most people don’t even know about yet, so it is easy to escape the world and just live a life with minimal contact.

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Armed with a walkie talkie, a compass and a map of the immediate area, you get down to work through tasks set by your only contact, Delilah. When things start getting a bit strange, you are tasked with finding out the causes. All the while, trying to work through your own problems by talking them out with Delilah.

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What we thought.

Mike: I knew nothing of the game till Shane introduced it to me. From the start, you can tell that the game and it’s distinct art style was special. The way the game introduces itself is done so in just the right way that you can still enjoy each painted vista. The controls are solid, the music was really well thought out– all this at just the right price point.

Shane: It has been rare, over the last few years, for a game to captivate me the way Firewatch did. Although a short enough game, (Total play time for me was about 4 hours) the game never lost its stride and continued to be a story driven game that I hoped for after the first 5 minutes. The scenery is absolutely stunning with a depth and uniqueness to each inch, that makes you want to explore more.

The interactions with Delilah really drive the game forward with a wide range of choices to build up a relationship, or tear one apart. The mystery that comes into the game adds that bit of an edge to the story and makes you want to continue playing until the end.  I managed to finish the game the day I started it, but I would have continued playing it through the night had it lasted longer. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of the short game doesn’t take away from the experience. It is nice to play a game that is only there to tell you a story. It doesn’t try to break any barriers down or reinvent the wheel. In fact, it almost goes back to a more simple wooden wheel, if we are sticking with that analogy.

This has been one of the best games I have played over the last few years, simple and elegant with a wonderful story. I would recommend to anyone interested to get this game. It won’t disappoint. Thanks to Jason for pointing me in the direction of this game!

 

Score: 9.3

  • Beautiful setting
  • Fantastic story
  • Not trying to be more than it should

–   Only downfall: short, but still worth the price tag (as long as it is under 20 bucks!)

 

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