Firewatch is definitely an open-world, narrative focused game. Its suspense filled story is powered by paranoia and fueled by isolation. It proves totally engrossing as you try to uncover the truth of the mysteries around you. But , for me, it highs are undermined by underwhelming revelations and an unsatisfying outcome.
Lose yourself in the wilderness
It only take moments to begin to relate to Henry. He is a person running from his life in a way that is depressingly easy to relate to. Plus, if you are trying to flee from your interpersonal and family responsibilities, where better to do it than cut-off from world as a firewatcher in the wilderness of a national park in Wyoming.
As Henry, your only work is to sit out the dried out summer in a tiny watchtower and become vigilant to signs of fire. It is a stunning environment, filled with vibrant colors that change with the sun. But it is Firewatch’s use of scale that is truly impressive . It is vast, yet its turning trails always get you to your location before you start to tire of the breathtaking vistas.
Henry’s just company is his boss Delilah. Your interactions come via a dual end radio, and add drama and direction to Firewatch.
There is a flirtatious antagonism to this relationship from the beginning. As you explore the open-world she goads you into tasks you are not 100% comfortable with, but there is a lightheartedness to this that feels believable thanks the fantastic script and voice acting. Plus, as your friendship increases, she proves the perfect distraction in order to Henry’s worries.
You can direct Henry’s answers on every single topic – from deciding things to reveal about his past, in order to reporting trash. This can degenerate straight into almost mindless pestering with you wishing to hear her thoughts on every little thing, nevertheless true choices appear Firewatch forces a decision .
The art of conversation
When motivated, you have a limited time for you to respond or the conversation draws to an end. There is no returning, and your responses can alter the sculpt of the relationship. This time constraint — coupled with choices that actually correspond to how a real person would react — makes you care about every interaction .
Even with this outlet, the solitary character of months in the wilderness begins to play on both characters’ sanity. Suspicion impacts their thinking, causing these to find links within Firewatch’s mysteries which they may not consider in usual circumstances.
This is the narrative focus of Firewatch. Enchanting conversations color your perception of events as points becoming increasingly tense and uncertain. This results in me developing a strange emergency to get responses “right” and times of genuine panic as I worry some responses may result in myself missing a hint or offending Delilah.
However , outside of these fluid dialogues, I find myself playing Firewatch too much just like a game. I pick up and examine things – that neither Henry or I have any interest in : through a desire to experience “everything” .
Towards the end of Firewatch’s 5 or six hours this turns into especially incongruous with the urgency of the story being told . While I am completely absorbed for the majority of of its tale, my own curiosity throughout the climactic moments breaks my suspension system of disbelief and causes many revelations to fall flat.
It is a bottom line that leaves me deflated, that is strange after being so invested in Firewatch’s twists . But these problems are my own and, oddly, knowing I find the resolution disappointing could help you better appreciate it.
Firewatch’s interactive narrative does everything right – building meaningful ties between the characters, story, and planet in a way that is completely engrossing. Through this particular it gets you invested in a means few games can, leaving your own enjoyment dependent on personal experiences and expectations.
Download Firewatch in Softonic