This was a game I saw the trailer for at E3 2015. Something about it just seemed really cool. The art style, the look of the gameplay, “Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio”. Here’s the trailer for reference:
I purchased the game as soon as it came out (9th Feb 2016) and I decided to play through it yesterday in an attempt to crack down on my buying-and-not-playing habits. The following is a very brief account of my playthrough of the game.
A few things that went through my mind on when starting up this game: 1) the music is cool, 2) I’m digging the flashback story telling stuff, 3) wait… this is just like Up isn’t it? They hook you into the characters and then BAM! Right in the feelings. The way it progressed and allowed you to choose how the relationship was formed probably made it even more effective.
My first sitting was about an hour of game time. Learning how to read the map, the compass, how to use the radio to respond to Delilah in time (I think I missed a few opportunities to respond at first – it’s timed). I wasn’t always sure about my responses, some I almost ran out of time on and some I chose in an instant. A lot I second guessed after the fact. I also took quite a few screenshots, and was more than happy to clean up any beer cans I found littering the park. After a short break I decided to jump back in. I’d heard the game wasn’t too long and I had really been enjoying the development of the story.
Around 2 and a half hours later the game was ending. It certainly didn’t feel like I’d spent over three hours with Firewatch. The way the dialogue cuts in while you’re simply walking around helps to avoid any tedious travelling sections, especially when you get yourself a little turned around out there, and the way the story built up kept me wondering… what’s going on? After this one playthrough of the game it didn’t feel as if there were a lot of choices to actually be made, or that could affect the outcome at all, but I’m thinking I’ll keep it installed and have another crack at it some time (I’ve tried avoiding other spoilers about the plot). I might have to see if there’s anything else hidden away that I may have missed because of my choices.
As for the ending, it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I had my thoughts based on the trailer, and even some of the things that were happening in the game, but the ending that I played through made more sense I think. This was a game about a person. Well, two people I guess. And a few other people. Nothing weird, nothing mysterious, just a well-crafted story about some people that looked pretty cool and had me hooked from trailer that I saw 8 months ago.
- Title: Firewatch
- Platform: PC/Steam
- Release Date: 9th Feb 2016
- Purchase Date: 9th Feb 2016
- Completed Date: 29th Feb 2016
- Playtime: 3h 33m