Firewatch – An Emotional Challenge
I know I’m a bit late writing this review. Strangely enough, I bought this game on Day 1 and had it beaten by Day 2. I don’t do this with many games but this one in particular was compelling enough for me.
I really liked this game. It was visually stunning, didn’t really have any ‘enemies’ in the traditional sense, and although it was VERY linear it didn’t feel that way. The game starts you off by asking a series of deep personal and moral questions. They use your answers for these throughout the game, although it is unclear if selecting different answers results in a different gameplay.
After you finish the series of questions you are charged as a lookout at Firewatch station Two Forks. You have a pretty large area you cover but can easily get to each spot within the day. There is a beautiful lake, ravine, aspen grove, and flowered meadow all within walking distance. Other than another lookout that talks to you via radio you are in complete Waldeinsamkeit (The feeling of being alone in the woods).
The emotional discomfort begins when a series of strange events begin to occur. At this point you’ve become invested in the character. A group of campers come up missing in your area and in a different strange series of events you could be a suspect. Then things start happening around you that you have to react to. I’m not going to spoil anything because this game is purely about your reaction to the events that unfold.
I will say the game was extremely fun. I beat the game in about 6 hours of in-game time which is short for a video game. However, it was only $17.99 with STEAM and I could play it on my MAC. I don’t think I could get 6 hours of fun and joy out of anything for about $17.99. I fully believe it was worth it. Recommendations, however, are different. Most people don’t look for the same things in games. I wanted a story-driven not hardcore fighting game. This was it exactly. It was set in beautiful Colorado/Wyoming Mountains and was gorgeously implemented.