Firewatch


Firewatch is a story driven game set in 1989 that throws you helplessly into the vast and mysterious Wyoming Wilderness. Your only connection to humanity is through a small handheld radio and the remnants of history left behind. It can be found on Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh Operating Systems, Linux and macOS. For the review this was played on steam, retailing at $20 USD.

I was going to wait a few days before I wrote this review for Firewatch but, I sit here at 6 AM, unable to delay the review. It's a very rare experience that I can be so captivated and moved by a video game, but Firewatch has moved me a million acres and I know it's going to be an experience that sticks with me forever. From the very beginning as you first delve into the story you are given a sense of wonder, beauty and sorrow. A mix of emotions that will have you laughing while leaving you in tears the next minute. This roller coast drives you through the game, offering a connection to the environment and characters that grows stronger as you progress.

Firewatch is a game about life, a game about exploring relationships and the connections we can develop to people we have never met. The story is rich and constantly seeks to impress, through stunning visuals, the orange colour palette and the unforgettable Delilah. A character who we grow attached to and want to discover more about. Behind every moment of titillating story is the breathtaking soundtrack. Perfectly suited to the story and environment, enriching the emotions we feel and sense of mystery and foreboding. As the player reaches critical moments in the story the soundtrack fits perfectly, as if it was moulded around the scene. 

Gameplay is superb, albeit it frustrating at times. Throughout the entire game we are travelling through a thick and beautiful forest, discovering new paths as we progress and developing the story. You will often find yourself lost and relying heavily on the map, which in itself isnt a perfect indicator of where you are or the direction you're heading it. This can cause some frustration and walking around in circles until we find the right path. This can be overlooked however by the impressiveness to the world and stunning scenery. 

Firewatch often rewards you for finding the right path by opening up new conversations between the protagonist and Delilah. Serving as a strong desire to follow the objective as you walk through the thick forests. This connection and sense of desire only grows as the game progresses and the story develops, leaving you unable to resist more. 

The user interface fits the general minimalist design of Firewatch, finding a perfect balance between ease of use and visibility. There are no separate screens during the game, accessing the map and other in game devices are performed through animations, stepping away from the commonly seen map screen.

Once in a while a story comes by that changes us and teaches us about ourselves, this is Firewatch. A game that I highly recommend putting on your wish list, every second takes your breath away. Firewatch is a game that I am glad played and I'm certain you will feel the same after having played through it.