Firewatch

Firewatch is a game ©2016 Campo Santo, in cooperation with Panic.

Visit the official site: http://www.firewatchgame.com/

image ©2016 Campo Santo, depicting the visual style of surroundings, the protagonist and the map in-game.
image ©2016 Campo Santo, depicting the visual style of surroundings, the protagonist and the map in-game.

 

I have heard this game described as a walking-simulator, and I suppose that’s not entirely unfair.

In terms of a game Firewatch offers few to no challenges, no leveling or grinding; the focus is on character development and story. Though there are a few easter eggs and a secret ending.

It is, however, better likened to a good book; the story stays with you, insisting you ponder the duality and the similarities over and over again.

The gameplay is short, I suppose you can get through it in less than four to five hours (I spent two evenings, enjoying the ambience).

Yet in these few hours you may enjoy an impressively human experience, with believable human reactions and challenges. It is low-key in it’s delivery, which occasionally lends more power to the experience.

The game is set in 1989 and you play as Henry, the lead character who is a white, middle-aged man with his own reasons to seek solitude, a walkie-talkie your only connection to anybody else.

This game might appeal more to those past their twenties than to teens, but the experience is, I think, somewhat universal with it’s own take on the fragility and complexity of relationships through various parts of life.

If you are looking for a challenge in terms of gameplay, Firewatch might not be for you.

But if you would like to spend a few hours playing through what feels like an interactive novel, I would definitely recommend Firewatch.

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