Firewatch is a game about monitoring fires while playing as this middle aged man named Henry, he's had some personal problems over the years with his family and has decided spending the summer as a firewatcher might be a good change of pace. Things start out easy for him as he learns how to operative within the national park they safeguard and some of the more interesting aspects of the job. There are some aspects of choice as well present within the game as to how you accomplish tasks or even throughout narrative in general. These largely seem to affect the style of chat whether that be at the start picking portions of your life or the later interaction with the close player in the story named Delilah. She and Henry become close over the course of the narrative as you two are constantly in communication and the amount of chat really depends on the phrases you choose to speak with her. The game is split into the separate days that you're there over the summer with things being longer at the start and at the end with the middle days acting as more quick flashes. I really loved the style of cinematics in the game as it would show peaceful portions mixed with some text information or audio. There are also certain events which alter what exactly is going on in the world and some very tense gameplay is created. There appears to be someone that's listening in or following our main characters around and that's the build of mystery around this title. I don't want to go into spoilers on those aspects though it's a much more tense game than it appears and the narrative itself was well built in that regard. The story is however fairly short only being a few hours to run through which does slightly hold the game back.
The game looks absolutely stunning, it's got such a lovely soft almost cartoon like graphics style to it. I was really impressed with the art style and it does look realistic, just with a soft cartoonish overlay as I just want to clarify. This carries through the entire game whether you're just enjoying a peaceful day in the park, walking around the controlled fires or even while climbing around on the hills. I was also very impressed with the amount of depth and interactivity with almost everything in the world. You could pick up books, start chats with Delilah about random things you see or just really explore. It was mostly a linear experience though the game does give slightly vague explanations which make you feel like you're adventuring around. You always have a map and compass on hand which are updated through the many supply containers found around the park. Everything in the game felt very smooth and my only issue with gameplay was the loading sections between days felt a bit long considering some were quick cutscenes.
Firewatch is a really great game filled with suspense and maybe even moments of horror. It does a great job of showing some emotional aspects as well as keeping the mood serious when needed or even funny when the time calls for it. The narrative was quite strong in the game and you feel those moments of stress when the character does which was fantastic. There were many drawing moments of when I had no idea what was going which was great and the story did a great job of keeping me interesting in pushing forward. I also really liked the bond that grew between your character Henry and Delilah which gave you instructions along with just gentle constant chats about what was going on. The national park was also beautiful with such great visuals across its entirety and the amount of depth with what was in the game to interact with was incredible. I do however wish that the game was a bit longer and that the loading wasn't as long considering some of the days. Firewatch does the perfect job in tying together strong visuals with an emotional story.
Review Done on Firewatch for Playstation 4
Review Code Provided by Campo Santo