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Firewatch review
by Colourfuljosh

I am a hair away from giving this game a "recommended" and not far away from that is "exceptional". It's SO CLOSE to being an experience that easy to recommend but just falls flat in the last third of the game. It's becoming a bit of an annoying trend in recent years for franchises to build up the intrigue levels of the viewer only to just frustrate and underwhelm right at the end (Game of thrones, lost etc) and this honestly feels like it belongs in that group. The game starts off with a very unique beginning, having you walk through a "text adventure" style introduction to the main character and his devolving relationship with his sick partner. It's genuinely interesting and when you stop and think about it, it fills in context for why your main character decided to run away to partake in the strange profession of minding a forest.

But then looking at the game with hindsight, this fact like many others don't account for much. I understand the impact that subverted expectations can install in people, but sometimes it's just annoying. Sometimes I want pay-off and satisfaction for trying to put the pieces of the mystery together. As things become more and more strange, you really feel like you're building to something big. So much media rely on youtube videos explaining to you how the true depth to the story was placed in the blurbs of the books in the backdrop of the scenery. 

Other weak points are the main gameplay loop of walking around the map (that's it, that's all your doing) and the games performance is very janky, resulting in bad frame-rates. 

If this game took the story and made the conspiracy something interesting instead of trying to go against my expectations, this may have been a 9/10 in the "walking simulator" genre for me. Instead the pay-off is an uninteresting slap and a 6/10 at best. 

Other reviews26

It's a solid adventure/walking simulator, but don't expect too much in terms of puzzles or gameplay.

If you're looking for some introspection, or to join the mid life crisis inspired spiritual journey of the faceless protagonist, this is the game for you.
Very beautiful game with excellent graphics, story and colorful world.
Much more engaging than I thought it would be. Right out the gate I was intrigued. I expected to play for like 30 mins or an hour the first session but I kept on going. I didn’t want to stop. Great writing and voice acting. I’m very intrigued by the mystery.

I loved the mystery right up till the end and I liked the pacing but the ending was a disappointment. It doesn’t really make sense. The Father either kills his son or more likely the son accidentally falls and dies and then he hides in the forest for 3 years and spies on the new rangers to make sure they don’t discover his sons body? It doesn’t add up. Why would he go to all that effort? He had this big elaborate plan to make them think that a research facility is spying on them for an experiment? He was tracking radio calls? How is that going to make them STOP investigating? For how great the writing was throughout 90% of Firewatch they didn’t think that through. They elude to much more interesting possibilities which are cheapened by this throw away ending. It’s honestly a load a bullshit.

Im definitely happy I played this before it leaves gamepass as I enjoyed 90% of my time with it but it missed its opportunity to be truly great.

Final Score: B
Captivating. One of the best "walking simulator" type games I've played. The environments are beautiful, and the atmosphere is vibrant. 9/10
«That ending!»
very nice game
«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»
This game set off an avalanche of me playing walking sims, but none of them did I enjoy as much as this.  Great voice acting
This was such a disappointment. The game started out with quite a touching story, then turned into a promising mystery adventure with a romance/friendship side-story and then ended in the most anti-climactic way with no pay-off. 
The music was nice and the voice-acting and character writing were good, but the game did not look good and performance was bad (I played on Switch). 
Incredible experience. The voice acting is really the star here. The two leads truly bring out the pain and loneliness of the characters, and the twists and turns in the story creates a paranoid experience for the player. 

Could use a visual remaster to update for modern gaming. The hiking simulation of it all was so relaxing. 
«Sit back and relax»
is great
«Sit back and relax»
It has a fun story with a beautiful design and unique gameplay, making the map fun to explore. I would have appreciated it more if it was designed to take longer, give the player more freedom to roam around, and enjoy the game on some tangent side missions instead of only focusing on the main story.
«Sit back and relax»