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Firewatch review
by Robbie

Firewatch is a beautiful and gripping experience. It's smartly written, with well developed characters and some of the best dialogue and voice acting I've came across in any game.

It mixes genre well, with genuinely moving moments and characters you're drawn to invest in, while keeping you consistency gripped with incredibly tense thrilleresque sections. The vast and stunning natural environment around you contributes to a feeling of eerie isolation as the game goes on, and you share your characters increasing anxiousness and paranoia when it becomes apparent that you are not alone.

Firewatch's other great success is how this all draws you to invest completely in the central mystery; and ultimately this is also where the game disappointingly falls a little flat.. From the moving and poignant introduction, through the consistent building of tension, and suspense at the unravelling of the games main mysteries, to an urgent ending as the forest fires rage and close in around you.. there comes a suspenseful expectation which is not met by the far more understated (both in tone and event) and somewhat anticlimactic ending. While in some ways I do actually like the ending in terms of those characters and the games themes, due to the build-up it inevitably makes the experience feel a little confused in tone in the end, and just a little unfulfilling.

On the whole I really enjoyed Firewatch; would recommend.

Other reviews21

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»
I enjoyed the experience. It was inmmersive and easy to play. The ending, though, felt a bit disapointing. I even looked up whether the game has different endings or whether your choices matter, the answer being "no" to both.
I'd still recommend the game: It won't blow your mind but it feels special.
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. 
Great game
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Firewatch is, in my Opinion, a very good Game. It's developer Campo Santo'S First Work and the Action takes place in the 80s. One slips into the Role of Henry, who, after a Stroke of fate, more or less leaves the city and his old Life behind and a new job at The Namesake "Firewatch" (i.e. Fire Guard, a Kind of Lookout) in Shoshone National Forest National Park in Wyoming Accepts. After the Intro, the Game really starts on Henry'S way to his New home And Job position in the Park. It also becomes clear to you early on how extensive this national Park is. There is no human Soul to be discovered far and wide and one is quite closed off from the Outside World. Something of this Kind is unlikely to be found here. The only Person with whom you are in more or less regular Contact is our Superior Delilah, with whom one is Connected by Radio. I don't want to say much more about the Story, because I don't want to spoil. Personally, however, I found her to be very interesting and she was also something different about the more common Topics. Now to the more general Stuff: The Graphics have a pretty and timeless Cellshading Look and also invite you to Take walks away from the Main Story. The mountains, Hills and Forests with their picturesque Rivers are real Eye-catchers (and also make themselves really good on Screenshots;)). The light and Shadow Effects also contribute well to the Mood, but Cellshading is also a Matter Of taste, as some People may also like it less. The Music is always coherent and always supports the Scenery well without ripping one out. Game Mechanically, there's not that much different to do, but it's not necessarily a Game to play for your action-heavy Mechanics now either. I hope, however, that this should be clear from the previous one. In Addition to climbing around, exploring Things, surveying them, picking up and the like, it is playfully more of a Kind Of walking Simulator. Before I forget to mention: The Game takes place in the ego perspective, so you don't see Henry himself. The Voiceover is completely in English (with very good Speakers), but fortunately the Subtitles can also be chosen in German. So, I hope I haven't forgotten or omitted anything important. All in all, a very nice Game, which I can recommend to anyone who enjoys quieter fare even away from Shooters.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
After the first 30 Minutes I would have been absolutely thrilled. But now I played through it after about 4 Hours and I am very disappointed. The Story makes no Sense to me at the back and the front in the End. Even the more interesting Topics (approaches) mentioned later are torn apart in the Belangless without Leading Any way and the "Finale" has simply left me perplexed. Against the extremely short Playing Time, lack of Gameplay (Firewatch is a pure "walking Simulator") and non-existent Replay value (runs all on Rails to a predetermined End) I basically nix. I also don't need a "Message" or a big "Twist" at the End. But I would like to take something out of the Game, for example an emotional Experience or suggestions for Reflection or simply An interesting and consistent Story. Unfortunately, however, I don't see them here (anymore) after the third Act. The first two Acts of the Game succeeded pretty well. Atmosphere and Presentation (Graphics, Sound) are excellent throughout. The Dialogues between the two Protagonists also seem very natural and symphatic. So Potential would have been there. It is All the More annoying that in the End the script does not begin with the Mystery and lets the Story threads in the last Act more or less run into The Arbitrary. There are-in my Opinion-significantly better "walking Simulators" that could make me think more, trigger emotions or present a more consistent Story based on each other. I would give Preference to Games like Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Gone Home, Soma, Stanley Parable or Journey at any time. Even Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, which I personally dislike for other Reasons, gets the Story better off. But That shouldn't stop anyone (if you can spare the current £17.99 for about 4 Hours of Play) to make a Judgement on yourself. Firewatch also has positive Aspects (especially the two symphatic Protagonists and their Conversations) and I will certainly look again at further Games of the Developer. So it's not a total fall, just for me a little Disappointment, judging by the great Start of the Game and the interesting down to earth setting.