Firewatch game review


#1

I’ve not done a review in a while but have been spurred on to type a quick one about a great game that’s recently been released for Linux.

Firewatch is set in a vast Wyoming forest. In particular, the area overlooked by your fire lookout tower. It follows the protagonist, Henry, whose only human contact is provided by a radio to his supervisor, in the next tower along. Needless to say, there is a reason for Henry’s desire for such isolation but I dare not even touch on this in fear of spoiling it. I will say it’s genuinely heartfelt. The game develops this sense of isolation well and builds suspense to levels that I’ve not experienced with computer games in a very long time.

The developers chose to animate with a great pseudo-realist style, with a hint of cartoonism (really wish I knew what this was called). This choice really brings out the beauty of orange sunsets and boldness of blue flowing water. It’s a joy just to walk around. This is backed up by a great soundtrack that aids the sense of tranquillity and effortlessly compounds the suspense when needed. On top of all this, the voice acting is done perfectly; key when the plot centres around a radio. You really feed the emotion between the characters.

There is common complaint that the game isn’t long enough. It took me about 4 hours to complete (I played it quite fast), so I can understand the issue but it really didn’t bother me. At £15 on Steam, it’s really worth it; especially considering that it runs great on Linux.

Even if you’re not a gamer, this is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. I really admire indie companies that create content that’s so far away from the norm and think it should be supported. Buy it.


#2

This looks pretty interesting! I may have a go at this.

Question. The description says: “A Note: Firewatch is a video game about adults having adult conversations about adult things. If you plan on playing with a younger gamer, that might be good to know going in.” What’s that about? Is it suitable to play with a 15-year-old?


#3

Obvious spoiler alerts.

The adult conversations are about mental illness. I think the closest to sexual reference is along the lines of “I wish I could spend the night with you”.

There is also a death that you don’t see the cause of, just a body (no blood etc).

That’s the extent, I would say this fine for 15 (and younger tbh).


#4

I would add that the Steam controller works great with this game, too. My only issues with this game are petty quibbles, which, if anything, show how much of an affinity I’ve developed for it. I wish the backstory was revealed as flashbacks, rather than all at once in the beginning. The game makes the terrain much too safe. You should be allowed to make stupid mistakes and fall to your death, get bitten by rattlesnakes and catch dysentery. And, like any great story, I found myself wishing for more story.
EB


#5

Just picked it up, through “Day 1”. So far enjoying it quite a bit. I’m kind of an omnivour when it comes to gaming, almost anything goes, but have to say Firewatch looks to be one of the top games I’ve played, in a long time. I’m drawn more and more to indy/small gaming house games (though I do play FIFA on PS and Fallout4 on Windows as well, sue me), and Firewatch has that polished, not extravagant, small dev team production feel. Ran into a screen res problem at startup due to dual monitor setup, though this seems like a fairly common gaming on Linux issue. So if anyone else finds themselves looking at an unusable home screen, tweak your resolution settings in

~/.config/unity3d/CampoSanto/Firewatch/prefs

Cheers for the recommendation!

My counter-recommendation is SuperHot, also on Steam. FPS that turns the gameplay/engine upside down. Super clean feel to it, minimalistic yet vivid. It’s Super. Hot.


#6

I also got this kickstater on the radar recently, which looks good.


#7

Cool, just pledged for early access. Looks great!


#8

Youve seen the gNew vid then @kerneloops ?

[24 hours to_go till it ends for early access.]


#9

Just watched that last night. Pretty slick. Wanted that grenade make a bigger boom though. I like big explosions :slight_smile:


#10

Jesus … LUGRadio Sunday night Enemy Territory flashbacks there …


#11

Firewatch has free roam now for free! according to Breaking News a day or two ago.

First released back in February 2016, the game now has a new addition which makes it even more worthy of your time. Developers Campo Santo have added a Free Roam mode which lets you wander around the gorgeous stylised world as much as you like.

Thursday 10th november 2016.


#12

I found that if I saved the game, then restored from the save, my view was locked in place and I could not look around; making the game unplayable. After searching the Internet a bit I found this was a common Linux issue and the only fix is play through in one go. I didn’t really mind, good excuses for an extended gaming session, but something people should be wary of.

Other than that it ran beautifully, I loved the graphic style and really enjoyed the game. Defiantly one I recommend.


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