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Firewatch Review: Prepare for an interesting sensation
Posted on February 22, 2016 by Evie Vallejo

Firewatch is the first game developed by San Francisco-based company, Campo Santo.  Needless to say, for this to be their first game it was certainly on fire. 


A Story That Makes You Burn for More - The year is 1989. You are Henry, a middle-aged married man taking on a job as a lookout at a national forest in Wyoming. Your life is complicated and you took this job as a means to get away for a little bit. This isn’t an ordinary job, however, as you soon start to experience strange things happening around you. The only contact is a woman, Delilah, who is in another lookout tower and communicates with you through your radio.

Firewatch has an engaging story. I wasn’t bored and I wanted to know what would happen next. It leaves you guessing and wondering with every new section that opens up to you. I couldn’t put my controller down and I didn’t want to turn off the game till I finished it. It was climactic through and through. 

Walk Around With Some Story - Firewatch is a linear adventure game, but it also makes sure that you know how to read a map. Paying attention to directions that are given to you is key. Although you can’t stray too far from the path that’s given, you still can get lost from time to time if you’re not paying attention to what your only contact tells you where to go. I was constantly looking at my map, but after a while, I was able to remember where areas were located. The game does feel like it’s just a walking simulator most of the time, if not all the time.

Aside from walking and picking up items, you also get to make decisions on what to say to your only contact, Delilah. Through the conversations, it does seem like a spark ignites between both of you but only you can decide if it goes that way. As you’re walking and doing puzzles, you actually get to take in the scenery of the forest and admire the beauty of the 3D graphics. The colors are beautiful, and change as the sun goes down. There are different environments where you will see a lush forest in one area of the map, to a mass of dead and burnt trees in another section. Campo Santo did a great job in creating a park that is both peaceful and a little freaky at the same time. 


We’re Having Some Technical Difficulties - Firewatch is good on its story and some gameplay, unfortunately, I was having trouble with lag. Textures weren’t loading in some areas, and at one point, the game completely froze on me. I can’t be too sure if it was because my PS4 couldn’t handle those flaming graphics or if it was just trying to save at every autosave that was causing the problem. It would stop my game for a little bit and then I could start moving again. Although the game froze only just once, it was still annoying. I did have to quit the game entirely to fix it but it picked up where it froze. 

I enjoyed my time with Firewatch. Sure, it’s not a sandbox game, it’s linear and straightforward, but the story is good. I like a game that can keep me going for hours without wanting to turn off the game. Because I couldn’t put the controller down, I finished it within four hours.  The only downside is the hiccups and the possible freezing it can have. 

*This review was based on the PS4 version of the game with a review code provided by the developer.

Evie Vallejo - Staff Writer evie (@) | all author's articles

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