This was one of the games that I had first seen at E3. I was super excited about this game because everything about it was just super intriguing and I knew it was going to be a day one buy for me. So I of course picked it up the day it was released and then played a few days later because being a grown up means that you can’t always play games when you want. Did it live up to all the hype that surrounded it and I was still intrigued with the game after I completed it? Keep reading to find out.
In Firewatch, you play as Henry. Henry is going through a pretty difficult time in his life right now and just wants to escape it all. The best way for him to do that is to be on fire watch in a Wyoming park. There he’ll be alone and left to his thoughts about the trouble he’s been having with his wife and where exactly his life is heading. Even though he’s alone, he’s not really all that cut off as he’ll have multiple conversations throughout the summer on his walkie-talkie with Delilah. Delilah is his supervisor and will basically be telling Henry what to do throughout his time on fire watch. Depending on the player’s choice of words, that will determine how the relationship with Henry and Delilah develops. Throughout the game there will be two mysterious that take place over the course of the summer, but by the end of the game they’ll both be resolved as will where Henry and Delilah’s relationship goes.
Boo! I’m a sucker when it comes to a good ending for a game, and this one did not have it. No matter what you do or what you say, it ends the same. While each mystery is wrapped up nice and neatly it would have been nice if Campo Santo had come up with a twist of sorts that made the game worth the $19.99 they’re asking for.
At the start of the game, I enjoyed the text based decisions that had to be made in order to determine how Henry’s life progressed with his wife Julia. Her struggle with Alzheimer’s is also his struggle and at a point the game made me cry because I felt like I was there with Henry feeling not only his pain, but his struggle as well. When the game finally gets into the “game” section where you’re wandering around the forest while talking with Delilah, that’s when the game takes a little bit of a downfall. Delilah will send you on missions and things will get tricky as you try to navigate your way around the forest using only a compass and a map. Once you get used to using the compass and the map, the game is over and you feel like you’ve wasted a bunch of time trying to figure out how to use the damn thing. Throughout the game you’ll be faced with having to stop teenage girls who are drunk and skinny dipping who then go missing along with a mysterious person out in the woods who has attacked your tower and is now a threat to yourself and Delilah.
Kudos: The one thing I enjoyed a lot in this game was the voice acting. It really made the game especially in areas where the game was lacking. Each voice actor really shined in his or her role and I really can’t think of anyone more suited to play Henry and Delilah.
When it came to the playability of this game, it was just atrocious at times. There was lag and framerate issues, some loading issues, and then a hard freeze that required a game restart. After the restart, no data was lost and I picked right back up where I left off, but still it was just something that shouldn’t have happened. It was annoying at times that when you’re walking through the forest, the forest isn’t properly loaded so at times you’ll see random scenery popping up as your walking along. Other than that the game ran fine, but those things really took away from the game at times.
Side Note: I know this game has had a patch since I played and originally wrote this review, but seriously there was no reason for me to go back and play this game. If this patch fixed these problems then good on them, but without having a good reason to go back and replay this game, my original review of the playability stays.
I enjoyed the graphics for this game because they were simple, but that was when they were functioning properly. As I said earlier, sometimes the graphics didn’t load properly and it took away from the game as a whole. Then there was the end scene which just felt like a huge mess. Without spoiling anything, it was supposed to look certain way, but the whole thing just looked a little sloppy to me.
Another game proving that multiplayer isn’t always needed.
Overall I give this game a 2 out of 5
+ Great cast of voice actors that made both Henry and Delilah really come to life.
+ A good concept for a game even if it didn’t feel fully developed.
What’s Not So Great:
– Safe ending. I really wish that Campo Santo was a little bolder with their ending but instead they took the safe route which turned out to be boring.
– A lot of problems including, lag, framerate issues, freezing, and loading problems.
– Each mystery turned out to be not so mysterious after all.
– Time went by way to fast and once you play the game there really isn’t a reason to revisit it.
I was super excited for this game only to be let down horribly. I knew going into the game that it was super short, but that wouldn’t have mattered if the story was solid. Unfortunately the story really wasn’t that solid. Mysteries turned out to be not so mysteries and it all lead to an ending that was boring and way too safe. If you dead set on playing this game, no matter what I say isn’t going to change your mind, but if you’re on the fence I would say hold off because this game is not worth the $19.99 asking price especially since it has absolutely no replay value. Even though you can make your own choices, in the end none of it really matters so why even bother playing again?
Everyone’s been singing praises about this game since it came out. I completely agree with your review (Finally someone feels the same!) and I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that Campo santo advertised it falsely. No multiple endings whatsoever, I was pretty pissed. It felt even worse since I preordered the damn thing.
I’ve read so much praise for this game that I think it’s a little ridiculous. Thank you for commenting and actually agreeing with me, I was starting to think that maybe I was the one who was wrong about the game. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who felt that way about Firewatch.
Same here. I think people gave it way too much praise just because it was made by an indie studio. I’ve played better walking simulators, Firewatch is unfortunately not one of them.
I agree. While there are some indie games that are better than the AAA games that are released, sadly Firewatch is not one of them.