Firewatch

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Hello all, I just wanted to start out by introducing myself. I am Cy Boord, no not a Cyborg even though I’ve been hearing that my entire life. In the gaming world most of my peers know me as CyBorGamer. I have done gaming blogs in the past, but had not much success mainly because I was trying to do it all myself. 😀 . I feel being a part of this crew will help make me successful. I have a YouTube channel where I attempt to do entertaining gaming videos, as well as live streams on there from time to time.  I have been an avid gamer since the moment I could hold a controller. I started out playing video games on a Super Nintendo making many fond memories. Ever since I have been a part of the never ending struggle of keeping up with the gaming technology. This technology has grown so much and continues to grow to levels I never could have foreseen.  Just recently I have started playing more and more on the PC. I still venture back to the console versions occasionally, but I have never had an experience like I have had with the PC versions. So if you can afford it, I would always recommend building yourself a gaming PC. I am 23 years old, and I live in Toledo Ohio. I am a news photojournalist by day, and an avid gamer by night. Now let’s get to the good stuff.

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Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where you’re only emotional life line is the person on the other end of a handheld radio. This is the description laid out by the Firewatch game website. Firewatch is Campo Santo’s first developed game, to my knowledge. Their mission is to make games about interesting people in fascinating places. I would say that they successfully completed that mission in Firewatch.
In my reviews I’m going to make an attempt to cover 6 major categories. Sound, Graphics, Gameplay, Replay Value, Story, and then my personal opinion. I’m doing this, just so we have some structure. I really hope you get something out of these reviews, and that you enjoy reading them.

SOUND

First off is sound. Let me tell you first what kind of sound set up I am using. I have a 2.1 setup. 2.1 meaning I have 2 Satellites and 1 subwoofer. The brand is creative audio. This could impact my experience with the sound. I usually use headphones while gaming, but that’s another story. While playing through Firewatch, I felt like I was immersed into a serene environment. I felt as though I really was in the Wyoming wilderness, I’ve actually been to Yellowstone National Park, so this was like being there all over again. You can hear the birds chirping in the trees, the wind blowing through the ravines, the voice of Delilah. Let’s touch on the voice of Delilah. She has a rather calming demeanor to her. When walking through the forest while out on a hike, hearing her voice made me feel even more at ease. I had someone to talk to. You get to decide what your responses are, which makes this an even more tailored game to how you the gamer wants to play through. I think through it all, the sound that sticks out the most is the voice of Delilah.

GRAPHICS

The graphics in this game are amazing! I compare the style of these graphics to that of those of Team Fortress 2. Just enough cartoon feeling to know it’s not real, but doesn’t take away from the grandeur of the Wyoming Wilderness. Everywhere you went in the world of Firewatch, I found myself wanting to take a screenshot. So I have no shortage of images of the game. Another cool feature was an old camera you stumble across, with which you can take pictures on a film roll. I can understand why this feature was incorporated, because I was in awe of the beauty of their creation. Let me lay out a few screenshots I have taken in game. I think they will help you formulate your own ideas of what beauty lies ahead.

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GAMEPLAY

The gameplay is that of a walking simulator. You carry out neat tasks all while taking in the amazing visuals. Very easy game to play controls wise. Very casual game, doesn’t take much thought. If you are looking for a relaxing afternoon playthrough, this would be your game. The game is played through like a story. You start out with your characters back story with some decisions you have to make to shape who you are in present day. Then throughout the game you perform tasks and hikes as a firewatch person would do. There are slides between each section of the day that denotes what day it is in your journey of being a firewatch. Each day brings with it a new experience. I fully enjoyed playing through this game, as I didn’t want to quit once I began. You can easily finish this game in an afternoon if you sit down and play non-stop. I was kind of hoping for more in the end. Without spoiling the end, I will only say I was hoping for a reveal. But it wasn’t there. You will understand if you play through. Nonetheless, it’s worth the play.

REPLAY VALUE

The replay value of Firewatch could be that you can go back and explore areas that you may not have gotten to in the original playthrough. It is open world so you can go anywhere on the map that you can reach. So if you were to play through a second or third time, I am sure you will find something you didn’t see before. Also the replay value could be that you make different selections when in dialogue with Delilah, which in turn could bring up different responses. I’m not sure how much of a difference it would make if you made different decisions in the beginning section of the back story. I guess I will have to play through again and see any differences, as I have only played through once myself. But I would definitely recommend playing through another time. It will totally be worth it.

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STORY

I pretty much covered this in the gameplay section, but I’ll hit on it with a little more depth here. It is 1989 (How interesting that’s my wife’s birth year). You play as a man named Henry who has gone through some recent hardships in his life. Your wife has been diagnosed with dementia at an early age and has been taken back to her homeland of Australia to live out her life with her parents. To retreat from all this mess you take up this job offer in the paper that takes you to the Wyoming Wilderness. That job is as a firewatch (hence the name of the game). You have a supervisor named Delilah whom you talk to frequently throughout the game. You communicate with her through a handheld radio, and she is your only contact in the game world. Different things happen throughout the game which pulls you out of your lookout tower to investigate (The mystery aspect). In this game you will explore the wilderness and the unknown. Just don’t destroy that only relationship you have in Delilah. Very solid story!

FINAL THOUGHTS

The game is a unique experience. I haven’t had this experience in any other game. Campo Santo really started their game offerings off with a strong note. I hope they can follow up with another amazing game like this! These are experiences I look forward to in a game. I like that they had a mission, and they completed the goals that they had set out for in a game. If I were to give a number value out of ten for this game I would give it a 9/10. Again this is my own opinion section of the review.
Thank you for reading, and keep gaming my friends!
Price: $19.99 on Steam , $19.99 on Playstation Store
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

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