Firewatch – a hiker’s choice, Part 1

I was really looking forward to February 9th, because on that day Campo Santo game studios were going to release their first masterpiece Firewatch. The game is now available on Steam and Playstation Store. If none of this means anything to you, don’t worry. I just needed to get the basic stuff out of the way.

Firewatch tell the story of Henry, a fourty-something-year old fellow who starts a job as a lookout for a national park in Wyoming. His duties include but aren’t limited to surveying forest fires and protecting the wild. All he has on him is a map, a compass, a backpack and a walkie-talkie to keep contact with his boss Delilah, who is stationed in her tower far in the horizon. Henry also has his own tower to sleep in.

So here are my initial thoughts on the game. Keep in mind that I’ve only played 1,5 hours.

The very beginning of the game is very story-heavy and it’s best experienced personally. So I won’t spoil that for you. What I will say, is that the musical score is on point in this game, through and through.

Firewatch is pretty. Very pretty. Even though the Playstation 4 version suffers from FPS drops every now and then, depending on what you, as Henry, are looking at, the game is gorgeous. The graphics are very cartoony and everything is almost like a living painting at times. I also love that you can see Henry’s feet when looking down and how his hands and arms are visible when you look around. It’s refreshing not to be just a levitating head, you know?

One particularly superficial reason I like Henry as a character, is that he’s chubby. Not mordibly obese or anything but he has a belly. I relate to guys like that a lot more than to the protagonists in superhero shape you tend to see.

Obviously the game has a plot and plot-related missions but so far my absolute favorite has been one of the very first ones where you report and loudly frown upon a mess a couple of hiking teenagers left behind (beer cans, clothes, etc). The grumpy old man within me was exhilarated. Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

Talking to Delilah is also a lot of fun and it’s completely up to you how you steer the conversation along. As far as I know, there’s almost always the option to remain silent, which changes the tone of each conversation entirely. Since I have a ridiculously high moral when it comes to video games, I tend to be nice and humorous and social and blah blah. You can always be a complete sociopath, so there’s something for everyone!

The game looks very promising!

~ Heikki

P.S. Unfortunately this is not a sponsored blog post but if you’re interested in making one, send me free games! Haha!

The pictures were taken with the Playstation 4’s screen capture option.

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