Outdoor Enthusiast? Here's Why You Need To Play Firewatch
Set in the rugged outdoors of Wyoming's Shoshone National Forest, Firewatch is a game of exploration, both in the physical and intellectual sense. We follow a man named Henry, who takes a job in a fire watch station in the late 1980s. Via a walkie-talkie, he communicates with his supervisor Delilah, who literally oversees him from her distant mountaintop fire tower.
As Henry, the player's job is to follow Delilah's instructions. She sends him out to investigate a column of smoke, or some kids letting off fireworks. He hikes. He jumps over downed trees. He rappels down rocky chutes. He picks up litter.
Firewatch delivers a good sense of being a small person in a wide open space. The wind howls as you trudge up the winding stairs to the top of your lookout tower. There’s a boy scout survivalism to walking the park; every point of interest must be found with a simple trail map and compass Henry holds in front of his face. He snags supplies and ropes from locked cache drops. The safety net of games with their checkpoints and built-in GPS navigators in the main menus does not exist in Firewatch; Henry has to remain alert and keen on his senses to stay alive.
Things quickly take a turn for the strange (read: creepy). Soon, Henry finds himself embroiled in unwelcome conflicts that propel the tasks beyond mere fetch chores into the realm of emotionally reeling missions. He and Delilah come to speculate they are being monitored. People go missing. It's possible that Henry is being framed for committing a serious crime.
The journey, as most of us Galavanters know all too well, is more important than the destination. Everything that happens to Henry in the park is designed to expose his vulnerabilities. With his life paused and broken, his increasing dependence on Delilah begins to feel like an emotional precipice. Meanwhile, the park itself envelopes him physically, this stocky, everyday nobody tumbling through the oblivious vastness of this wild place.
Nature has a way of making of us face of our deeply seeded demons. Firewatch forces our dear Henry to come to grips with the guilt, doubt, regret, and loss we all shoulder but somehow manage to push down throughout our day to day lives. In the sprawling wilderness of Shoshone National Forest, only two things are guaranteed: solitude and silence. John Muir couldn't have been more right when he astutely observed, "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." Firewatch is developed by Campo Santo and is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, and XBOX One. Purchase it now on Steam.
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