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FireWatch Review

FireWatch is an interesting game. The focus of the game is between two characters Henry and Delilah. The main point of the game is its connection a player will get with these characters. The player travels through time learning more about the characters. However, does that make it a great game? Would you enjoy and summer long nature walk? Let’s find out!

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Choose your adventure… kinda?

Meet the Brewer:

Campo Santo is a first-time brewer. What they crafted was amazing visually. The art style is alone worth a few hundred screenshots. It’s great to see a developer take the time to craft a delicious blend of beauty and majesty. Since this is their first game as a developer. However, as time has gone by tools to make games have made small teams do amazing things. In light of this, I still believe they did craft a stunning game. Let’s see if the rest of the game holds up.

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It’s a beautiful place for some jams!

Crafting the Game:

FireWatch is a first person adventure game. You start with a text adventure. You choose decision on what prompts the game gives you. Then it opens up to the main game. Henry is a ranger watching out for fires. He is hiking to his watchtower. The game gradually prompts you through a mini tutorial. Then once you reach your tower, that’s when you meet Delilah. The game takes place in the summer of the 1980s. So, the technology is limited to today’s standards.

The voice acting is excellent. It’s one of the best I have heard in a long time. The voice actors of Henry and Delilah do convey a sense of character. They both have distinct personalities in a way. What I mean is that they both seem like a smartass in a way. They are both drunks too.  With that said, they do have different stories, which helps pulls the player along. The game has a making of a great story, but I didn’t really care. The mystery to be discovered was in the end, very anticlimactic. It is a shame because of the great voice acting.

The gameplay is another story. It was light on gameplay mechanics, I felt I was on a nature walk. I had to keep reminding myself I was in fact, playing a game. The main bulk of the game was walking. Then there was using the walkie-talkie, reading, opening supply caches, writing trails on the map, and let’s not forget taking pictures. Thankfully, no selfies required.  I had to wonder why they missed other ways of implementing gameplay mechanics from old adventures games or even looking at games like uncharted for inspiration. I will probably be the few to say, that there was a definite lack of content in this game. This could deter some gamers from even paying the 20 dollars.

The problem is it took me about 6 hours to beat. That is roughly half the length of an explosion filled Call of Duty game. Any gamer could get through this in one sitting with minimal difficulty. At the end of the story, I did not care about to the characters. It seemed that my choices had little impact on the story. I thought with the connection Henry and Delilah had they would want to be with each other, but the story had its own ending. It was an interesting move, but there were little consequences to how I solved problems in the game. They all seemed to come together in a neat ending. It was a nice story overall, I just did not care that much. I was hoping for more.

The Science Behind the Brew:

I was playing this game on a Desktop computer that I build. The specs I was using was a Haswell i7 intel, 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB Hard Drive, and 7800 AMD Graphics Card. I played the game on high graphics. It was not very demanding and I had a consistent frame rate. I rarely saw any stability issues. There were only a two bugs I ran into. One was a  glitch. When I was on my nature walk, a rock face turned from gray to a bright green, then back again. It was not long. The other bug I ran into was clipping with the environment. My character fell into the rock face. I had to jump out to get unstuck. Luckily it did not take long for me to get out of that unintended trap.]

The Tasting (Final Verdict):

FireWatch is a game worth experiencing, but I would wait for a sale. The very short game does not make it worth the $20 price tag. The voice acting is great and the graphics or art direction draws you in and teases of something great before you. However, it falls flat. The story has too many nice and neat small endings and the big one leaves you hanging. I never felt like my actions overall mattered. The gameplay mechanics and content is so light, that I always thought this was an interactive nature walk. So this game gets a:

bland

 

Firewatch
4.8

Graphics

9.0/10

Gameplay

3.0/10

Story

5.0/10

Mod Friendly

0.0/10

Streaming Friendly

7.0/10

Pros

  • Great Voice Acting
  • The art design is amazing
  • Characters feel alive and have depth
  • The story is interesting in the beginning

Cons

  • Gameplay is repetitive
  • Story falls apart at the end
  • Short
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