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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Firewatch Review: Hey there Delilah.


Interactive drama. I've wanted it for so long I'm not sure how to feel now that I've got it. I can't speak for anyone else, but for my taste, it's about time a game was all about understated loneliness. The kind of loneliness your conscious mind never registers. The kind you might take a job out in the middle of nowhere to stop thinking about.

I couldn't have played this game at a better time. As a guy who was just on the receiving end of a text breakup, I could do with a virtual hike alone in the woods. A virtual hike alone in the woods set in a time before cellphones? All the better.

Moving on... you play a man who's had a years long relationship fly into the sh**er and he's taken a job at a Firewatch station to eat up his summer. For the next few months you've got no one but a fellow Firewatcher miles away to keep you sane. Your objectives are boiler plate at first. Stop a couple teens from setting off fireworks, clear trail heads, etc. But don't worry, things get weirder. 

Rich Sommer (the tv guy from Mad Men) nails the nonchalant despair a guy running away from his life would need. He's a delight and I can't wait for more VO work from him. Cissy Jones's Delilah suffers from an introduction that tries too hard. Ever notice when a writer NEEDS you to like someone that everything that comes out of their mouth in the first chapter is forced, unfunny, sarcasm? The first hour She grated on my nerves a bit, but before long she had me chuckling out loud. Their budding romance is the single greatest relationship I've ever seen in a game. That's your $20 right there. If that's the sorta thing that's worth that kind of scratch to you.

It's certainly worth it to me.

This game nnnnnnnnnnAILS sunsets. I mean, my god.
Please go into this game looking for a drama, not a mystery. Though there is one, and it's pretty good, it's not the point. Folks are griping that the end comes out of nowhere. It absolutely does not, it ends precisely when it means to. I cooked up several high-drama thriller plot twists that I'd muse about on my way to the next objective. I'm relived the game never acted on them. It played on my expectations brilliantly and left a lot up for interpretation.

I ended up liking Delilah. I almost got a crush on her. But like a lot of women I've met and was momentarily into... I'm sure she told me a bunch of lies to keep from hurting my feelings. That was my read on the character. Just do me a favor and take some pictures with that camera you find. And stick around for the end of the credits. There's no extra scene or a shocking revelation. There's just a perfect way to end a first person interactive drama.

Make of that what you will and please buy Firewatch. Though looking at steam's top sellers, that doesn't seem to be an issue. They certainly deserve it.


1 comment :

  1. Moving on... you play a man who's had a years long relationship fly into the sh**er and he's taken a job at a Firewatch station to eat up his summer.

    ReplyDelete