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    Feb 14th, 2018 at 21:25:35     -    This is the Police (PC)

    This is the Police immediately strikes me with its almost oppressively gritty atmosphere. The developers are clearly fans of film noire. This is my first session, and Iíve recently been introduced to my avatar, Jack Boyd. Jack definitely doesnít strike me as the most likable character. Heís the stereotype of crusty, old, corrupted police chief personified. Emphasis on ďcorruptedĒ, as the goal of the game, from what I can tell after about an hour of playtime, is to make Jack a very rich man before he retires from the police force in 180 days. Whether or not that goal is met through entirely legal means is up to the player. For instance, I fired a cop for no legal reason in order to make room for a newly hired cop with significantly better professionalism. Itís interesting to play a simulator-style game where the goal of the game isnít the betterment of whatever is being simulated (e.g., a city, a farm, an office), but rather your own personal wealth accrual. Iíll be interested to see whatís built upon the framework thatís been established in this first session. I wouldnít be surprised if Jackís asked to push his moral boundaries even farther.

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    Jan 21st, 2018 at 00:37:44     -    FireWatch (PC)

    Session 2:
    Iíve just completed 2 more days. I canít get enough of Henry and Delilahís banter. Itís excellently written, in my opinion. And thank goodness too, as their dialogue is essentially the entire game. The spookiness/mystery aspect is definitely picking up as well. I remember the first time I played, I was worried that Iíd been bamboozled into purchasing a horror game. One scene in particular really sticks out to me. That moment when youíre walking back to your tower at night, and Delilah says ďOh well, at least youíre back in your tower,Ē but youíre not. And then she says ďI am looking at a man that is standing in your tower. And itís not you?Ē I get goosebumps just writing that. Thereís something so profoundly unsettling about having a place where you should feel safe and secure invaded like that. Firewatch EXCELS at creating this suffocating feeling of uneasiness throughout the vast majority of its story. Even though I wouldnít technically call it a horror game, I think it does a better job at creating the atmosphere of one than many that Iíve played (though Iím kind of a wuss, so thatís a very short list if Iím gonna be honest).

    Firewatch is a very ambitious game, story-wise. It attempts to interweave several plotlines into one cohesive narrative, with the main exposition coming through a simple radio and some notes. By and large, I think it succeeds. It has its shortcomings, though. The developers tried to cram a ton of story into a very short game, and it shows. The plotlines donít always feel fully fleshed out. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. It dragged me across the entire emotional spectrum in a way that a lot of triple A titles can only dream of replicating. Iím sure a large part of why Firewatch is so short is due to a small budget, so with its success I hope Campo Santoís next game will be more ďfeature-lengthĒ. Iím very excited to see what they can do without financial restrictions holding them back, and I very much look forward to playing it.

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    Jan 20th, 2018 at 22:39:47     -    FireWatch (PC)

    Well I suppose I should start this off by saying Iíve already played through Firewatch once. However, itís been so long that I wouldnít be surprised if Iíve forgotten many details and I no doubt missed many more. Thus, I feel completely validated in my decision to play through it once more (especially since I remember really enjoying my time with it). Iíll be curious to see if my opinion of it changes at all.

    Session 1:
    Well right off the bat, I notice that you canít seem to sprint. I guess Iíd forgotten that little detail. I can understand the mindset behind not including such a feature, as Iím sure the devs wanted people to bask in the splendor of the breathtaking visuals (not to mention the fact that it artificially lengthens the time it takes to complete the game). It wouldnít be so bad, but since Henry moves at approximately the same speed as a very large, stationary boulder, Iíve come to the conclusion that the devs ACTUAL goal is to antagonize their player-base. UPDATE: The game took its sweet time letting me know, but apparently you can in fact sprint. Thank god.

    ***************************************************************

    Iíve just completed the prologue, and MAN the game doesnít waste any time in hitting you with some tough choices. I donít think Iíve ever gone from chuckling to tearing up in such a short span of time before (UP being the notable exception, of course). Having had family members go through the nightmare that is dementia/Alzheimerís, the decision to put Julia in a nursing home or not really resonated with me. What a moral dilemma. Do you sacrifice your own happiness to take care of someone who doesnít even know you anymore? Or do you ďabandonĒ them? While the former may be the selfless decision, I donít believe itís the right one. After watching various family members slowly succumb to the devastating effects of these diseases, regressing into husks of their former selves, I wouldnít wish that burden on anyone. I would argue that your moral obligation to your loved one is to stay with them for as long as theyíre lucid, but past that point they need the professional care provided by a nursing home, as taking care of them then becomes a full-time job that requires training the average person simply doesnít have. Regardless, itís still an incredibly difficult decision. In the later stages of these diseases, the person that you knew is gone. Whatís your moral obligation to a complete stranger?

    Oof. I think thatís enough Firewatch for now.


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 20th, 2018 at 22:43:51.

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