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    jp's Firewatch (PS4)

    [January 28, 2017 01:56:46 PM]
    Ok, it's over. It was pretty underwhelming and lukewarm emotionally. The game builds up to something that it never really pays off on, and Hank never really grows or reflects or anything. At least I felt that he didn't - and couldn't (I could try to encourage that through dialogue choices either).

    I spent some time talking with a student about it and I can't really say I understand why everyone was soooo excited about the game. It's not that it's a bad game it's just not THAT good, or interesting. Curiously I think it does push the "walking simulator" genre forward a little bit, but it didn't really work for me in terms of the narrative. Yes, the radio chatter is a clever idea - but I never really felt like I understood who Hank was and what was going on with him - the dialogue options never really reflected what I wanted him to be like nor did they give me a good sense of who he was. So, he just came across as a bit of a douchey bastard.
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    [January 25, 2017 04:28:55 PM]
    I've enjoyed the experience so far. It's an "easy" game and an interesting experience. I've appreciated how quickly it flows and how the game isn't afraid to cut from scene to scene to save you doing "typical" videogame stuff like backtracking all the way back to your watchtower just because.

    On the other hand, I also appreciate how the game, despite it being a (so far at least) low-interaction heavily rail-roaded narrative experience, includes enough interactive elements that it still feels like I'm playing a "typical" game. For example, I'm often told to go to some place that's not immediately visible. There are no arrows pointing me where to go, but the character can pull up a map you can scan around, use the compass to orient yourself w/r to the map, and you're off. It's never been hard to find anything and the distances are much shorter than that is shown on the map (or the signs you find in the world) so it doesn't take too long either. But, orienting yourself in the game world and getting there does feel like a legitimate task that is non-obvious, and thus the interaction feels positive. It's not like those games where you simply have to "open the door" (that's right in front of you) or "pick up the apple" (that's in plain view on the table) are's just that this game feels less linear (in the space) and it has afforded more thinking on my part beyond picking which dialogue options I want to say.

    I am genuinely curious as to how the game will wrap up, the story is going in weird unexpected directions so I hope it's an interesting ending.

    What I haven't enjoyed, weirdly, is the main character. He seems kind of douchey. But not in a "the writers obviously wrote him like this" way, but rather in the way some of the lines are read..and even the options I've been given to say. I kind of decided that I wanted him (Hank?) to be really torn up about his situation (with his wife) but I feel the game hasn't really afforded me that possibility - or has teased, but not delivered.
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    jp's Firewatch (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 23 January, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 28 January, 2017

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Firewatch

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