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    jchansen's Firewatch (PS4)

    [February 16, 2018 12:57:36 AM]
    So, today I ran into my first issue of cognitive dissonance with the game, and that was when my character decided to go along with Delilah in her plan to scare off the teenage girls suspected of vandalism and cutting the wire. I thought it was a contrived course of action that I didn't want to go along with, but that I ended up having to go along with for the sake of the story. It's funny, because my casual interactions with Delilah outside of that encounter felt really natural and casual, like they were both real people who had their own issues and baggage to deal with. I felt like I was able to make the choices that I would make if I were in that exact scenario. Anyways, my main objectives outside of the story were the cache boxes left by the other lookouts and rangers. I find them fascinating, because they completely subvert expectations as to what a "loot drop" in a video game is supposed to be. Most of the time you don't get anything useful, they aren't much of a challenge to find, and the code for all of them is the same so there isn't really any point to looking for them all, and yet, in the words of Edmund Hillary, they were there. Perhaps that speaks to my own obsessive playstyle or the ingrained, or it's the learned nature of dozens of past gaming experiences wreaking havoc on me, but nevertheless it's an appreciated subversion in a game unlike many others I have played, including other story based games and "walking simulators". Definitely something I'm glad to have picked up.
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    [February 15, 2018 12:54:28 AM]
    So I decided to do something different again and start the game over to try and make different choices to see how the story would be affected. As I expected, there really wasn't much difference in terms of content, although admittedly there is the rest of the game to consider as well as possible unfolding narrative branches there. However, the most important thing that I saw happen and what I consider to be the mark of a good choice-based story game was that the way I perceived my character, what kind of person they were, changed dramatically. Instead of a tough-guy/inner softy that I ended up with the first time, I had the complete opposite in the form of a pushover/ball of rage. These are the kinds of differences choices make that I actually care about. Sure it would be nice for the sake of replay value to see new areas, dialogue, or encounters, but that gets old pretty fast. The true value is seeing how a character changes and grows differently each time, in subtle ways, and that comes in the relationship the player has with that character. I'll probably continue with my first set of decisions, just because I'm a guy who tends to stick with his first, gut instincts, but my little experiment just makes me more excited to play.
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    [February 14, 2018 12:49:02 AM]
    So, in a 180 from the Shadow of Mordor, I decided to play Firewatch for this week and I must say that I'm enjoying myself so far. The introduction was a great way to start the game and had me instantly hooked. As someone who has recently gotten into a relationship, the intro had me seriously considering what I would do if the person I cared about was in those situations. I had legitimate emotional anguish over deciding issues like whether of not I would let her move away, if we wanted to have kids, what to do if she was struck with sudden illness, etc. That stress probably fed back into my behavior with the other characters, where I chose more hostile answers as opposed to my more usual "goody two shoes" style of play. The mystery element is also compelling, but more than anything the one aspect that has me wanting to play more is the way you can navigate through the wilderness using solely a compass and map to guide you. In a gaming environment where every objective is highlighted for you, with arrows and minimaps guiding you along the way, it's refreshing to have a game designed with the option of navigating your own way through the wilderness. Firewatch has proven so far to be a game where the little touches end up making all the difference.
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    jchansen's Firewatch (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 14 February, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 28 March, 2018

    jchansen's opinion and rating for this game

    Love the writing so far, interested to see where this goes.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See jchansen's page

    See info on Firewatch

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