Wednesday, March 16, 2016

McKinney Reviews: Firewatch, or as I like to call it "Only Forest Fires Can Prevent You"

When I first sat down to write this review, I found myself at a loss. Firewatch defies most expectations of what a game is supposed to be. There's no way to lose, the puzzles (such as they are) are very, very simple, and you have a map of your surroundings with you at all time so it's almost impossible to get lost. It's very, very close to what some on the internet have derisively named "walking simulators"; games where the player has nothing to do but walk through an (ideally beautiful, or at least visually-striking) area, poking objects in the environment to recieve a series of nuggets of exposition. And at first glance, it seems that's exactly what Firewatch is. I know, viscerally, that there's more to the game than that, but the appeal of the game is not one easily put into words. Still, putting things into words that aren't easily put into words is basically what I've built my life around, so here goes: