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Firewatch Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
 
8.8/10 from one rating

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Posted: 06/15/20, 02:27:33
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The game is currently $5.99 on Switch so I decided to check it out.

Played through it in 2 "binge" sessions (it's really only like 4-5 hours long.) It's pretty compelling! Has enough mystery teasing to keep you wanting to see what happens next. And I don't think I'd call it a horror game per se but it sure creates some tension.

The ending. Oh boy. I won't spoil anything but one thing I can say is that I for sure didn't predict that.

But it also felt a bit unsatisfying? I get it, you're getting all caught up on this conspiracy, but it turns out you're just falling for the same thing the two main characters are, reading into things more than exists, etc., and in their case they are doing so because their realities at home are too scary to face or whatever, so they're susceptible to anything that will distract from that... IS THAT THE SAME FOR YOU AS THE PLAYER? Clever.

OR IS IT? I dunno. Because the game sure does a lot to build up this idea that there is definitely some conspiracy going on and then the way it explains why there actually isn't but looked like there was is still a bit far-fetched to me. The red herring of the two girls who disappear just to be like oh, they're fine way later in the game? A women who has done this job for years being completely surprised that a part of the forest is fenced off, and having no idea why? A guy scared that you might figure out his secret going all in on this huge complicated plan to, I guess, scare you off by doing things that would obviously make you want to dig deeper? And of course, finding a body hidden behind a locked area. Heck even near the end end when you're leaving your character starts talking like he thinks there is something he is missing and I "finished" the game and was like 100% convinced it was one of those games were you get a normal ending but have to dig deeper on a second playthrough or something to get the true secret ending, but I checked online and it just turned out... there was no other ending, it was just what it was. I knew there would be some twist, and honestly was expecting some kind of Shutter Island all in your head thing or something worthy of some X-Files episode (that bee sting was definitely because of the X-Files bee stuff, RIGHT?!), but the twist was that things were actually a lot more mundane than you expected?

Bah! But it was still a pretty enjoyable experience, nonetheless.
Posted: 06/15/20, 03:11:11  - Edited by 
 on: 06/15/20, 03:18:33
I didn't click your spoiler but I've had my eye on this one for a while. Would you recommend overall?
Posted: 06/15/20, 04:50:56
@Zero

I agree. I really enjoyed the game up until the closing bit.

I found it to be Red Herrings: The Game, and much of the source of the mystery was incredibly contrived. You really have to suspend your disbelief to accept the reasoning behind all of the events, as they've been presented to you. I think it also distracted and took away from what the designers wanted to be the crux of the game, which was your relationship with Delilah (built almost entirely over radio conversations) and what that experience meant to both characters. I felt much of the storytelling ran counter to the aims of the game itself. It was even more disappointing to me considering the same writer used almost the exact same plot device as a late-game twist in a previous game - which also had an otherwise well-written story - and I disliked it as much here as I did there.

In both instances, there's this character hiding in the shadows, always just out of view, who's manipulating all of these happenings for what feels like a really illogical purpose. I feel like had both games decided to break the 4th wall outright and explain that these machinations existed simply to confuse you - the player - it would have made more sense than what the game wanted you to accept as what these shadowing figures in the background were hoping to accomplish, respectively.

(Midway through, I thought *for sure* the twist was going to be that you were the one who was actually suffering from early-onset dementia, and not your wife.)
Posted: 06/15/20, 05:06:10  - Edited by 
 on: 06/15/20, 05:24:20
@TriforceBun I'd say so. I got pretty into it. It's especially a nice game to play at night with the lights off, some of the stuff can be pretty tense and eerie and it has an interesting atmosphere. All I will say about the end is it seems to be love it or hate it.

@TheBigG753 I had a whole host of theories. Like you, I thought maybe you were the sick one. I also went all Silent Hill 2 with one of my theories and thought maybe he killed his wife to spare her the pain of the disease and this was some kind of purgatory or more likely (because fire) hell he is going through now because of the murder of his wife... in that theory I was sure the end would just be the beginning again and he would realize he is stuck in this loop forever now... cliche, but it seemed possible! I never totally bought into the whole "someone in the area is doing tests on you" thing because it was pushed so openly I figured it wouldn't be that straightforward, but it did seem possible that it was a tests thing and it would turn out he is in some asylum somewhere hooked up to a machine or something. I also had a more mundane theory about just like, regular murders. I also thought whatever it was, the woman would probably be in on it. I guess the ending managed to defy ALL of my expectations but I'm not totally sure that is the best thing!
Posted: 06/15/20, 07:30:22  - Edited by 
 on: 06/15/20, 07:36:09
I think I'll nab this. Thanks for the recommendation, Zero!
Posted: 06/17/20, 04:40:49
Two days in and the game seems interesting so far. It's a little more "guided" than I expected, with a lot more dialogue, but that's fine. Seems pretty well-written so far and I particularly like the main character's voice acting; makes him relatable and kind of endearing.

There's a little bit of jankiness with the controls such as how you casually toss objects (gently placing a thermos on a shelf seems to be an impossibility with this guy) and I get stuck on the scenery a bit, but I'm interested in seeing where the story goes.
Posted: 06/18/20, 18:36:30  - Edited by 
 on: 06/18/20, 18:36:58
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