Firewatch

It takes a lot to get me emotionally devastated by books, movies, tv shows, and video games. The new game, Firewatch, broke my heart and made me shed a tear just 10 minutes in. The player plays through the eyes of Henry, a man with a lot of problems. The first 20 minutes is mainly text with very little interaction. In this prologue, you go to a bar where you quickly meet the love of your life, if there is such a thing. The dialogue goes through several life events leading up to the point where your wife is diagnosed with early onset dementia. She is 41. Life goes on and she gets worse. The player has to decide between taking full care of her or sending her to a home. Unbeknown at the time, whatever the player chooses, her parents will come and take her to their home with them. A week before he was supposed to go visit her, he sees a job in the paper. He takes the job of being a fire lookout, starting the game. The player never sees or meets the wife, Jules, and only knows her through the information given in the prologue. There is still a strong connection with Jules, established from the start. Immediately after the soul crushing prologue, Henry arrives at Two Forks Lookout, his new home for the summer. After entering the tower, Henry is welcomed by Delilah’s lovely voice. She is his boss, working in the next closest tower. Delilah introduces herself while intoxicated. Henry is in constant contact with her throughout the game. Delilah is a character that is never met, but a big relationship is built between the two. They are both escaping reality by coming out here. Throughout the whole game, there is some strange stuff going on. For a while, they try to ignore it but it gets worse and worse; someone is recording all of the conversations the two share. If Henry doesn’t get to the bottom of this Delilah won’t just be out of a job, but may have to go to prison. The complex dialogue allows the player to connect to Delilah as much as they want, creating a unique atmosphere that the player is involved in. This was the best story game and the best plot I have seen. I had high expectations for this game and they were all met.

 

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