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Firewatch


murray
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That was incredible. As others have said, little game play but the presentation (choppy engine aside) and story telling was intelligent and emotionally driven. Even the prologue had me with a lump in my throat. I played the whole thing in one sitting with my 12 year old daughter who was transfixed by the whole thing (note to other parents- I'm a bad parent and really don't fret over swearing which is the worst they'll hear in this. Oh and brief references of sex) My only criticism is the way you can be quite limited in exploring at times but this is clearly used to drive the narrative pace. I wonder if they'll do a NG+ that just let you wander around, free of the story and just enjoying the music and visuals?

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The main story doesn't really work, does it?

 

Spoiler

"Monitoring their communications while pretending someone else monitored their communications" has to be one of the strangest and most nonsensical plans ever written, as it doesn't even lead to his aim of getting them to leave the forest! I could charitably believe that he was trying for a non-violent means of getting them to leave, but it relies on him being violent and attacking the main character anyway, so why go to so much effort for something completely off the wall when you could simply get them to leave by fearing for their safety?

 

 It all just feels plain contrived - created to add complexity to a rather simple story and it relies on characters behaving nonsensically to protect the twists and keep them unexpected. That's pretty shitty writing, it reminds me of the false psychic visions in Heavy Rain that existed purely as red herrings to protect the twist.

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Spoiler

Eh? He only started pretending someone else was monitoring their communications after he got caught doing it. It isn't clear why he's recording their conversations on a clipboard that he leaves lying around by the lake, but you have to assume that there's not much else to do in the woods and he just got caught out. He attacks Henry because he panics. He later writes "today I fucked up" (or something) on the timeline you find in his hideout. Only after that does he start trying to convince Henry and Delilah that there's a weird conspiracy going on rather than there being a bored dude hiding out in the woods.

 

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I played it today with the patch on PS4 and the framerate was still frequently really bad. It might be better than it was before, but it's still noticeably poor. I didn't get any game breaking bugs, but I did hit an invisible wall at one point that clearly wasn't meant to be there - I had to do a detour around to get to the same place.

 

Oh, and two of my photos were corrupt in the end credits. Is there any way to see them apart from in the credits on PS4?

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On 14 February 2016 at 11:55 AM, Liamness said:

Finished. I thought it was good but not great. But I played it like I think would act in Henry's situation which meant

 

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I was fairly reserved and didn't open up to Delilah until quite near the end, when it felt like it would've been tremendously evasive to not. I wonder if you can go the whole game without letting her know your situation? Anyway, maybe it's more fun to play as a goofball, despite only being there because you needed to escape from your wife and her dementia.

 

 

I didn't say anything at all. I guess I'm just not a very trusting person!

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I really enjoyed this one despite the frame rate issues.

 

One thing it has over other walk-em ups/fpw (forst person walkers?) was how much the animation added to the feeling of being there. I loved the way Henry felt he always had to touch the platform as he made his way down from the fire, and the way he would throw the rope down to keep it clear of getting caught never really got old.

 

Apparently though I missed loads! Did you know you can get

Spoiler

a pet turtle?

 Neither did I!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 28/02/2016 at 0:43 PM, Unofficial Who said:

One thing it has over other walk-em ups/fpw (forst person walkers?) was how much the animation added to the feeling of being there. I loved the way Henry felt he always had to touch the platform as he made his way down from the fire, and the way he would throw the rope down to keep it clear of getting caught never really got old.

I love how the animation for unlocking padlocks is completely accurate, despite every padlock being exactly the same code.

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  • 1 month later...

So I bought this in the sale and started it earlier. It's a bit good, isn't it? I'm only at the end of Day 2 and I'm finding the whole experience pretty tense going, but I can't quite put my finger on why. There's definitely an air of expectancy over the whole thing. 

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I thought this was just okay. It's not even worth the current sale price on PSN. Maybe a fiver at most. Despite what some of you have said about the writing being great, some of the dialogue was clunky and unnatural sounding, mainly from the actress who played Delilah. Video games still have a long way to go.

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I played on PC, so didn't experience any of the frame rate issues. The whole experience was compelling enough that I played through to completion, enjoying the suspense that continued throughout.

 

My wife is playing now on her computer, and despite the constant tirade of "fucking bush get out of the way" and not quite getting how a compass works, she's put in half a dozen hours already.

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I really enjoyed it. Strangely, I played both this and Layers of Fear back to back, and I found this to be the more tense experience. Probably because the unknown threat in this game was very human whereas in LoF it was a guy losing his mind. 

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1 hour ago, mdn2 said:

I really enjoyed it. Strangely, I played both this and Layers of Fear back to back, and I found this to be the more tense experience. Probably because the unknown threat in this game was very human whereas in LoF it was a guy losing his mind. 

 

I do wish you'd stop bigging up games I haven't bought yet.  My poor wallet. 

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On 18/02/2016 at 9:28 AM, Mike1812 said:

I didn't find it too bad, as others have said, it's a slow paced game so the frame rate drops don't matter too much. It did crash once towards the end but no problems other than that. 

 

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I just finished this the other day. Really enjoyed it. I spent the whole game expecting something supernatural to happen or it to turn into some conspiracy thing but it didn't and I'm glad it didn't. It was a nice story, well told and three environment was beautiful. 

 

I'd like to see more games like this, grounded in reality with a bit of emotion.

 

 

 

Just came here to post I completed this last night, and was going to post almost exactly what you did in your spoiler!

On 27/02/2016 at 0:43 PM, Unofficial Who said:

 

 

Apparently though I missed loads! Did you know you can get

  Hide contents

a pet turtle?

 Neither did I!

 

TURT REYNOLDS!

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  • 3 months later...

Hey folks. Massively late to the party on this one but I played it through in one sitting the other night. Would like to hear what your different ending dialogues/choices were. I enjoyed it, I was sold on the location and the characters and I got really into it hence the epic playthrough. I especially enjoyed how the plot developed. I also appreciated that getting around was fairly rapid compared to some other walkathons I've played lately and I liked that you had the physical element of climbing and seeing your character's body (oo err). I'm still not convinced these walkabout games are that entertaining to wander around when there's very little interaction involved, but at least the location was pretty and the navigation required a little brainwork. It was also nice to see a different art style for once in this sort of game.

 

I was a bit disappointing about the corridor-like nature of the map, I was looking forward to doing some proper exploring or at least going some different routes. In the end, most of the places I went out of my way to find, I ended returning to anyway due to the plot, in other words it was a big waste of time. It would have been nice to have more secrets dotted around to find  to reward exploration. Still, it looked great, the story was cool and quite different. I kinda guessed what would happen in the final stages of the game but it didn't detract from it. I'm currently also playing Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and they are very different experiences despite having so much in common. Good stuff. 

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Some spoiler questions for you, too - for those who have finished the game.

1 - Did the radio dialogue choices make any difference that you could discern to the story? I played my Henry like I was still faithful to the wife but still liked Delilah as a good friend, right till the end. He basically wishes her luck with the choices I made and there is no indication that they will see each other again :( - what happens if you invite her to come and live with you?

2 - Did anyone find anything out about the burned out lookout near the area where you discover the broken phone lines? I assume it was there as a red herring to add to that sense of mystery/dodgy goings on.

3 - Does anything get revealed about what happened to the guys who left letters for each other in the supply boxes, that I may have missed?

4 - Aside from the pet turtle and a racoon I found, did anyone find any other nice little secrets?

5 - I didn't get any resolution to the mad ranger, there was no talk of catching him or anything like that. Did I miss something?

 

I really liked how the game built up this sense of mystery, threat and dodgy goings on, only to have it revealed it is something a lot simpler and a tragic story instead. I especially felt unease at some of the early decisions I made with the teens and stuff like knocking over a trail blocked sign really felt like, shit, I can't undo that, was that a mistake which is going to matter later on? Its the good old Telltale feeling of consequence, though I suspect like Telltale games it doesn't make much of a difference.

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Just finished Journey for the first time ever and that was a fantastic experience, almost magical. Beautiful stuff. I immediately moved on to Firewatch, another game on my ancient pile of shame that I'm currently working through. And my first impressions are that it was the wrong choice after Journey. Firewatch starts great; the opening story is great and immediately drew me in. The visuals are lovely, the atmosphere is incredible.

 

..and then the two main characters start talking to each other. Urghhhh. Two people talking to each other for the first time ever, in an unusual and unfamiliar setting even, and they're each doing their absolute best to be the snarkiest, most annoying asshole on earth. It's so incredibly forced and stilted, just completely unnatural. Neither of them can answer any question in a normal way, each answer has to be in the form of a forced snarky line. Makes me wish they both die in in one of those forest fires asap and that the game switches to a different lead.

 

Hopefully it gets better later on, but I assume that the relationship between these two characters is at the centre of the story and that there's not much else to this game but the story. And the story itself seems promising, it's just the characterisation that's off to a terrible start. Like an amateur scriptwriter  showing off, trying to dazzle his audience with sharpest and wittiest dialogue he can come up with in every. single. fucking. line. of. dialogue. If they had just dialled it back a bit, the conversations would have had a much better flow and it wouldn't have felt so forced. Or like it's aimed at teens primarily.

 

I will keep playing and give it a fair chance, because everything else about Firewatch is exactly the kind of thing I enjoy. But unless the dialgue gets less annoying soon, I might have to move on to the next game :( (which is SOMA btw)

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Just finished it. Overall it's a good game and a very enjoyable experience. The setting is very atmospheric (love the art style - except maybe the cartoony characters, mainly due to Henry's weird stubby hands that somehow didn't fit the rest of the aesthetic) and also refreshing in a videogame. The story was enjoyable although it felt like it could have been paced better, felt a bit weirdly rushed towards the end. The dialogue got less stilted/forced/annoying as the game went on thanks to the characters talking about the situation and events as the plot progressed instead of the script writer trying to make every single line a razor-sharp zinger . Good but not great, and I'm glad I finished it. A charming experience and I'm looking forward to seeing what the studio does next.

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