Firewatch is among the best of the so-called “walking simulators” thanks to impeccable writing, gorgeous art direction, and stellar voice acting.
These days I tend to enjoy games that are similar to a good book: a solitary, escapist experience I can get completely lost in without any interruptions from the outside world. Firewatch, then – on the strength of its gripping story, brilliant branching script, wholly convincing voice-acting performances, and stunning art direction – is easily one of my favorite and most memorable game experiences of this decade.
Firewatch quickly lets you know that it’s not going to pull any emotional punches over its four to five–hour runtime, opening with a series of text-based choices that call back to adventure genre forebears like Zork. I dare not spoil this potent sequence, but I will say that it masterfully bounces between being funny and heart-wrenching and plausibly establishes just why protagonist Henry ends up in the Wyoming woods as a solitary fire lookout.
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