Firewatch Image
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1330 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. YourIn Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio — and is your only contact with the world you've left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have. Expand

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PAX Prime 2014 - Firewatch Announcement Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 12, 2016
    100
    This unconventional game combines strong story, beautiful natural surroundings and fantastically written and played characters. What it lacks in classic adventure mechanics, it makes up in great dialogue system between the main protagonists. [Issue#262]
  2. Feb 8, 2016
    90
    It’s a gripping, compelling story set in a truly beautiful world that’s worth exploring. Just go in with your expectations clear. This is a relatively short game that’s almost entirely about the story, which consists almost entirely of two people talking over radios to one another. You play a chubby guy in his forties talking to, presumably, a woman of a similar age who you never see. There’s really nothing else like it I can think of, which makes it all the more rewarding...I loved Firewatch, mostly, letdown with the ending notwithstanding
  3. Mar 15, 2016
    90
    Firewatch is a fantastic game, it has great storytelling and believable characters. It’s one of the more refreshing gaming experiences I’ve had in years.
  4. Feb 8, 2016
    80
    The ending will be a point of contention for some, but it all comes down to a perspective and regardless of that, you should play this game.
  5. Mar 7, 2016
    80
    Whether you're looking for several hours of mystery and drama or just a magnificent world to explore, do yourself a favor and spare a few hours of your time to experience Firewatch.
  6. Feb 9, 2016
    80
    If you want fast paced action heavy moments, this isn’t for you. What the game does offer is mystery, intrigue and beautiful design. The game isn’t very long, but doesn’t need to be anything more as it feels compact, interesting and felt like a movie.
  7. PC PowerPlay
    Apr 7, 2016
    50
    A bold experiment in semi-interactive narrative that doesn't quite succeed. [Issue#249, p.58]

See all 69 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 307
  1. Feb 9, 2016
    10
    A thrilling story accompanied by absolutely beautiful artwork. Ever since you start playing the game it will be hard to put down. TheA thrilling story accompanied by absolutely beautiful artwork. Ever since you start playing the game it will be hard to put down. The conversation you have with the other character is never boring. Expand
  2. Mar 7, 2016
    10
    Great game. In the first time I judge not only graphic but also atmosphere which is really great and attracting. I don't understand people whoGreat game. In the first time I judge not only graphic but also atmosphere which is really great and attracting. I don't understand people who says this game doesn't have a plot may be they just used to play in alien games but this is realistic plot which is playing with us making as thinking about a lot of crazy stuff:) I love it! I love to be in this forest and probably I want to spend one summer like that:) Expand
  3. May 11, 2019
    9
    hard to say something about the game should just go through and appreciate the story itself
    no doubt you can say the game looks great
  4. Mar 23, 2016
    7
    Something different and something beautiful. The tension builds up nickely, the views and atmosphere are wonderful, but the endingSomething different and something beautiful. The tension builds up nickely, the views and atmosphere are wonderful, but the ending dissapoints. With a capital D.

    Nevertheless it's worth a few hours of your time so go get it. Ending's bat taste in the mouth will eventually pass, but you will recall time spent with the game fondly.
    Expand
  5. Feb 13, 2016
    7
    This is a very suggestive and mature game in the style of a "visual novel", much like Ethan Carter or Gone Home also are. You'll spend 90% ofThis is a very suggestive and mature game in the style of a "visual novel", much like Ethan Carter or Gone Home also are. You'll spend 90% of your time either exploring the wilderness or talking to your fellow fire-watchman, a woman by the name of Delilah, over the radio. So it's good then that these two parts of the game really are excellent, there is real chemistry in the radio banter between you and D. and the exploration is also fantastically done. I really applaud them for going with a handheld map and compass rather than just an automatic mini-map, it really makes the game that much more immersive and realistic.

    I also think that the graphics and audio design was very well done for such a small studio, there is a lot of love put in here. However - the problem I have with this game (and why the score stays at a seven) is that the game pretends like there's choice and consequence, but there really isn't. No matter what choices you make basically everyone who play this game is going to have the same emotional roller-coaster and the same ending.

    And while I understand that branching story lines and alternate endings take time and money to create it's especially painful this time around since I think this game could have been a real masterpiece, had we been allowed to explore some different endings depending on our choices. The net effect is that rather than feeling like we've been given something decent, the feeling I have is that I've been robbed of greatness. Video games are a unique medium in that they have the possibility to allow for choice and consequence, and to not take advantage of that in this case almost feels like a cardinal sin.

    There is so much that could have been done here in terms of keeping quiet on the radio, or not saying certain things on the radio, or delaying saying certain things to a certain someone, or not falling for someone's obvious trap. But nothing of that ever happens or pays off, this game is a "corridor-adventure-game" for a lack of a better term. You might initially think that there is choice and consequence, but this game is sadly a lot dumber than it initially makes itself out to be.

    I will also say that while I personally liked the current ending I think it may be a little too realistic, mature and underwhelming for mass-market tastes. Had the current ending been one of say three possible endings it would have been stellar, but since it's the only ending I think many will find it underwhelming.

    I debated long and hard whether I should give this game a 7 or an 8. In the end I decided that I can't reward coming this close to greatness and then falling short of the mark. This could have been a 9, or maybe even a 10, score game with the right branching story treatment but it simply falls short, and that is indeed painful
    Expand
  6. Feb 14, 2016
    5
    When i first started this game i was thrilled, the story was interesting, the visuals were beautiful, and i felt connected to the characters.When i first started this game i was thrilled, the story was interesting, the visuals were beautiful, and i felt connected to the characters. However after an hour or 2 i felt like i was walking back and forth throughout the same places all game and didn't even have to go to some areas. The story was progressing well for the most part but it got a bit dull towards the later half of the game. I was expecting big things from the ending, but it was the stupidest most anticlimactic ending ive ever seen in a video game in my whole entire life. This game is worth $5 not $20. Expand
  7. Jan 2, 2019
    0
    Similar to "Gone Home", which is an interactive exploration simulator, Firewatch is not an actual game but rather an interactive fetch-questSimilar to "Gone Home", which is an interactive exploration simulator, Firewatch is not an actual game but rather an interactive fetch-quest story. I was immediately perturbed by the fact that this was sold to me as a game when in fact it was nothing more than a poorly-written interactive story. Regardless of what you do with Henry, the character whose sole purpose is to convey a poorly written story with a lazy ending, you always end up with the same/identical result. I saw no evidence of any kind that Henry could have any real affect on this world at all which is evidenced by a YouTube video that effectively demonstrates this with a "Silent Henry" walkthrough. Also by the fact that Henry can't die nor can he fail any "mission" since there aren't any because this isn't a game.

    This "story" was also very glitchy. I had to go online to get a patch just so Henry could open door(s) and pick up objects.

    The interaction was tedious and repetitive with all the inane fetch-questing and annoying dialog with Delilah and the over-the-top angsty teen girls who basically kept screwing with Henry throughout the walkthrough to an unbelievable and petty level all because he scolded them for trashing the park.

    As to the story, the guy attempting to gaslight Delilah and Henry was ridiculous and unbelievable. The premise of what he was doing up there and why he was doing it was riddled with unrealistic plot holes. Like how could he afford or get all that bulky and expensive equipment way up there and behind that fence. Then, how could he do all of it by himself without anyone ever noticing while at the same time faking permits and setting up all these elaborate government conspiracies and other bs just to gaslight two below average rubes out in the middle of nowhere. All that alone was over the top and pointless. The anticlimactic ending demonstrates pure laziness on the part of the devs. If it made you feel mad or disappointed, go with that feeling because it's the right one to have. Trust your instincts. It sucked and definitely wasn't "art".

    Overall this non-game, interactive, fetch-quest of a story/walkthrough was an annoying waste of my time and money. Poorly written, poorly developed, bait-and-switch "game" was a joke. To those claiming "this is art, man" no it's not, not by any stretch. This is a badly written novella. Ask yourself, if this were a book, would you actually buy it and add it to your library?
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See all 307 User Reviews