Friday, January 27, 2017


We often play games to escape: the drab realities of our jobs, the fact that we can't actually jump very high or run all that fast, and maybe we aren't often able to be the hero in our day to day lives. Games give us the power to escape our lives, become someone else, and live another, more fantastic life, and many are quite good at doing just that. But the recent indie games Firewatch is going a step further. Painting a world that you literally step into, much more immersive than a novel or movie could be, it doesn't explain right away what its purpose is, it exists to sink into, and it lets you dive in as deep as you want. The feel of being utterly alone in a vast wilderness is palpable, as is the sense of the time period of 1989, with its analog gadgets, you can almost feel the grit coating every surface in your fire tower. Each scene is like a painting that you can step into, but the game isn't simply pretty to look at. Dangerous, mysterious, and deeply realistic, Firewatch fully takes advantage of the storytelling capacities of video games.

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