Chris’s Top Ten Videogames of 2016: #4
Developer: Campo Santo
Publisher: Panic Campo Santo
PS4, Xbox One, PC
My award for the best opening to a video game in 2016 goes to Firewatch! To say too much would spoil it but, it sets out an intimate scene showing how two people meet and fall in love. It is beautifully told and from the first few moments I was hooked and started to care about the characters.
Firewatch is a first person game where you play a character called Henry. He takes a job in a National Park and as the title of the game suggests, his job is to make sure there are no forest fires and keep the visitors out of mischief.
He is stationed alone in a tower and his only contact is with a woman called Delilah in another tower whom he communicates with via walkie talkie. If you are looking for an action packed thrill ride then I would direct you towards Titanfall 2 or Doom, because despite being a first person game there is no shooting or combat. In fact you are only armed with a trusty map and compass to help you get around.
During the course of the game you really get a sense of isolation and how it might be taking its toll on Henry. Are the events in the story really happening or is it his mind playing tricks on him?
One of the many strengths of Firewatch is the incredible voice acting! Within moments you forget that you are playing a video game as the interaction between Henry and Delilah is some of the most natural dialogue spoken in a video game.
Firewatch is a fairly short game that I completed in one sitting. When I started I didn’t want to stop as I needed to know what was going to happen to the characters and how the story was going to end. Speaking of endings, a lot of criticism was made about the ending being anti-climatic and all I would say to that is to use an old cliche. ‘It’s the journey, not the destination‘ and I absolutely loved every minute of it.