Date Completed : December 1st, 2017
I had never heard of this game but a co-worker bought a surprise copy of this game for me (Thank Again!) and after reading about it I was intrigued.
This is one of those games that once it’s spoiled you can’t go back so I’m not going to say much about it. It takes place in a Norse setting (which gets it 10 extra Awesome points) and follows the story of a woman named Senua. Throughout the game you hear the voices that are whispering to Senua which I first tried to ignore as background babbling. Eventually I got to a point where I realized I was listening to the voices and doing what they told me. When I realized the game had subtly led me to listening to the voices in Senua’s head I realized it was something special.
One of the top billed individuals in making this game was the Psychology Consultant. The descent into mental illness particularly in a time when it was not understood or remotely treatable was believable and horrifying. More than once I’d go to bed after playing, look at my wife and say “I shouldn’t play that game before bed.”
I recommend playing with headphones on for maximum effect. When I was wearing the headphones gave the sound a better ‘sense of immediacy’ and it felt as if the voices were in my head as well.
Since completing the game we’ve had many conversations at the office about what was really going on – how much of the game was a delusion and how much was real. There are a lot of possible ways to interpret the events of the game and there is so much depth to them it may take a few play-throughs to fully understand it. I ended up playing through 1.5 times, just to pick up my platinum trophy.
I will leave you with the soundtrack of my favorite scene. When I got to the Bridge with the Nordic Chanting started I was all smiles.
Is it fun: Yes
Length: ~8 Hours
System: Playstation 4
Genre: Third-Person Adventure, Psychological Thriller
Date Completed: February 4th, 2017
Firewatch is more of an experience than a game. Its similar to the game ‘Journey’ where it tells a story, and any spoilers to that story could potentially ruin it. I’m going to stay away from spoilers, and instead focus on all of the things I did wrong while playing Firewatch.
Firewatch tells the story of a dude who watches for fires in Colorado wilderness. When I started Firewatch I wasn’t sure what kind of game it was going to be. Was it silly? Was it scary? Something else? I didn’t know what to do or what kinds of interactions with the game world would be allowed so I tried stuff. The first thing I did was pick up the bottle of dish soap from my watch tower and go for a hike. Once I got out into the wilderness I felt bad about littering so I ended up carrying that bottle of dish soap around for an entire day. This was super inconvenient because I had to set the soap down every time I wanted to consult my map ( which required both hands to be free ).
My soap and I enjoying the sunset.
The other thing that really pissed me off about this game was the sound the electric generator made. When the game started up the first thing I noticed was the constant grinding sound of an electric generator. I found the generator outside my watch tower and tried to shut it off but this wasn’t allowed. Sometimes the generator would power down and I’d have a few precious minutes of silence but it would always start up again. For some dumb reason the generator sound followed me through the entire park. I’d be miles away from my watch tower and I could still hear it! I began to wonder if it was a clue to the plot – maybe my character was in a hospital room hooked up to some machine and the whole game was a hallucination of some kind? Maybe it was a bug in the game? Either way it was super irritating. You know what the worst part was? After I turned the game off for the night I could still hear the noise!!! This was the moment I began to suspect something was amiss…
Yeah…so it turns out that the kids had shoved a pencil into the pencil sharpener on the windowsill behind me. It’s about at ear-level when I am sitting down and I was wearing headphones while playing and couldn’t tell it wasn’t part of the game. It would run for a few minutes before shutting down on it’s own and eventually restarting. Darn kids.
I would have played the game straight through except after 11PM I figured I should go to bed or I’d be in a mood the next day. Overall a great game although the kind you only get to play once. After experiencing the story there isn’t any reason to visit this game again. Except maybe to find those turtles.
- Is it fun: Yes
- Score: 7/10
- Length: 3-4 hours
- System: Playstation 4
- Genre: First Person / Thriller