Posted: A year ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.
Author: Andy Robertson.
While many games put you in powerful positions, Firewatch is about powerlessness and empathy. "Somethings we can't stop from happening," one of the characters says in the game. It's a theme that applies to the watchful role of the forest lookouts as well as our main character's relationship with his mentally ill wife.
The game is beautiful to look at and explore. It captures what it's like to be a forest lookout in real life. This is paired with fully voiced story (including a role for Rich Sommer of Mad Man fame). It creates what could be seen as an interactive movie, but the participatory nature of the game makes it stand apart from other media in a way that needs to be experienced first hand to fully appreciate.
This game was rated PEGI 16 for frequent scenes of strong language and scenes of sexual nudity. It is not suitable for persons under 16 years of age. The examiners report expands this rating with the following: Strong language is heard throughout and includes the word ‘*!@?*’ and its derivatives. Nudity occurs in Henry’s journal, there are two sketches of him drawn by his wife. In both he is fully naked while posing.
ESRB rated this MATURE 17+ with Suggestive Themes, Nudity, Drug and Alcohol Reference and Strong Language.
How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.
Reaction-time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions.
Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.
How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.
Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.
Some Dialogue is Voiced: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted.
How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.
Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.
Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.
The following games are like Firewatch. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Firewatch for younger age ratings.
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