You are Henry, a man in his late thirties that has taken a job as a Firewatch in Wyoming in the late 80’s. What starts off as a calm and lonely job trying to keep the forest from burning down will soon turn into a mysterious game of conspiracy.
When you start the game, you are first greeted with a few lines of text and are given the option to react in one of two ways. This serves as the intro to the game as well as giving some background to the storyline. The choices don’t really matter much outside of developing a bit of background to your character and while it ultimately doesn’t affect the story overall, it does introduce you to Firewatch’s version of the choice system that you will be using for the rest of the game.
When you take over your character Henry, you suddenly find yourself walking through Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming towards your watch tower where you are immediately introduced to Delilah over a walkie talkie. She is your “boss” and will give you objectives to complete as you play through the game. They start off simply enough, such as “check the phone lines” or “look into a pillar of smoke out in the forest” but will soon evolve into much, much more.
You and Delilah talk exclusively over the Walkie Talkies but you develop a kinship for each other as the game progresses, trading quips and sarcasm back and forth while keeping an eye on the forest. She asks you about your life and you two will develop a relationship based off of your conversations and reactions.
While the game is short (around four hours of actual play time), it keeps you intrigued by adding more and more elements to the overall puzzle of the story. The game relies heavily on the script and voice acting of the two main characters (yourself and Delilah) and is a fantastic game to play.
I really enjoyed the look of the game, the setting is beautiful and fun to explore. The map itself isn’t terribly large, and you do have the option of running so it doesn’t necessarily take forever to get around. That being said one of my only real frustrations about playing the game was that it can sometimes be hard to find where you’re supposed to go as the game doesn’t have any sort of mini map or GUI. This is meant to keep you immersed in the game, and you can easily pull out a map and compass, which you will need to do often.
There have actually been several websites or postings where people have created their own fan-made maps that you can print out while playing the game, one of which can found here on the game developer’s website