“Firewatch”: A Beautiful Exploration of Love, Commitment and Isolation

When we were kids, playing games on our lovely Sega and Nintendo consoles, did we ever imagine there will come a time when gaming will become a medium as deeply impactful and moving as most great books and movies are?

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are living in that time now. And Firewatch is the perfect (living) proof of it. I don’t remember being so profoundly touched by a game in my entire life. And that’s saying something because I’ve been gaming since I was 5 years old.

Firewatch Poster
Image Courtesy: http://www.blurppy.com

The Plot:

Excerpt taken from IGN.com

Firewatch is a mystery set in the woods of Wyoming, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio. You play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio – and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

My Take on the Game:

The only thing I knew about Firewatch before starting it was that it’s based on exploring wilderness. I didn’t read about the story, or the characters. I went in completely blank. I thought it was a National Park Ranger Simulator. And well, that was reason enough for me to be excited about it because 1. I love nature, and 2. I love nature VERY MUCH.

So when it started off, I rubbed my hands together all giddy like a child, thinking “This is gonna be so exciting walking around the woods.” And then suddenly in the very first 5 seconds, a written narration starts. Telling me about a clumsy but charming guy (Henry), and a sweet and confident girl (Julia), and their meet-cute in a bar. And at this point I say to myself with sudden realization “Oohhh, I think I’m gonna fall in love with this game.

Now the question arises; if this guy has such a perfect life with Julia, why would he move to a dead-end job as a lookout out in the woods?

Wanna know the reason? Please purchase the game. This game deserves to be purchased IMMEDIATELY.

[The screenshots I’ll be sharing in this post are of the actual gameplay. Yes, the beauty of it leaves you speechless.]

Firewatch Sunset
Image Courtesy: http://www.superbwallpapers.com

Firewatch is perfection in every single aspect. The way this game deals with adult issues through world-class storytelling with the support of a hilarious and heart-wrenching script along with some of the most amazing voice-acting I’ve ever heard in my life makes Firewatch easily my most memorable interactive gaming experience. And how can one forget the perfection of the art direction and gorgeous visuals. It literally blows away your mind.

As I’ve already discussed, the game is completely narrative driven. You, as Henry, work under your supervisor Delilah, and 95% of Firewatch is based on the dialogues of these two individuals over the handheld radio. And that’s where the beauty of this game lies. Just like when reading from a book, you get to enter the minds of these two people who have both run away from something from their life back at home. Along the way, you do run into some trouble. Firewatch goes from something moving to something harrowing in just a couple of chapters, and there are times when you are scared to go out in the dark because of the lurking danger and the terrifying conspiracies surrounding you.

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“Until Dawn”: Another Breakthrough in Survival-Horror Gaming

If I had to summarize Until Dawn in one sentence it would be that this game is the perfect blend of all those Hollywood movies that are the pinnacle of psychological horror cinema; movies like Psycho, The Shining, Scream, The Descent, Saw and Cabin in the Woods. This game is all of them rolled into one!

Image Courtesy: www.videogamesblogger.com
Image Courtesy: http://www.videogamesblogger.com

Before proceeding any further, I would suggest that you play the following Theme Song of Until Dawn. Yeah, you’re already in love with the game, aren’t ya? 😉

The Plot:
Taken from Until Dawn Wikia

“When eight friends become trapped on a remote mountain getaway gone wrong, things quickly turn sinister and they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Every choice the player makes while playing as each of the eight friends – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out a unique story. The player’s actions alone determine who survives until dawn.”

My Take on the Game:

Let me be clear, I don’t appreciate games in which you’re just this big badass with a massive gun and you just run around shooting people (or creatures) and stuff without any solid purpose in mind. I crave a meaningful plot and characters that I can relate to. The last time I loved a game this much was when I played “Heavy Rain” back in 2010.

I’m not a pro gamer; that’s why I won’t get into the technical nitty-gritty details. If you want that, stop reading and go to Gamespot or Metacritic or something. The forthcoming rant is all coming from a gal who just adores classic horror.

Enjoy the Horror

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Explore the Himalayan Outbacks and the Rich Nepali Culture with Far Cry 4

There have been a very few open world games that present a diverse and immersive environment holding such prolific beauty and wonder. GTA V obviously tops that list (that game never ceases to amaze me), but now Far Cry 4 comes to a close second for me.

Far Cry 4 Poster

This is the first Far Cry installment I’ve played. Yes, I know, I should be ashamed of myself. Yes, I also know that Far Cry 3 was the best one. But maybe I didn’t tell you guys before, but I’m really bad at First Person Shooters. I hate aiming with precision. I want guided aim so that I can just blow shit up. But well, what do you know! FC4 had guided aim. Thank you Ubisoft!

For the people who have played the previous installments of this franchise will probably hate this game. Why? Because they say that FC4 was diagnosed with ‘Assassins Creed Syndrome’. Yep, the dangerous disease that causes redundant storylines, shallow characters, and a repetitive gameplay.

I on the other hand am a newbie to Far Cry! Yay for me! 😀 I didn’t waste my money like I did on Assassins Creed Unity!

Okay, so I’ve only got three big reasons to love this game, and they are enough for me.  Continue reading

“The Evil Within”: This Bloodfest Is a Big NOPE For Me!

Horror movies? Lemme at em! Horror games? Nope. See ya! Sayonara! I’m a big wuss when it comes to playing horror-survival games. I don’t know it’s something in the feeling of actually getting to face your fears yourself that I just can’t seem to digest. I always wanted to play the Resident Evil franchise but whenever I saw my brother playing it I knew I’m gonna get creeped out and bail ASAP! So I never tried it.

But then I gave this genre a shot when I played “Alan Wake” on my PC because it didn’t seem to have much blood & gore and had a subtle thrill to it. It was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had. So when my brother told me that, “You should play The Evil Within. It’s kinda like Alan Wake, just a little bit tougher.” I’ve got no problem with playing tough games. I like meself some challenge. But now I know he was messing with me. The moment I started the game I knew this shizz ain’t for me! Get out girl while you still can!

The Evil Within Poster

The Evil Within is the first game that I’ve quit playing after the first 5 minutes 😀 I got the heebie-jeebies the moment I stepped into the hospital (or was it an asylum??) And then that chainsaw-wielding monster and those dead bodies and blood and guts everywhere and the frightening atmosphere and booby traps. In short it was like experiencing my worst nightmare. So yeah, goodbye Evil Within. Those 5 minutes were absolutely mortifying for me.

I’ll just stick to GTA V and killing random people on the streets. That’s enough blood and gore for me 😀

10 Things I Hate About Assassin’s Creed Unity

This is what happens when you overdo a franchise. Just like movies, some games don’t deserve so many sequels that they lose their basic essence. The first few Assassin’s Creed games figuratively blew my mind but as the franchise advanced further, the games began to grow more redundant and repetitive. Now AC Unity is the EIGHTH installment of this series, and in my honest opinion it is by far one of the worst sequels I have played.

Assassin's Creed Unity

The following are the reasons why I despise this one so much:  Continue reading

“Infamous: Second Son” – Enjoy Your Powers Indeed!

When I start a game, the first things I look out for are:
1. Amazing visual effects that force my jaw to drop dead on the ground
2. Flawless gameplay that keeps pulling me back for more
3. An insanely fun but also meaningful story-line
4. Characters for whom I can care for.

Infamous: Second Son scores a perfect “A+” on all the above mentioned aspects.

Delsin Rowe

*for people who haven’t played the game, and they want to, please don’t read this post, it contains spoilers* Continue reading