“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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Things Don’t Usually Go As Expected

Oh what a month I’ve had. As a lot of you may know that we had Ramadan, the month where we fast from sunup till sundown. It’s a very important month for us and a lot of my WP Family members may know I had huge plans for it. But some things came in my way. It was probably the most toughest Ramadan I’ve ever had.

What Happened?

I’ve been gone from here for a long time now. Almost more than a month. It’s because a lot of things were happening simultaneously. First, of course my obligation of fasting. That was the FUN part! The not-so-fun part was the exams in the first 15 days of the month and the shitty part was that three days before the exams began I got Conjunctivitis. In layman terms it’s called Pink Eye.

Aww Pink Eye? That’s sounds cute. Do your eyes get all pink and glowy?

Actually, no. It’s not cute at all. Go Google Image that shit, and see for yourself. Why the hell did they give it such a adorable name? It comes in various forms, both mild and severe, and the virus I contracted was a real shitty one. The mornings were comparatively better, but as evening approached all hell broke loose.

As I have all my books and notes in my laptop so imagine studying for your final exams while both of your eyes are bloodshot, burning and itching continuously, eyelids have swollen up twice their size, they’re oozing weird green stuff and it feels like someone is blowing flaming hot ashes and dust into your eyes ALL THE FUDGING TIME!

Yes, cry for me Tom. CRY FOR ME!!

Tom Hardy Crying For Me

BUT THAT COULDN’T STOP ME!

You know, in Islam we’re advised if you can’t fulfill your religious obligations due to any problem you can postpone them to a later time when you’re feeling all perfect and healthy. I knew that, but I’m stubborn (super stubborn), and when I make up some plans I tend to fulfill them on the expense of my own well-being.

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A Sweater, A Ring, and Some Heartbreak

Writing 101 Day 9

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

The twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.


Edith:

Knitting is hard, and the video lessons Jack gave me aren’t helping either. As if learning to use that darn laptop wasn’t hard enough. I have to tell him that it’s not a rule of law that only grandmothers have to knit sweaters for the newborns. He knows my hands are not like they used to be. Why can’t he ask his pretty wife to do that? All she does is gulp down all the food of the house.

Oh, great, there’s that couple again. Every time I come here all I see is them feeding ice cream to each other and beaming like idiots. Don’t they have anything else better to do?

But, hmm, that’s strange, they aren’t eating ice cream today, and that girl looks tense. Meh, must be pregnant. Well, the boy still has that irritating grin on his face.

*gasp* He’s getting down on his knee. So that’s why! And he’s getting all teary eyed. Aw, that’s sweet. The tears look a little forced though. Oh well, go ahead, get married and eat ice cream till death do you part!

Wait, why isn’t she saying anything? She’s looking here and there; is she finding something? What, why is she staring at me now? Woah, stop, she’s stomping towards me. Someone help me! …

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“It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.”

Writing101 Day 4

Whenever I think about loss, I can’t think of any particular “thing”. Maybe the reason is that I’m a big hoarder of memories. I have this huge box up in the attic where I keep all my treasured memorabilia. All the diaries I’ve ever written, all the thoughtful gifts and cards I’ve received from my family and friends, some pictures, leaves and flowers, movie tickets, pieces of thread (I’m not getting into the detail of who those threads belong to), and everything else that has meant something special to me. So if I have to talk about loss (ugh, do I have to?) I’m going to share a story about a person who meant a LOT to me who is not in my life anymore. Buckle up people, you’re about to be depressed.

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