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Firewatch review: Into the woods: Unpacking the isolating mystery of Firewatch

MSRP: $19.99

The Good Firewatch is a beautiful game that tells a compelling story that keeps you guessing. It creates an amazing yet unsettling sense of isolation throughout. The writing and voice acting are all top-notch.

The Bad The game's final payoff may not please everyone.

The Bottom Line Picturesque and mysterious, Firewatch brings a fantastic narrative that's a pleasure to experience.

Available on Steam:

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Campo Santo

Firewatch is an interactive storytelling experience made by a small development team from San Francisco.

You play as Henry, a man who has dealt with some serious life events and winds up in Yellowstone National Park as a forest fire lookout. Your only acquaintance is Delilah, a faceless supervisor that you converse with over a long-range walkie-talkie.

Firewatch's powerful brand of exposition is unlike many games I've played before, but it's an effective style nonetheless. Where most story-driven games like to give you pivotal choices that affect the outcome of the game, Firewatch tends to navigate away from that kind of mechanic (save for the use of dialogue branches). Instead, the story more or less happens to you as you play, relying heavily on its exceptional writing and superb voice acting.

Campo Santo

The game's seamlessness may be its most impressive feat because rarely do you get dragged into drudgery, save for a few backtracking segments. Instead, it's Firewatch's sense of mystique and compelling backstory that carry along its mostly passive experience.

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