Stories Overrated?

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Retro STrife
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Re: Stories Overrated?

Postby Retro STrife » March 21st, 2021, 3:31 am

C64_Critic wrote:Good timing for this post, I just decided to fire up a game of Firewatch on Steam yesterday.
...
Now the story here (the narration) was very good, well written and incredibly touching. But it was also 100% not even remotely what I was prepared for when I launched the game, and about a thousand miles away from what I was in the mood for. I wanted some good scenery and fire-related action. By the time I got the where the actual GAME started, I was a bit depressed and emotional, and frankly no longer in the mood to game at all. I quit out of it, and I don't know when I'll try giving it another shot.


@C64 Critic- Funny enough, your misfortune somehow inspired me to finally give Firewatch a shot, after it sat in my backlog for awhile. I beat the game last weekend. You're right - there's not a single fire you put out in the entire game, and it is very story-driven. There's some laughs in the dialogue throughout, but it's also pretty somber/depressing overall. You probably didn't miss much if you weren't in the mood to go down that path and permanently abandoned it. But the lack of action and heavy story are about on par with other walking sims. The other ones I've played also involved some form of grieving or misfortune that the character was working through. I hadn't thought of the genre that way until you pointed it out; but that's a good point.

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C64_Critic
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Re: Stories Overrated?

Postby C64_Critic » March 21st, 2021, 9:15 am

Retro STrife wrote:@C64 Critic- Funny enough, your misfortune somehow inspired me to finally give Firewatch a shot, after it sat in my backlog for awhile. I beat the game last weekend. You're right - there's not a single fire you put out in the entire game, and it is very story-driven. There's some laughs in the dialogue throughout, but it's also pretty somber/depressing overall. You probably didn't miss much if you weren't in the mood to go down that path and permanently abandoned it. But the lack of action and heavy story are about on par with other walking sims. The other ones I've played also involved some form of grieving or misfortune that the character was working through. I hadn't thought of the genre that way until you pointed it out; but that's a good point.


Retro, I actually HAVE gone back and put in a few hours, and I'm generally enjoying it. I assume at this point I'll stick with it and see it to the end, but it is most definitely not what I was expecting when I bought it (the curse of impulsive Steam sales!). I think I'm able to enjoy it a bit more now because my expectations have been calibrated. My original issue was that I was just looking for a fun, interesting game with a little strategy but was immediately hit in the face with a heavy, depressing backstory. I still think I would be enjoying this game more had the opening not been so somber. This is just a case of the story hindering the game, at least for me. Live and learn! The "Walking Simulator" genre just clearly isn't going to be my thing.

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Stalvern
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Re: Stories Overrated?

Postby Stalvern » March 21st, 2021, 2:02 pm

Most video game writing, even the stuff that people like to hold up as "good" to put Roger Ebert in his place, blows compared to pretty much any serious book. Triple-A games especially seem to be written by people who exclusively play video games and watch popcorn blockbusters and never read. The exceptions tend to be Indie games and adventure games (and indie adventure games), plus Earthbound.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Stories Overrated?

Postby Retro STrife » March 21st, 2021, 3:49 pm

C64_Critic wrote:Retro, I actually HAVE gone back and put in a few hours, and I'm generally enjoying it. I assume at this point I'll stick with it and see it to the end, but it is most definitely not what I was expecting when I bought it (the curse of impulsive Steam sales!). I think I'm able to enjoy it a bit more now because my expectations have been calibrated. My original issue was that I was just looking for a fun, interesting game with a little strategy but was immediately hit in the face with a heavy, depressing backstory. I still think I would be enjoying this game more had the opening not been so somber. This is just a case of the story hindering the game, at least for me. Live and learn! The "Walking Simulator" genre just clearly isn't going to be my thing.


Well that's good to hear that you gave it another shot! And you might be on to something about the backstory subplot... The game slaps you across the face with "your wife is ill, marriage sucks, you literally head for the woods in response" right at the start. They clearly wanted to get that out of the way and focus on the Henry/Delilah storyline. But the storyline might have been more interesting if they left a little mystery there.. like a subplot of "why is Henry out here?".. that you slowly learn during the game.


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