FIREWATCH – A very broken game

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Playstation had a deal not too long ago and FIREWATCH was on sale for a very reasonable price, around $8 -13. I had heard some good things about this game so I decided to buy it and give it a try. I played it with a friend watching on New Year’s eve 2016.

All was good. We had made it to day 77, and for some reason which I cannot remember I quit the game to check something on the XBN of my Playstation 4, and then I went back and started the game anew. What I encountered when I started it up was that the game would not load. Not even a little bit. Not even in the load game screen. Continue didn’t start the game nor did the save file. We did some digging around on the web and decided to try and download my saved game data from the online storage. To our surprise the save data wasn’t even present in the cloud or on my PS4. WTF Santo Campo!?! Did your compliance team even catch this issue? Did you fix it? Nooooope. We were forced to restart the game. Thankfully it’s a short game and can be played in a few hours, but still. Super annoying.

Now while my friend was checking the internet and I was zipping through the slog at the beginning, he found yet another potential blocker found somewhere around Day 79 which half the players encountered. Thankfully when we got to that point I did not otherwise I’d be emailing Playstation store for a full refund. Unfortunately it was a digital sale and cannot be refunded… FU.

As a little side note, my friend and I are professional QA video game testers. Which means we test video games for  bugs on a full time basis, and when we encounter a released game that is as broken as FIREWATCH, we are deeply disappointed.

Alright, back to my review….

We both decided it was prudent to start a new game. I was pissed off at this point having paid money for this game, and finding out it’s already so very broken in the most important way. Slogging through the beginning wasn’t fun so I spammed X the whole time trying to choose the same options as before.

I did run the whole time and avoided reporting all the fog. What the fuck is up with Henry and his fog reports? Once I got to the same point where we last were the story started to take many twists. I suspect the two girls in the beginning were a red herring to throw the player off from the actual plot in the story which revolved around Brian Goodwin. I won’t say more in case you’re reading this and you do indeed want to play this game.

We finally made it to the end, but we had encountered massive frame rate issues where the game would just freeze for a second or two. This wasn’t fun, but it’s more acceptable than the not being able to load a save game issue. My friend and I also found it difficult to relate to either of the characters. Henry was unrelated and then there’s Delilah with her “I need to fuck you now” need towards Henry at some point in the game. We both thought that was really off, and not at all appropriate for what was going on in the story. I really, really didn’t like that part AT ALL.

So in the end, the story is okay. It confused the hell out of my friend with all the convoluted plot lines going here and there. I know at one point I was getting very much into it. Sadly the end is very anticlimactic. I suppose it could have been better, but it wasn’t.

Things I like about this game:

  • The colour scheme was interesting.
  • Dialogue choices.
  • The twist in the story.
  • The sub trophies were fun.

Things I don’t like :

  • The very, very orange-ness of the game when the sun was setting. It was too orange.
  • Henry’s arms when he ran. It was very robotic.
  • Clunky jump option. No smooth jumping.
  • Frame rate issues.
  • Couldn’t load saved game after quitting the game in mid-playthrough.
  • Save data didn’t upload to the cloud or my PS4 upon first play. Probably the reason for the save data being unable to load cause it’s not present.
  • The ending. Too boring.
  • This game had way too many issues. They should have been fixed by Campo Santo BEFORE being released.
  • The final sub trophy could not be unlocked. I was fuming.
  • Had to quit the game before I could unlock Free Roam.
  • I did not have an updated map or the axe when loading into Free Roam which meant I had to run around and get all the boxes so I could find the paths on my map.

I read on their website that they provided patches in September to all of these issues, but that was a complete lie. It’s December, and the game is still as broken now as it was four months ago.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s an alright story. I don’t recommend this game based on all of the issues I’ve encountered. Personally it’s not worth any of the money you would spend. This game is worth $1. With all the issues you’d want your money back. If you want to play the game, I recommend watching this YouTube Let’s Play video instead. This way you won’t waste any money.

My rating? 4/10

Should you play this? I say maybe. You can get through one play in a few hours.

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

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