Firewatch: I love narrative games, but this one is annoying as shit [CAUTION: Spoilers]



  • Ok, so trying Firewatch. Generally I like games like this, but Gone Home it ain't.

    First problem: the game supports Xbox controllers, but draws the tooltips using the KEYBOARD controls. WTF? Doesn't anybody ever test the functionality of anything anymore? Jesus.

    Second: the character the game forces you to control gets railroaded into like a half-dozen things I, the player, would never do. It's worse than the goddamned beginning of Mass Effect 2 with the railroading. (Just move to Connecticut you idiot!)

    Third: the game appears to lack any kind of inventory system. So if you get, for example, an energy bar you want to save for later, you just have to fucking carry it around in your right hand forever. I can see my character's pants, he's wearing blue jeans, those have POCKETS, game developers.

    Even worse, there's a ton of actions you can't do while you're carrying an energy bar in your right hand. But the game never bothers to tell you WHY you can't do them. So while you're trying to figure out how to confiscate the teens' fireworks, and the option is greyed-out, you have to literally consult a walkthrough to find out what you did wrong.

    That's one thing. At least picking up fireworks requires the use of your hands. Someone explain to me why I need to put down my energy bar to stomp out a fire!

    This game is getting tons of buzz and praise and so far I've just been annoyed by all these obvious, obvious, obvious bugs. I guess at least it hasn't crashed yet, I'll say that about it. I'm kind of pissed I paid $20 for this. And that none of the reviews I read mentioned the bugs.


    EDIT: Ok so I can't stomp-out a fire while holding an energy bar, but can hold a flashlight. Was this game made by aliens from Jupiter who have no idea how human bodies work?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    First problem: the game supports Xbox controllers, but draws the tooltips using the KEYBOARD controls. WTF? Doesn't anybody ever test the functionality of anything anymore? Jesus.

    They don't. I've seen this problem in way too many games, including high-profile ones, but in reverse - gamepad buttons for keybord+mouse.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Second: the character the game forces you to control gets railroaded into like a half-dozen things I, the player, would never do. It's worse than the goddamned beginning of Mass Effect 2 with the railroading. (Just move to Connecticut you idiot!)

    Still better than Katawa Shoujo. You don't fall off rooftop because you became friends with more than one person in Firewatch, do you?

    @blakeyrat said:

    I'm kind of pissed I paid $20 for this.

    Why didn't you get refund?



  • @Gaska said:

    They don't. I've seen this problem in way too many games,

    I KNOW HOW DOES IT KEEP HAPPENING ISN'T THIS NUMBER ONE ON THE CHECKLIST!? Jesus.

    I think the real problem is game developers do stuff like tooltips absolutely last, because it's "work" and not "fun" and so they don't get properly tested. Still no excuse for it to continually happen.

    @Gaska said:

    Still better than Katawa Shoujo.

    I don't play Japanese shit games.

    @Gaska said:

    Why didn't you get refund?

    Because it's not THAT bad.


    BTW when the game specifically tells you NOT to go into a cave? Yeah, you're supposed to go into the cave. If you go the other way, about 3-4 minutes later, the character who told you specifically NOT to go into the cave says, "if you're here you must have taken a wrong turn, you should have gone into the cave."

    WTF!

    I don't feel that I'm being too picky here, am I? I swear they didn't playtest this at all.



  • Oh and I finally gave up and started using the keyboard controls because the Xbox controls are awful (hold left-trigger, use D-pad to select conversation option, release left-trigger to talk. Huh?)

    Turns out the keyboard controls are almost as bad. You know how in 99.99999% of first-person games, left-shift is run? Well, here it brings up your radio. Run is R. I guess it's mnemonic (EDIT: it just occurred to me R could stand for Radio too), but I keep bringing up my radio when I want to run and it's pissing me off.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I don't play Japanese shit games.

    It's not Japanese. It's 4chanese.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Run is R.

    Wh-whaaaaa!? Please tell me you at least don't have to hold it...

    Also - is there key bindings menu somewhere? I guess it could reduce the pain a little.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So if you get, for example, an energy bar you want to save for later, you just have to fuck carry it around in your right hand forever.

    I kinda love the thought of you going through the whole mystery adventure and shit carrying that one energy bar all the way through.

    "I love my energy bar. I'm gonna name it Steve. Steve the Energy Bar. Hi Steve!"

    @blakeyrat said:

    Run is R

    Jesus Christ, how do you even... do the devs have six fingers or something?



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    I kinda love the thought of you going through the whole mystery adventure and shit carrying that one energy bar all the way through.

    Didn't you do the gnome achievement from HL2 ep. 2?



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    I kinda love the thought of you going through the whole mystery adventure and shit carrying that one energy bar all the way through.

    There's a cheevo in one of the Half-Lifes for carrying a plush toy the entire game.


    "Those aspens are actually all connected at the root, it's one big organism, did you know that?"

    Me: "Duh."

    My characters ONLY dialog choice: "No, I didn't."



  • Ok I stopped playing for today because I got yet another quest that makes me traverse the entire damned map and frankly I'm sick of walking.

    Also, the reason you have to traverse the entire damned map is because I need to get past a chain link fence any normal person, even a fat-ass out-of-shape person like me, could easily climb.

    Grump.

    I am I think enough into the story that I feel compelled to know how it ends.

    When there actually is a fire, Delilah seems oddly unconcerned with it.



  • I was excited for this game. I fully expected it to be a walking simulator. [spoiler]But dear god, the advertising is super misleading, and the story is very disappointing. One of the trailers for the game is entirely dialogue that isn't even in the game! The climax of the game is a huge let down. "Ha ha, you were being trolled! See ya!" was the result. The side storyline was completely ruined because of it.[/spoiler]

    So glad I didn't pre-order this game.



  • You know I don't know if this rule is written down anywhere, but here it is anyway:

    If I'm playing a character who is EXPRESSLY NOT ME, and also NOT WHO I CAN DECIDE WHO IT IS, then the game should always be in some kind of third-person camera mode.

    Because nothing pisses me off more than a game where "I" am the protagonist, but I have absolutely no control over what the protagonist says or does, or his/her appearance, or gender, or anything. That's frustrating and annoying.

    BUT! I don't think it should be a hard-and-fast rule, because some games have pulled it off really well. Wolfenstein: The New Order, for example. And I don't have a really good reason for why it worked well in Wolfenstein and not in Firewatch. (Except perhaps that Wolfenstein has very little character-relevant dialog during normal gameplay; it's all in cut-scenes. Halo 2 is another example like that: all story is in cut-scenes and it's clear going in the player has no agency over the story.)

    But anyway. If the first-person camera is going to be ME, then you have to let the player choose who ME is and how ME reacts to things. It doesn't need to be 100%, but you need to at least try to cover all the options.



  • No spoilers please.

    But a lot of reviews mentioned the disappointing and sudden ending.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the game supports Xbox controllers, but draws the tooltips using the KEYBOARD controls. WTF?

    I somehow missed this when reading the post originally. For some reason you have to go into the game settings, look at the keyboard controls help page, click a drop down and change it to display the controller button help page, and that causes the game to understand you want to use a controller. o_o



  • You know in most games, it just sets the tooltips to whatever the last controller-type you used was. Automagically.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ISN'T THIS NUMBER ONE ON THE CHECKLIST!? Jesus.

    What is this mysterious "CHECKLIST" of which you speak? It sounds like an intriguing idea.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I keep bringing up my radio when I want to run and it's pissing me off

    Sounds like this game was built for the European market, and they didn't bother redesigning the control cluster before releasing the right-hand-drive model.



  • It looks like this:

    :ballot_box_with_check: Ensure on-screen help shows correct controls



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I KNOW HOW DOES IT KEEP HAPPENING ISN'T THIS NUMBER ONE ON THE CHECKLIST!? Jesus.

    The only game I have ever asked for a refund for on Steam was Castle Crashers, and the only reason for that is that it presented me with xbox keybindings on my computer that has never been anywhere near an xbox controller and I couldn't find a way to change that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    sudden ending

    Michael Ellis?



  • Basic immersion fail IMO. Actions you take should feel natural for the character you're playing. If they don't let you feel like you're playing their character, and they don't give you the options to play your own, you get this problem.



  • That pretty much sums up why I prefer real (non-computer) roleplaying games over computer games.



  • So many plotholes and problems with this script.

    [spoiler]Why does the writer of this game think forest service radios in the mid-80s would be using some sort of uncrackable encryption? Ugh.[/spoiler]



  • This post is deleted!


  • Oh WAT.

    Goddamned.

    Playing Firewatch is like being a fan of Lost.

    Ugh. I'm going to have to make a spoilers post to discuss this shit. It doesn't make any sense. Did they accidentally flush like 2/3rds of the script down the toilet?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Did they accidentally flush like 2/3rds of the script down the toilet?

    I think so - watch this trailer and tell me if you remember any of the dialog in it:
    Firewatch Trailer – 02:09
    — Joystiq



  • SPOILER HEAVY POST!!!! I'll blur it but fair warning.

    [spoiler]Ok so. There's three mysteries in the game: what happened to the teenage girls, who's the mysterious figure who clonked you on the head and recorded your radio conversation, and what's the deal with the Government research area.[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]At the end of the game, we learn:[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]The teenage girls "turned up alive and fine in jail". To which your character should, but is not able to, reply: "WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU TELL ME EARLIER DELILAH!? JESUS!"[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]The mysterious figure is Ned, the father to the kid who disappeared who wasn't actually even a plot point until like 2/3rds of the way through the game. This plot-point which, again, comes out of nowhere, is actually the main story, believe it or not. This is the 'A' plot.[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]The Government research facility is ?????. Although Ned has access to the equipment from it, so maybe he set it up? Because a crazy hermit living alone in the forest for 3 years can teleport miles of chain link fencing out of thin air? And set up advanced communications equipment? Some... how?[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]I think also one of the running themes here is Delilah is a complete sociopath, except the writers seem confused on that also because at the end of the game one of the dialog choices is to tell her to become a counselor? Wha? After she LIED TO THE POLICE about a crime scene? And three years ago, one of her fire watch staff LITERALLY DISAPPEARED and she said NOTHING about it TO ANYBODY?[/spoiler]

    [spoiler](Wait, at the end of this summer, they get debriefed, but at the end of the summer Ned was there she wasn't? Even though one of her staff was DISAPPEARED? Like wouldn't the paychecks start piling up or anything? Nobody asked any questions about that?)[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]So. It's like the beginning of development, they were like, "ok here's the three stories we got." But then towards the end, they were like, "oh damn, we don't have any time to set up that teenage girl thing-- just shove it into a line from Delilah late in the game for no reason, check that shit off. Oh, and damn, we don't have time to wrap-up the government research plot, so let's make Ned the... ok well it makes no sense so we'll just make Ned in charge of it with absolutely no explanation when, why, or how that was accomplished. Oh and we don't have time to wrap up Ned's plot either, where the player was supposed to collect clues and actually solve a mystery, so we'll just have him literally leave a tape recorder with a full confession on it. Why not."[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]I can imagine maybe an early draft of the script has Ned actually kill or chase off the Government men, and then take over their camp and equipment, but that doesn't make sense because the firefighters were specifically instructed to build a fire break for the Government camp after Ned has access to their radio equipment.[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]As for the whole thing about Delilah thinking 1988 Forest Service radios are some kind of super-impossible-to-crack encrypted technology, well, maybe she's just dumb? I guess is a reasonable explanation for that.[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]Also Flight of the Navigator came out in 1986, idiots. There's no way Ned's son could have known about it. I know it's petty, but shit. That one's EASILY looked up in a 1-second Google search. (I was thinking he could have used The Explorers, which came out in 1985, but it was July 1985, so that doesn't work either. Not sure if there are any 1980-1984 movies about kids who find a spaceship.)[/spoiler]

    [spoiler]And while I'm griping, there's absolutely NO reason to make the game take place in 1988. I guess the only relevance is that the firewatch station you manned went unmanned for the previous 2 years. (Again: WTF Ned. You're trying to cover up a crime, which may not have actually even been a crime, so you live in the middle of the forest for 3 years EVEN WHEN THERE'S NOBODY EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE TO THE CAVE, then the instant someone does show up to man the station near the cave, you INSTANTLY cave, give him the key, and confess!? WHY DIDN'T YOU CONFESS THREE YEARS AGO!? OR GO DEEPER INTO THE WOODS 3 YEARS AGO!?)[/spoiler]

    I think my original guess about this game being written by aliens from Jupiter who know nothing about human beings is right.

    Sorry for all the clicking you had to do to read that, apparently spoiler tags are incompatible with paragraphs.



  • @LB_ said:

    I think so - watch this trailer and tell me if you remember any of the dialog in it:

    Wow, that trailer could not possibly have LESS to do with the actual game. (In which forest fires are really... not even a factor at all. They aren't even a 'B' plot.)

    And don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with making a narrative game about a firewatch station that actually involves spotting and running from forest fires, but since that's not what this game is about that's a SUPER misleading trailer.

    That's like if you made a Dear Esther trailer and included a car chase. (Because you know that one scene where you find the car.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Ok so I can't stomp-out a fire while holding an energy bar, but can hold a flashlight. Was this game made by aliens from Jupiter who have no idea how human bodies work?

    The intensity of stomping out a fire may lead to the hand crushing the energy bar, but a flashlight is designed to take some gripping stress.

    The character won't risk crushing the energy bar, because it's non-optimal.

    The character is a min-maxer.

    @blakeyrat said:

    BTW when the game specifically tells you NOT to go into a cave? Yeah, you're supposed to go into the cave. If you go the other way, about 3-4 minutes later, the character who told you specifically NOT to go into the cave says, "if you're here you must have taken a wrong turn, you should have gone into the cave."

    Can you go above the character's head? Maybe talk to their manager.

    [Character] has communications problems.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    ... do the devs have six fingers or something?

    Must be from Norfolk.

    @flabdablet said:

    What is this mysterious "CHECKLIST" of which you speak? It sounds like an intriguing idea.

    All the testing procedures that all software companies should use but don't.



  • @Shoreline said:

    @flabdablet said:
    What is this mysterious "CHECKLIST" of which you speak? It sounds like an intriguing idea.

    All the testing procedures that all software companies should use but don't.

    I am inspired by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    EDIT: Ok so I can't stomp-out a fire while holding an energy bar, but can hold a flashlight. Was this game made by aliens from Jupiter who have no idea how human bodies work?

    I don't know about you, but I have two hands, and I can hold a torch (even if you call it a flashlight) in one while I hold an energy bar in the other.

    Still doesn't explain the "can't use feet to stomp fire while using hands to hold objects" thing, though.



  • Stuff like that that works:

    • That scene in Metro: Last Light where you're carrying the kid on your back, rescuing him. He slows down your movement, and knocks off your aim whenever monsters appear because he gets scared, but it's an awesome moment that is logical and works on every level.

    Stuff like that that doesn't work:

    • Everything about Doom 3. (Specifically: literally everybody on Earth yelling, "you have a flashlight, you have a gun, there's tape lying around in every level, TAPE THE FLASHLIGHT TO THE GUN!) (And bonus dumb WTF: the marine in top shape with lots of leftover air in his suit who can't go without air for 60 seconds without dying. 60 seconds. Little kids can hold their breath for 60 seconds. And that's ignoring that there's AT LEAST 60 seconds of leftover air in his helmet.) These are the opposite of logical and make the game annoying and stupid.


  • @blakeyrat said:

    [spoiler]what happened to the teenage girls[/spoiler]

    :giggity:


  • sockdevs

    Also to your point about 1980s films, E.T. fits the criteria.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    So on the topic of shitty walking simulators: sweet rollerblading Christ, check out this turd:

    SHARE Full Game - Steam Horror Game - Walkthrough Gameplay & Ending (No Commentary Playthrough) – 27:25
    — Father

    That's the entirety of the gameplay. I watched the entire thing because I couldn't look away. The game currently costs $5 on Steam and has a "very positive" rating, with many of the $100% real and not at all astroturfed reviews praising the graphics. Jesus.



  • @blek This game:

    VERGE:Lost chapter (Stream) (Full Playthrough) – 45:26
    — blakeyrat

    Was slightly longer, but mostly because I got lost in the maze of chemical tanks because the game's lightning engine was fucked beyond belief.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat Wow, that's just painful to look at. I'd probably quit 2 minutes in and spend the next 3 trying to remember how to request a refund on Steam.

    Oh and it has "mixed reviews"! That's just beautiful.

    Edit: 7:35 "I'm gonna get a drink of Scotch here..." xD



  • @blek Steam recently revamped their review system so hopefully these obviously shitty scam games won't have positive reviews for long. (The old system favored first reviews over those added later, even if the ones added later were more likely to be less-biased or the game had broken in the meantime.)

    And yes I keep scotch handy while doing those streams.



  • Thanks for writing this.
    I also hate this bit**-a** game. The creaky voice of that cun* on the readio is fuck*** annoying.
    Exited after 5 minutes because I couldn't take it anymore. Usually I am quite tolerant when it comes to frustration, but this one got me. It even made me google this sh** and write a fuck*** review on a website. I even signed up for it. That's how terrible it was.
    Thanks



  • @fuckimangry boy did you wander into the wrong side of the internet. Next time just leave a steam comment.



  • @Matches I obviously didn't buy it. Duh



  • @Matches I don't even get what this shit is. The voice acting is actually one of the actually good parts of the game, it's the "almost literally everything else" that's truly awful.

    Is this some kind of way off-the-rails gamer gate person coming in here? Because the game has the audacity to have a female supporting character? Or... what is this?

    Hell, if anything's gonna turn you off in the first 10 minutes of the game, its that atrociously retarded "choose your own adventure" segment where you get railroaded into making about a dozen RETARDED decisions no sane person would ever make (and don't affect gameplay at all, making it entirely pointless). And that happens before you even hear whatsername's voice.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @fuckimangry said in Firewatch: I love narrative games, but this one is annoying as shit [CAUTION: Spoilers]:

    fuck***

    I love this. Don't censor the offensive part, the 'fuck', no, you censor the 'ing' like a badass motherfucker.

    Or were you trying to say 'fuckass' and somehow ended up on 'ass' being worse than 'fuck'?



  • @Yamikuronue said in Firewatch: I love narrative games, but this one is annoying as shit [CAUTION: Spoilers]:

    I love this.

    Yeah, especially for a guy with "fuck" in his user name at a website with fuck in the title. What a bitch ass.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @boomzilla I don't see a 'fuck' anywhere in The Daily Worse Than Failure Forums... :trolleybus:



  • @boomzilla Oh I was reading that as Fu C Kima Gry



  • @blakeyrat I think it's just the typical teenager review. I'm actually amazed he responded after his original post.



  • CCS did a good breakdown on walking simulators, and the difference between artistic and ripoff
    Walking Simulators: Pseudo-Games or "Virtual Experiences"? – 41:15
    — Cheshire Cat Studios


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