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Yelling at teens: A look at the small choices that define Firewatch

Firewatch is a first-person adventure game encircled by mystery and a vivid, Wyoming wilderness. In contrast with its unreachable horizon, it tells an intimate tale of isolation and paranoia, with choices that speak to who you are in the world, rather than - as with many other games - the fate of the entire universe.

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There’s no better illustration of Firewatch’s personal, funny storytelling style than your early encounter with a pair of obnoxious teens, who have gotten drunk enough to forget that they’re surrounded by an extremely flammable forest. You, as first-day fire lookout Henry, inevitably shoo them away as part of the story, but how you do it and the dialogue that colors your lakeside screaming match is unique to you and your in-game demeanor.

You are not the author of the woods or even what happens in them, but you do get a big say on the goofy, rude, nice or pervy man watching the skies for ash and the lakes for foul-mouthed troublemakers.

Ludwig Kietzmann is a veteran video game journalist and former U.S. Editor-in-Chief for GamesRadar+. Before he held that position, Ludwig worked for sites like Engadget and Joystiq, helping to craft news and feature coverage. Ludwig left journalism behind in 2016 and is now an editorial director at Assembly Media, helping to oversee editorial strategy and media relations for Xbox.