Taking place amongst the Wyoming wilderness during the summer of 1989, Firewatch is a first-person adventure game with a beautifully unique setting that is ripe for exploration. As the fire lookout Henry, players must unravel the truth behind the mysterious occurrences that have transpired amidst the Wyoming woodlands. Featuring a distinctive and visually vibrant artistic design from artist Olly Moss and an absorbing narrative, the game makes great use of its setting to instil a sense of isolation when the events of the story turn increasingly foreboding.
Firewatch‘s developer – Campo Santo – have taken a landscape that many would consider too mundane for a video game to call home, and flip it on its head to create a very different and unusual playing experience. Firewatch is truly unique and its branching dialogue choices in combination with its novel setting forms a wholly new experience that is unlike any other game that I’ve played.
7. The Saboteur
“Vive la France!”
The Saboteur is a game that I don’t feel as though enough people know of. Set in the rather unique setting of Nazi-occupied Paris during the Second World War, players are introduced to Sean Devlin, the game’s Irish, chain-smoking protagonist. The game tasks you in liberating Paris from the Germans by destroying propaganda, tanks, spotlights, and pretty much anything else that is emblazoned with Nazi insignia.
The game’s frenetic destruction is complemented by a creative artistic style that ties back to gameplay. Initially, Paris is shrouded in shadows of black and white, with destructible objects glowing a deep red. Once an area has been liberated, colour returns to that district and citizens are both more numerous and less fearful. Not only is this an excellent method of illustrating how to tie the player’s actions to the game’s world, but Paris is also a beautiful setting that I wish to see more of within video games.