In this article, we’ll discuss games like Firewatch. An entertainment medium has evolved from the Stone Age; video games are not just a form of recreation anymore, but a form of art.
As a result, the stories in gaming titles have become more complicated, and their scope expanded exponentially, with “endless” sequels and spin-offs that span generations. Firewatch is an example of a “single-player” game that takes its storytelling seriously yet is also a gratifying and compelling experience.
One of the fascinating elements of Firewatch is how it uses its art form to tell a story that’s more personal than you’d expect. This limitation forces the player to be more engaged and invested in the experience, but it also makes Firewatch more engaging and suspenseful than other titles. Here are ten games like Firewatch:
Games like Firewatch
1. Gone Home
The other entry in the “single-player” genre is the first-person adventure title Gone Home by Fullbright. Like Firewatch, the game doesn’t include any of the typical “gameplay” elements you’d expect to be found in an action-adventure title. Instead, this one is a point-and-click game with a story that’s refreshingly free of the familiar tropes found in video games, and it’s also very engaging and unique. Like Firewatch, it features a more intimate experience than most games in the genre. Players explore an empty house looking for clues as they learn more about the characters in the game. It is set at the end of 1995, and you assume the role of Katie Greenbriar, who returns home to find out what has happened to her missing sister Sam.
2. L.A. Noire
Rockstar’s L.A. Noire is a first-person detective investigation title that takes place in 1940s Los Angeles. The game features a very linear story, which makes sense considering the era of the title; players follow “Jimmy” McNulty as he investigates crimes committed by various characters throughout the city during that period. In addition, it features a complex crime-solving system and a solid focus on storytelling and atmosphere, which is more fitting for an ultra-serious piece like this one.
3. Papo & Yo
Papo & Yo is a third-person platform adventure game by Minority Media. The story follows Quico, a young boy trying to escape his version of Hell, which is represented by a monster inside his mind (which you can see in the picture above). While solving puzzles, you must progress through a beautiful but dangerous island universe. You can see the game world in more detail in the trailer below, which was released to celebrate the game’s launch on January 13, 2013:
4. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
From SCE Cambridge Studio comes Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, a third-person adventure game with a very intriguing premise and set of characters. The game takes place in 1984 in the fictional city of Yaughton, UK, where you assume the role of a lone survivor who has to discover what happened to the people living there before your arrival. The trailer for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was unveiled at PAX 2014 in August:
5. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Here’s another title debuting at PAX 2014: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by indie studio The Astronauts. In this first-person adventure game, named after the classic Hitchcock film “The Vanishing,” players explore a rural Pennsylvania county, searching for clues to find out what happened to a missing boy. This one has a distinct art style and is based on real-life locations (so no enemies or combat here).
Steve Gaynor, who designed the story for Gone Home, is also the writer of Fullbright’s second title: Tacoma. This adventure game, set in the year 2088, centres around Amy Ferrier, an employee of a large aerospace corporation called Venturis. Upon arrival to the space station Tacoma she became part of a small crew tasked with examining life on board this orbital habitat for the last six months. Amy’s character narrates the game and features a few different types of gameplay: exploration, observation, and interaction with objects require simple gestures via the touchscreen.
7. To the Moon
This is a third-person adventure title with RPG elements, in which you assume the role of two doctors and alter the memories of a dying man named John, struggling to fulfil a critical wish: he wants to go to the moon. During your explorations, you will discover that John has a girlfriend who has a vital role in his dream of going to the moon. The game received critical acclaim for its deep storyline and good old-fashioned science fiction.
8. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person adventure title by The Astronauts, the team that created Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. It was released on August 26, 2014, to positive reviews. In this game, you assume the role of Paul Prospero, an occult detective who has had prophetic dreams about a train track in North West America. Ethan Carter has to find out what happened to a missing boy connected with his goals and the strange events in this small town.