I really like Firewatch, reader, I really do. I enjoy walking simulators every once and a while because I am allowed to relax and enjoy a story that moves simply by me walking and experiencing the world. This is why I chose the game I did this week, I just wanted to walk around and enjoy a story. I know that there are a lot of walking simulators but I decided to delve more into the infinite library that is the Itch.io store and see if I could find something. It was only a short while until I found a game that was labeled as “Firewatch in Space.”
Easiest buy of my LIFE.
This week I played a walking simulator with great intentions, learned that a long time ago, a studio kickstarted a game, spent way too much money on production, learned valuable lessons and eventually closed their studio.
This week I will talk about The Fall of Lazarus.
The Fall of Lazarus is a sci-fi adventure game developed and published by No Wand Studios. It is only available on PC and retails for $12.For the sake of explaining something that I am still grappling with, I am going to rip it straight from the source: The Steam page:
“The game takes place aboard the USSC Lazarus, a company dedicated to the interstellar transport of goods and with close ties to the mining industry. The player takes on the role of the protagonist, a veteran of the Venusian wars looking to carve out a new future for herself. She has enlisted to participate in an nine-year mission to work on a mining colony. When she wakes up from hypersleep she finds herself alone on the ship and with no memories.“
This is probably the best explanation of the game. It was really hard for me to figure out a way to describe the story of the game without leaning too far into story spoilers.
I think it’s important to note that the story revolved around an incident that was dear to the studio and they had portrayed it in their own mysterious way.
“It’s simple: we told the story we wanted to tell. Our narrative revolves around an abused woman in a dystopian future where she’s suffering post traumatic stress and ends up killing her husband in order to survive.“
Honestly, I was lost for a majority of the time that I was playing The Fall of Lazarus. There is so much to absorb when it comes to environmental storytelling and during the first playthrough I missed a lot, but I never faulted the game for not telling me everything because it was, in fact, a mystery game and it was up to me to put the pieces together.
“We know it can be frustrating but we didn’t want to treat you like you were a child. We wanted to make a truly mystery game and is up to you unvealing it.”
I ended up looking on the internet for story elements that I may have missed during my two playthroughs. I was heavily invested in the story of this game and I really enjoyed it.
The controls are still pretty streamlined. It’s a walking simulator, so walking and interacting with objects are really the only things you can do,
they didn’t mess it up.
Graphically the game looks great. Lots of red, white, brown and grey. Mix with the atmosphere, I was immersed my entire first playthrough, even when having flashbacks, it was vivid, gritty and beautiful when it needed to be.
I really liked The Fall of Lazarus. It was true to their convictions; they wanted to make a game that was “firewatch in space.” I liked the story, and I may be only a small percentage, but I will defend it to the day I actually die. It was filled with so much thought, mystery, twist and turns that I was just excited to read what others had to think about it.
The puzzles, for the most part, are just an annoyance. Instructions are, a majority of the time, hard to see and explain. I was actually tilted when I came across the constellation puzzle and during the Venus flashback, I was livid.
The atmosphere is great. I really like the eerie feeling of being alone while I have a smart-ass AI talking to me about how much of a bitch that I am because I killed my husband.
It really sucks that No Wand Studio ran into a lot of issues with their game. It was a joy to play and speculate on the world they created.
Now what am I supposed to play? Most games I play have like one-tenth the story depth that this game has.
What a shit thing to say..
Even though its true.
I’m going to go play Breakpoint now. Judge as you will.