Games with atmopshere like in Life is strange?

I recently played Life is strange and I absolutely loved the atmosphere of being free to walk around a realistic American school, town and so on, at least where the missions allowed you, are there any games that function in a similar way? Not the time warping thing or the story, but with that kind of environment and freedom to just explore it?

I guess I can count in The long dark as well, that’s a survival game, but you still have American/Canadian inspired locations and you’re free to walk anywhere you want and just discover places. I hated the last 2 chapters of the Life is strange because they were too linear and you couldn’t go around, it felt like a boring cutscene that doesn’t seem to end, so I don’t want stuff like that.

How does Firewatch stack up in all this?

Firewatch is a walking simulator for the most part. It can be pretty and the characters/story are interesting enough, but any exploration is extremely gated and progress is super linear.

In Persona 5 you can walk around in high school, towns, malls, subways, and whatnot.

I understand that the genre isn’t even close, but I immediately come to mind Walking dead. I think it’s because of an atmosphere.

In the same vein, while there is a plot the majority of the Yakuza games involve just walking about the town chatting with people (and breaking boxes over peoples’ heads).

Night in the Woods is side-view, but it has the same elements of exploring the town and talking to the inhabitants.