Somehow it’s totally passed me by until today, but Campo Santo’s Firewatch has really caught my attention. In recent years story driven gaming has lit up the world like a wildfire with the numerous offerings from Telltale and unique takes on game mechanics and narrative like The Stanley Parable, Gone Home, Papers Please and Everbody’s Gone to the Rapture, to name but a few.
Firewatch takes place in 1989 and sees your character Henry retreat from a failing marriage into the wilderness of Wyoming, where he has taken a job as a fire lookout in a National Park. The game is a first person mystery that begins following a break-in at your mountaintop lookout tower, as you are drawn out into the dangerous and wild outdoors, with only your Supervisor Delilah for company over a handheld radio. The game promises to make you face important questions and make “interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.” The game is developed by a small team including Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, whose credits both include designing, directing and writing for Telltale’s The Walking Dead game and Tales of Monkey Island, with Olly Moss and Jane Ng producing some stunning art.
The game certainly looks and feels different to most things I’ve ever played, the first person mystery angle is refreshing and it looks to borrow a few tricks from other first person titles to facilitate this; context sensitive actions are ubiquitously present and when you pull out your map and compass to navigate it’s more than reminiscent of Far Cry 2. The two main characters are well voiced and natural, which is good considering your only companion and link to the outside world is a disembodied voice in a walkie-talkie.
It’s released on 9th February 2016 for PC, Mac, Linux and PlayStation and we hope to bring you a review soon. Watch this space for more as and when we get it!