Game of the Month: Firewatch

IMG_2069 Firewatch     February 9th     PS4/PC/Mac

The first person story driven genre in gaming is one that has seen huge success in the last couple of years. From Gone Home to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, indie developers have found that the first person perspective is good for more than just gunning down enemies. The debut game from newly formed studio Campo Santo, Firewatch is a first person mystery/adventure title that has you playing as Henry, a man who has left the outside world behind to take a job standing watch from his tower high above the Wyoming wilderness, watching for smoke or any other signs of trouble. Your only communication is with your supervisor Delilah, who you speak with using a two way radio as you patrol the woods.

firewatch-2Much of the story surrounding Firewatch is shrouded in mystery, but what is known is that while on patrol Henry discovers a communication line that has been severed and there has been an unusual figure spotted in the area. As you explore the Shoshone National Forest and try and piece together clues as to what’s happening, you will be faced with many choices, including deciding how much you trust the voice on the other end of that radio. The gameplay primarily seems to consist of exploration and dialogue choices and how you interact with Delilah will effect how the story plays out.

The small team at Campo Santo is made up of individuals who’ve worked on acclaimed games such as The Walking Dead: Season One, Mark of the Ninja and Tales of Monkey Island. Writer Sean Vanaman and designer Nels Anderson actually grew up in rural Wyoming and thought that the least populous state in the country would make an interesting setting for the game. Another part of the game which is immediately eye catching is the art style. Based off of a painting by artist Olly Moss, the game uses bold colors and strong silhouettes to give it a unique look.

These kind of story driven experiences are exactly what we want to see more of in gaming. An intriguing mystery combined with a great visual design promises to make this game stand out from the rest of the crowd, and put Campo Santo on the map as a developer to watch out for.  You can find out what mysteries await you in the wild when Firewatch launches on Playstation 4 and PC on February 9th.




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