Firewatch is a low key gem we shouldn't sleep on
At Sony's E3 205 showcase, Firewatch was announced for the PS4. Firewatch is being developed by Campo Santo, an independent studio coming straight out of San Francisco. It's a quirky, suspenseful first-person adventure taking place in the Wyoming wilderness of 1989.
If you missed the trailer, we've got it for you right here:
You start off the adventure as Henry and you're a fire lookout. Henry is in charge of guarding this watchtower in the wilderness. Fun fact: Henry is voiced by Rich Sommer, from Mad Men. Throughout the game you are being guided by your loyal companion Delilah, however it's not physically Delilah, it's her voice being echoed out to you via walkie talkie. Delilah, voiced by Cissy Jones, sends you out on jobs and guides you through the wilderness with playful dialogue.
The narrative is human and natural
Firewatch has many natural, human instinct elements throughout the game. You'll often find Henry shielding his eyes from the sun as he travels through the forest, just how we would in real life. Henry's back story is something I've found to be very relatable. You've had a crappy year, and have been going through a lot. Your marriage is on the verge of ending, so you take this job on in order to find some peace and solitude. Sort of an escape from your troubles. Just a little adventure to shake things off and do some soul searching, or to serve as a big distraction; look at it as you will.
Not only that, the dialogue between Henry and Delilah is so well-written and natural, it does not sound forced or awkward. Throughout the game, the relationship between Henry and Delilah is developed with playful dialogue. The witty remarks, playful jokes, make the duo very endearing. It's all lighthearted, which is nice because of what Henry is dealing with. That being said, I'm sure it has serious moments too. As Delilah said in the trailer, she doesn't talk to the other lookouts like how she talks to you.
The art is stunning
The abstract take on the Wyoming wilderness is breathtaking. The art is crisp, fresh, and delivers the essence of summer to the audience very well. Whether it's the red-orange sunset hues or the bright blue skies in the morning, Campo Santo nailed the art.
Furthermore, in a tweet by @thatJaneNg, an artist at Campo Santo working on Firewatch, she states how the turtle featured in the trailer is an "Ornate Box Turtle which is native to the Great Plains of the US." This shows how the art team is sticking to realistic elements by including animals native to the locale.
Dun dun dun...you may not be alone
The end of the trailer ends on a cliffhanger. You travel out to a site only to find some wire cut clean through. What's worse? Delilah notices someone at your watchtower, when you're nowhere near it. This quick scene took this lighthearted adventure down a suspenseful road. Suddenly, you don't feel alone in the wilderness anymore, but it might not be company you wanted in the first place.
Firewatch is an independent title we shouldn't sleep on. With all of these wonderful elements, it makes for a unique title. Stay tuned for a release date, gamers, you'll be able to explore this title soon!