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A lot of cool and exciting stuff came out at PAX Prime this past weekend but one thing stood out to me compared to the rest. That thing was Firewatch, being developed by newly formed studio, Campo Santo. The game was announced earlier this year but this is the first time we’ve got to feast our eyes on the mind boggling art style and beauty that is Firewatch.
So obviously the first question we naturally ask is what is Firewatch? Well I wish I had an answer for you but the truth is I don’t. However, if we take a look behind the curtain and see that these are the guys who brought us the wonderful Walking Dead: Season One along with the music of the emotional powerhouse that was Gone Home, you can start to speculate what Firewatch may be.
The trailer opens up to a breathtaking few of what looks to be a ranger tower, stilted upon a massive mountain in the lonely wilderness. The voice-over from the radio immediately pulls you into not only the world but the characters as well. The relationship between the characters talking on the radio seems genuine and intense and I can only assume that will be driving force of the story.
While that was enough to sell me on the game already the gameplay also looked pretty fascinating and really rose some question about what Firewatch really is. My kneejerk reaction tells me that this is going to be a semi open world, something like Tomb Raider where there is a small area where you can complete objectives in. Obviously this is going to be a narrative tour de force but I wouldn’t be surprised to have points of total exploration and silence, enveloping you in the beauty of the world.
I guess in the end that is what really put Firewatch on my radar, the animation and art. Everything looked so natural while in motion, whether it’s the character rappelling down caves or ducking under trees; it is all extremely deliberate and gives a super tactile feel to it that a lot of games never seem to capture. Even the subtle details like the various gadgets in the ranger hut or even the characters ring slowly paints a picture of the character we will be traveling with. It is all extremely enticing and beautiful and I cannot wait to see more.
Firewatch is coming in early 2015 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.