First person story-based adventure games have been having a field day these past couple of years, emerging as a great platform for independent development. One project on the forefront of this style is the ever elusive and mysterious Firewatch, by developer Campo Santo. It’s their first game, and they are coming in hot with their level of intrigue, assisted by a unique look and a seemingly full world.
It follows a down on his luck fire look out in a national park-like area. For now, that’s pretty much all we know; gameplay so far has a lot of investigating, dialogue through walkie talkies, and stopping kids from being so rambunctious on park grounds. Though they’re hiding a lot of stuff behind curtains, they seem to have something up their sleeves, or at least it’s what we hope is the case.
IGN announced today that Firewatch will be coming out on PS4, PC, and Linux next year, on February 9th. Similar to the also upcoming No Man’s Sky, Campo Santo is somewhat of a “little studio that could”, trying to go as wide as they reasonably can. Landing PS4 exclusivity is definitely a potential hook, especially while leaving the PC route reasonably open.
It’s also hard to imagine it being a full $60, but then again, there isn’t much of an idea how much there actually is in there. What we’ve seen could be just the tip of the iceberg, or possibly the whole iceberg. Games like Firewatch and No Man’s Sky are somewhat of the spearheads for the relationship between independent developers and these new consoles, being only a couple years out. It’s a landscape full of promise, but also it’s indie developers teaming with major publishers, which hasn’t always been a jovial combination.
Even with a release date, we’ll still have to keep our ears to the ground for any other inklings of what’s going on here. They definitely have audiences intrigued in a sense, but again, like No Man’s Sky, talk is talk, and 17 minute demos are fun, but it’s hard to imagine there’s an incredible mystique being kept from us. My skepticism isn’t really the first approach to hearing about a game like this; in fact, I feel like if Sony picked up Campo Santo and their strange thing, there’s probably something worth waiting for. For games like this, even without the mystery, I still admire the ambition to make games like this, especially on the bigger publishing side.
For now, we’ll be waiting on more info, and enjoying IGN’s non-commentary tainted gameplay demo. I’m in the pocket for the kind of potential weirdness going on here.
$10 it’s actually an RTS game with woodland critters, $20 that it’s Shenmue 3.