By Nathan Grayson on March 14th, 2014 at 11:00 am.
Campo Santo is a new studio made up of top tier talent from – DEEP BREATH – Double Fine, Klei, Telltale, and 2K Marin. OK, that didn’t require much air to say out loud at all and I can type without breathing for probably, like, hours, but you get the idea. With the powers of Mark of the Ninja lead Nels Anderson, Walking Dead: Season One leads Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin, ex-Irrational and Double Fine man Chris Remo, and artist Olly Moss (among others) combined, we get a story-based mystery about isolation, the creeping unknown, and human relationships set in… rural Wyoming. Huh. It’s called Firewatch, and it seems interesting. I think. Also incredibly orange. Scant first details below.
What is a Firewatch and who watches the Firewatchmen? Well, it’s a first-person story game about these things:
“In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio – and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind.”
“But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.”
It has markedly fewer Ninjas named Mark than I was hoping for, but I’m intrigued otherwise. For now, Campo Santo is mostly teasing (also, it’s a mystery, so giving away too much probably wouldn’t be the best idea), but I’ll be finding out more at GDC next week.
The information provided thus far and general tone, however, have me hearkening back to games like Alan Wake and Kentucky Route Zero. I have no idea how much like those triumphs of surreality Firewatch will actually be, but I’m pretty keen to find out.
Campo Santo is hoping to stick a fork in Firewatch’s mighty meatloaf of influences in 2015. In the meantime, however, there’s always Duncan Fyfe’s delightful Quarterly Reviews. They have almost nothing to do with anything, but they don’t really need to because they’re better than most everything. Yes, I know that was confusing. Read and all will become clear.