Firewatch: Alight Here For First Trailer And Screenshots

Goodness me, the Firewatch trailer looks a bit good. Just shown for the first time at PAX by Campo Santo – a team made of developers from DoubleFine, 2K Marin and Telltale – it seems to be a freely explorable, though narrative-led, mystery adventure. And good gravy, it looks pretty. The first trailer, and first eight screenshots showing the 1980s Wyoming first, are below.

The acting is immediately striking. It sounds like people – people talking. Not like a person standing on a hill shouting their half of a conversation at a tree. And then the lovely cartoon style, reminiscent of a refined Team Fortress 2.

Henry, the game’s protagonist, has recently moved away from his complicated life to escape in the wilderness of Wyoming, to work as a fire lookout. It’s a solitary job, but his supervisor Delilah is always available on his handheld radio – she’s the one in the video telling him to stay in the tower. Henry doesn’t stay in the tower. Campo Santo say that a lot of the game’s choices and decisions will have an impact on Henry’s relationship with Delilah, in what sounds like a very person tale of both outward and inward exploration. Ooh, I hope it can live up to these promises.

It’s going to be interesting to see how they balance letting the player move around the game with a good degree of freedom, and a desire to tell a fixed story. It’s also nice to see a game set in the wilderness that isn’t a survival sim filled with zombies. Henry will apparently be unarmed as he experiences a mysterious tale that unfolds as you trigger events.

It should be out some time in 2015. Click on the screenshots to see them bigger-me-fied.

82 Comments

  1. Lexx87 says:

    Those screenshots make my testicles ache they are so lovely.

    I love how you move through the environment in that trailer, putting your arm out as you move under stuff just like…in real life!

    I also feel a little sad this morning when I noticed Nathan’s name is still on the bottom of the page :-( Nathan was great.

    • Acorino says:

      When did he leave, and why? I must have missed it…

      • rei says:

        A while ago, and I don’t think they ever gave a reason, but I suspect because his journalistic integrity came into question.

        • toxic avenger says:

          Here we go again. People talking when they don’t have a clue.

          • rei says:

            Oh? You seem well-informed; can you provide a clue here then?

          • toxic avenger says:

            Go do some research from primary sources from RPS, like John Walker’s blog.

          • padger says:

            Indeed. Nathan left because he got a job at Kotaku. Not hard to see why he might want to move to the biggest game site in the world.

          • RARARA says:

            Grayson left well before the stupid nontroversy. Everyone was properly bummed.

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            Phasma Felis says:

            Also he never actually reviewed the game he was accused of writing a nepotistic review of, which is the sort of minor detail that you might think somebody would have checked up on before throwing accusations.

          • HadToLogin says:

            Did Kotaku wrote anything about this game before their affair happened?

            Because you don’t need to write it to be an author…

        • Tei says:

          It looks so goood.. but can this be a videogame? I don’t see any gameplay in the video, except perhaps climbing down a rope, but these are usually the least fun part of other games. So I dunno.

          I am looking forwards for this, since the graphics and setting is so incredible good, but I will be surprised if the game is any fun.

          • Monkeh says:

            Exactly how I felt! It looks gorgeous, but gameplay-wise it doesn’t look very interesting at all.

        • Kadayi says:

          He left a good month ago ppl.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        My sources tell me Nathan left because he killed a man in Reno, just to watch him die. After several weeks on the run with a female indie game dev/rogue FBI agent and the ex-girlfriend of the murder victim, he was taken in a pre-dawn SWAT raid.

        And now he’s stuck in Kotaki prison, but I understand there are several Hollywood studios and at least one game studio (Telltale Games) bidding on the story rights.

        • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

          Telltale got the story rights, but Vlambeer got the gameplay rights. *rimshot*.

    • Lusketrollet says:

      Good, fucking riddance.

  2. Low Life says:

    There’s also a bunch of gameplay (and of course discussion about the game) on their PAX panel, archived here: link to twitch.tv

    Starts around 23:15 (that’s 23 hours 15 minutes).

    • Merus says:

      Worth noting: there’s a lot more emergence in the gameplay systems than you’d think, and the game tries to catch and respond to your intentions. For instance, according to the developers you can take the copy of The Accidental Savior, the book from Gone Home, out of the watchtower at the start of the game, take it all the way through to a campfire that is your first objective, put in in the campfire, let it burn, stomp it, and then send a looping animation depicting that to the design lead of Gone Home.

      Looking forward to doing that in the full game.

      • Shadowcat says:

        What?

        • disconnect says:

          Rough transcript from the PAX panel:

          “We’re definitely finding the game in the office is very GIF-able, which I think means the [emergent] systems are working […] There’s these books […] and one was a book from a friend’s videogame […] and somebody brought that book down to the campfire, and threw it in the fire and stomped on it, and it looked great, it looked like AAA game content, it looked awesome […] So that was GIF-ed and sent in an IM to that person, so, y’know, hopefully that stuff happens more and more”

      • Gap Gen says:

        A bear in a ranger’s hat with a shovel extols you that only you can prevent accidental saviors.

        EDIT: Actually I don’t think Smokey likes this game – link to mtmultipleuse.org

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Just a couple of Thumbs related observations: I can’t reconcile Jake Rodkins voice and face. And Sean Vannaman is very good looking. Reminds me of Wil Wheaton for some reason.

      As for the game, I’ll buy it on day one!

      • KenTWOu says:

        I can’t reconcile Jake Rodkins voice and face.

        When I saw these guys for the first time, I couldn’t reconcile voices and faces of all three guys based on my listening to Idle Thumbs podcast. I thought that Chris Remo should sound like Sean Vanaman, Sean Vanaman should sound like Jake Rodkin. And Jake Rodkin should sound like Chris Remo. My head just exploded that day. It’s still very hard to watch these guys talking.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          Don’t even get me started on Steve Gaynor or Nick Breedon.

          But you’re right. It’s weird seeing the faces of people I’ve listened to for hundreds of hours. It’s just wrong, somehow.

          Like when I see a radio host on the telly.

  3. Filnis says:

    This looks very nice and promising.I love the lighting in general,it has a very cozy feel to it.
    Which probably means I am going to be terrified at night.

    Art Design seems also great.I really hope this turns out to be good.

    An open world game(?) game that tells a story without being a zombie survival sim?
    I never thought I would see this.

  4. staberas says:

    OMG love this tf2 like artstyle !!!

  5. Philopoemen says:

    If you are only two and a half miles from a bushfire Henry, you are very not safe.

    Very tricksy Delilah, no regards for OSH training at all. It must be the 80s.

  6. Kollega says:

    I agree that the art style resembles TF2. I originally intended to say that the whole thing just looks like TF2-as-it-was-on-initial-release, but there’s quite a bit more detail in the environment, so yeah, it basically looks like refined TF2. And perhaps I’ll be buying this game because of that.

    Now if only someone made an open-world drive-n-shoot game like GTA in this kind of aesthetic… I would be over that like TV critics over Breaking Bad.

  7. Gog Magog says:

    THEM’S SOME PROPER SUBTLE PORTENTS THE LADY IS POURING RIGHT OVER THE RADIO
    JUST DRENCHED IN FOREBODING
    MMM
    So subt. I am ever amazed.
    But I do love me that look and that guitar and a little fire never hurt anybody.
    It’s the smoke that kills ya if you’re lucky.

  8. lowprices says:

    The trailer for this reminds me of the first trailer for No Mans Sky, in that I came away with little real knowledge about what the game was, but a strong feeling that I wanted it.

    I just hope the “not featuring zombies” bit holds true.

  9. Utsunomiya says:

    So, what do you do, like, in the game?
    Apart from gushing about how good it is surely going to be.
    Trailer makes it look like another dumb walking simulator.

    • moocow says:

      It’s not just a dumb walking simulator, it’s also a Walkie-Talkie simulator.

      And I suspect it’s going to be amazing.

  10. Oozo says:

    Man.
    First, they had the best Omnbudsman and the best publication-done-by-a-game-studio ever (seriously, Duncan Fyfe’s “Campo Santo Quaterly” is a delight to read, every time).

    Now, they have the loveliest trailer of late.

    What will be next? A great game? For some people it’s never quite enough, is it!?

  11. Chaz says:

    Excited by this. I’m very much liking all these open world exploration games that don’t require you to craft an ArmaLite rifle to survive against zombies or bandits etc. Quite enjoying Eidolon at the moment and this looks good to.

  12. Shadowcat says:

    Genuinely decent voice acting. It has such a positive effect on any game… on your impression of the game; on your memories of a game.

    Always nice to hear it, but sad that it’s still something which stands out when you do.

    • Donjo says:

      Yeah, quality voice acting in games is so rare. Looking forward to see if this pans out…. by god I hope so.

      • Gog Magog says:

        There literally does not exist any form or particular piece of media out there that is not automatically improved at least 40% by the random insertion of GETOUTOFHERESTALKER

    • newc0253 says:

      “The acting is immediately striking. It sounds like people – people talking”

      Sorry, the game looks really interesting but I am honestly bewildered by the praise for the voice acting here.

      While I appreciate that the standard for voice acting in games is somewhere between eastern european porn and a Uwe Boll retrospective, the voice acting in this trailer is competent at best. Is it testament to these low standards that you’re all so impressed by it?

      It doesn’t help that it feels like a writer’s idea of a conversation between two people rather than *actually being a conversation between two people*

      I get that they’re aiming for naturalism but Strindberg it ain’t.

      • LionsPhil says:

        (Yeah, I thought it felt really stilted. I assume some of that is intentional radio pauses, but…)

      • Donjo says:

        TBH after watching it again the quality is just above competent. Sadly that’s a giant leap beyond pretty much everything else.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        I don’t think it’s that bad, but I don’t think it’s praiseworthy, either. It’s a smidgen above mediocre.

  13. DrManhatten says:

    Hmm people from DoubleFine involved that makes me very cautious too often their games are over-hyped and turn out to be a total mess/miss.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      The people from Double Fine are Chris Remo and Jane Ng, the former doing music and stuff and the latter being an artist, as far as I can sort out.

      I’ve no particular love for Double Fine but I can’t fault their art direction. That’s the only bit they’re really good at.

  14. Geebs says:

    Looks lovely, but there had better be some story to explain why two people who seem totally incapable of handling stress are out there in the wilderness fighting fires.

    …unless of course the real game is a Papers, Please style game about workplace psychological assessments which allows you to set fire to the world by approving the least suitable firemen possible.

  15. sonson says:

    Sounds like Harry Crane from Mad Men. As in, I think that’s the guy doing the voice.

    • Bahlof says:

      I thought the exact same thing when I first heard it so it must be true.

  16. vanilla bear says:

    Hot stuff.

  17. Undermind_Mike says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that Campo Santo is, to a large extent, the Idle Thumbs guys.

    I figured many of you lot would be fans – I think I first came to this site (my favourite gaming site) because it used to get mentions on there (my favourite podcast)

    • Saul says:

      I second all of that. Except that my religious reading of RPS has died off of late, while my religious listening to Idle Thumbs is unabated. They are some of the smartest and most engaging folk in the industry, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to see what they make.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I too am a fan of the Games Video Games cast of pods.

    • DXN says:

      Idle Thumbs is fantastic! Some other podcasts along similar lines are Crate and Crowbar, Not A Game, and Daft Souls.

    • Skeletor68 says:

      Jake Rodkin’s enunciation is one of my favourite things. Love Idle Thumbs. Congrats/F Nick.

      Also, for anyone who hasn’t seen it go watch the Idle Thumbs Crusader Kings playthrough.

  18. Stuart Walton says:

    That trailer has me pining for the game already. Exploratory games are ingrained to me, I’m a total sap for them. The visuals look great, no need to spruce them up any more and the art style is a timeless… evergreen if you will.

    Good to see that the voice audio isn’t just triggered voice barks, I wonder if there will be storyline branches but hopefully not so obviously easily twigged.

    This type of game may not set the heart of xXXxxXxxXXxxxxXxCOD-6@MErxXxxxxXXxxXxxXXx ablaze, inciting inflammatory remarks about walking games. But some of us prefer the slow burn and can stick to the trail and bear the downtime.

    • Donjo says:

      aaaaannnddd… excellent dismount. At first I couldn’t cedar wood for the trees but I got to the root of it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Everyone seems really fired up for this game, but the trailer left me cold.

        • Kollega says:

          Hey, maybe this trailer didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but at least the voice acting wasn’t wooden like it usually is.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Really? Immolated at the prospect of playing this.

        • Geebs says:

          So, you’re saying you don’t tinder go for this sort of thing?

        • CommissarXiii says:

          Yew wood say that, wouldn’t you?

  19. dethtoll says:

    You guys are slipping. Destructoid had a much better headline for this.

    Game looks lovely, though, and that trailer is deeply unsettling.

  20. padger says:

    Holy cow, this looks incredible! A bit of a superteam of devs on this one, too. Excitementation to 11.

    • Fireprufe15 says:

      I know, right? If they put Telltale guys on narrative, double fine guys on tone, style and design and 2K Marin guys on world design this might just be the best game ever.

  21. Rikard Peterson says:

    This game feels a bit related: link to allthingsjacq.com

  22. bear912 says:

    Looks lovely, but this guy clearly does not have any idea how to rappel (or abseil, for many of you fine people). Looks to me as if he’s just plain holding onto the rope when he jumps off the overhang at 1:42. Even if you did somehow manage to control your descent with just your bare hands, you’d probably have some serious rope burn.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, I was wondering where his gloves were if he’s going to be doing that kind of thing.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        Maybe the game doesn’t have a cartoon style, it’s just that the guy is wearing novelty cartoon character gloves.

  23. iRaphi says:

    the female voice reminded me somehow of faith in mirror’s edge; idk why…
    but the graphics look tf2-ish
    can’t wait to see more :)

  24. giovanni says:

    Love the music, resembles some parts of Bastion and Transistor… some similar bands/albums to recommend?

  25. Kadayi says:

    Mayhap the colouring, but the style is very reminiscent of TF2 (I kept thinking of the engineer with those big pudgy hands). Thumbs up though.

  26. Berzee says:

    There are lots of things I think I would like about this game, but my enthusiasm is somewhat nullified by the profusion of cusses and teenager underwears in the part of the game they showed on the PAX video. =( Well, maybe these unclassy elements are part of a theme about the serenity and sweet graffix of nature being ruined by sweary ol’ humans and their underwear.

    Anyhow, those mountains are super pretty, etc. and I like how many different attitudes you can apparently make your main character assume in conversation (and imagining the dialogue graph for something like that gives me a twinge behind the eyeballs =P).

  27. Fireprufe15 says:

    OH MY YES PLEASE. Never have I seen a game that made me want it so fast. Gimme.

  28. kwyjibo says:

    Looks lovely, but the cartoon hobbit hands are a bit off putting.

  29. LarsBR says:

    Will no one mention what kind of sick universe it’d have to be for a typewriter to have both 1 and 0 keys?

  30. Freud says:

    I had a dream I was playing a first person game and I looked down and noticed I had no clothes on.

  31. alabastersteel says:

    Looks very cool.

  32. Raoul Duke says:

    Dear god, this appears to be a first person game that looks great and has actual gameplay but doesn’t involve shooting people in the head over and over again. I am intrigued.

  33. stone says:

    A First Person Game. At last. FPS is so 2012.

  34. Shadrach says:

    A couple of other recent/coming games that prominently feature watch-towers and North American wilderness:

    – Eidolon (set in post-apocalyptic Washington state, more of a first-person-walker / survival-lite / narrative game)
    – The Long Dark (currently in alpha, very similar looks to Firewatch, hard-core survival)

    Both highly recommended to look at while waiting for this.

  35. Lusketrollet says:

    Teal and Orange: The Game.