Five years ago today, Campo Santo released what quickly became my all-time favourite computer game, Firewatch.
If you haven’t already played it and you’re tired of running, jumping, shooting-at-people games, this is a very welcome change.
In a world that has been locked down for almost a year, this game has been a perfect virtual escape for this introvert who loves to explore the world alone.
This is what the advertising spiel says about the game:
Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.
The year is 1989.
You are a man named Henry who has retreated from your messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched atop a mountain, it’s your job to find smoke and keep the wilderness safe.
An especially hot, 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 below, 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.
I love this game. I love the artwork, the music, the relationship between the characters, the story, the slow pace, the tension, the mystery, the openness of the world. Firewatch is a beautiful game.
I love that each game is different and your decisions influence your relationship with Delilah. I learned that apparently, if you don’t reply to Delilah she begins to open up to you and tell you more about herself. I’m keen to find out but if feels rather rude to ignore her… I rather enjoy the flirtatious banter they usually enjoy.
Last year, I played the game through and then immediately played it through again with the developer commentary enabled. This involved locating listening stations marked on the map and collecting audio cassettes to play in a Walkman that you pick up early in the game.
This is now available for free as a PDF eBook as the Firewatch Audio Tour 1.0.
I recommend this game 100%. But if you don’t have time or funds to play it, check out this warm and fun walkthrough by Markiplier.
Firewatch is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
It’s also available on Steam.