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Firewatch
Splash
Developer(s) Campo Santo
Publisher(s) Panic Inc.
Director(s) Jake Rodkin
Designer(s) Nels Anderson
James Benson
Writer(s) Sean Vanaman
Patrick Ewing
Artist(s) Olly Moss
Jane Ng
Composer(s) Chris Remo
Platform(s) PC, Mac, Linux, PS4
Release date(s) February 9, 2016
Genre(s) First-person Exploration, Mystery
Rating(s) ESRB: M
PEGI: 16

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 exceptionally hot, dry summer has everyone on edge, and the National Park Service scrambles to fill all its lookout towers. 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.

Firewatch takes place in 1989 in the Shoshone National Forest, which is adjacent to, but not part of, Yellowstone National Park.

Plot Edit

Following the Yellowstone fires of 1988, Henry (Rich Sommer) takes a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming after his wife develops advanced early-onset dementia. On his first day, Delilah (Cissy Jones), a lookout in another watchtower, contacts him via walkie-talkie and asks him to investigate illegal fireworks by the lake. Henry discovers a pair of drunken teenage girls, who accuse him of leering. On his way home he comes across a locked cave and spots a shadowy figure. He returns to his watchtower to find it ransacked.

The next day, Delilah asks Henry to investigate a downed communication line. He finds it cut, with a note apparently signed by the teens. He and Delilah plot to scare the girls off, but when he finds the girls' campsite ransacked, they begin to worry. A note left at the site blames Henry for wrecking their camp and stealing their belongings.

Later, Henry finds an old backpack and a disposable camera belonging to a boy named Brian, who Delilah explains was a lookout with his father Ned. Ned was an outdoorsman who drank heavily due to his traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War, while his son, Brian, enjoyed fantasy novels and role-playing games. Though it is against the rules for employees to bring their children to the towers, Delilah was fond of Brian and lied about his presence. He and Ned left abruptly and never returned.

The teenage girls are reported missing. Fearing an inquiry, Delilah falsifies reports to say that neither she nor Henry encountered the girls. By the lake the next day, Henry discovers a radio and a clipboard with notes including transcripts of his conversations with Delilah. He is then knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant. He wakes to find the clipboard and radio gone. In a meadow referred to on the clipboard letterhead he finds a fenced-off government research area. He breaks in and discovers surveillance equipment and typewritten reports detailing his and Delilah's conversations and private lives. He also discovers a tracking device which he takes with him.

Henry and Delilah discuss destroying the government camp, but decide against it. As Henry hikes home, someone sets fire to the camp. He uses the tracking device to find a backpack with a key to the cave. Delilah reports a figure in Henry’s tower; when Henry arrives, he finds a Walkman taped to the door with an incriminating recording of Henry and Delilah's discussion about destroying the government camp.

When Henry enters the cave, someone locks the gate behind him. He escapes through another exit and discovers Brian's old hiding spot, where he went to escape his father when he tried to teach him how to climb. He goes deeper into the cave using climbing equipment left at Brian's camp, and discovers Brian's decomposed body at the bottom of a cavern. Delilah is upset by the news, blaming herself for allowing Brian to stay.

The next day, the fire at the government camp has grown out of control and an evacuation order is given for all the lookouts. As Henry prepares to leave, the tracking device begins beeping. He follows the signal and discovers a tape with a recording from Ned. Ned claims in the tape that Brian's death was accidental, and that the boy fell due to climbing inexperience. Unwilling to return to society after Brian's death, Ned admits he has been living in secret in the wilderness ever since. Henry finds Ned’s camp, along with items stolen from the government camp, the lookout towers, and the teenage girls, who Delilah confirms have been found safe. The government camp was simply studying wildlife; Ned had been using its radio equipment to ensure no one was looking for him and to create transcripts to scare Henry away. Delilah blames Ned for Brian's death and leaves on the helicopter, telling Henry to return to his wife. He goes to her tower, where the rescue helicopter is waiting for him, and he and Delilah say their goodbyes via radio.

Features Edit

  • No death or failure state
  • Game is a focus on choice and exploration
  • Players may choose from a variety of dialogue options to fit how they view Henry.
  • Though not traditional open-world, there will not be any walls for players to run into - however, the story will not advance until players find critical pieces of information participating in the story
  • Henry is not armed
  • Only communication with others is via radio or cassette tapes.

Media Edit

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