The gaming world is still trying to process the fact that Ken Levine is leaving Irrational Games behind him in favor of smaller endeavors – but not every developer who decides to branch out on their own does so with as much press. Take Campo Santo Games, for instance.
Populated by some of the minds behind the likes of The Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, BioShock 2, and The Cave, the recently-founded studio has plenty of cred in both the storytelling and mechanical realms of video game design. And finally, we now know what game the team is concocting. It is called Firewatch, and we guarantee it isn’t what you expected.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to predict exactly what kind of game these developers would produce in tandem. With experience spanning genres from traditional first-person shooters to adventure games, and fuelled by the art style of Olly Moss (the artist behind the Resistance 3 cover art, among others). The result is certainly one that will leave casual onlookers scratching their heads, but from the premise alone, Firewatch sounds like a game set to turn a few heads.
Read on for the full synopsis, taken from the game’s official website:
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.
Set to be released on PC, Mac and Linux (with a console version being “actively explored”) the game is without a release date for now, with much of the core mystery driving the game being kept a secret for obvious reasons. From the first artwork, Olly Moss’ use of negative space and depth is evident, and the emphasis on choice and relationships making perfect sense coming from Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin – the creative leads behind The Walking Dead – Season 1.
It remains to be seen exactly how the rest of the programmers will fit into the mix – having experience in adventure games, action titles and shooters – given that the pitch for the game implies a slower, more contemplative experience. The studio promises more information as development progresses, but there’s no question Firewatch looks to leave its most compelling aspects quiet until release.
What do you think of the premise, or the talent behind it? Does a chance to step out of the world of bullet-riddled shooters or the free-for-all dangers of games like DayZ, and into the woods of Wyoming? Sound off in the comments.
Firewatch will be released for the PC, Mac and Linux.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.