If you weren’t at PAX Prime last week, you missed design team supergroup Campo Santo showing off their first game: Firewatch. It’s a first-person mystery, putting players in the hiking boots of Henry, the new fire spotter stationed deep in a Wyoming forest.
Lucky for you, Campo Santo recently livestreamed the PAX demo on Twitch, with designer Sean Vanaman (The Walking Dead’s creative director) in the driving street, controlling Henry through an early section of the game. You can watch the whole thing now.
The demo is in stark contrast to the trailer that was released while it was being shown off in Seattle. That two minute teaser was ominous and vague, a tension and an unspoken mystery permeating throughout. The PAX demo, though, is light and full of natural, easy conversation between Henry and Delilah, his only link to the outside world.
There’s a lovely flow to the whole thing, and not surprisingly, The Walking Dead does spring to mind when thinking of comparisons to the dialogue. The way that silence is a valid response to a question in Firewatch is especially evocative of Telltale’s adventure series.
And bloody hell is it beautiful. If you’ve seen any of graphic artist Olly Moss’ other work, you probably won’t be surprised. I want to go and explore it, but there’s also something uncomfortable about the forest and the mountains that surround it. It’s so vast, stretching as far as can be seen, and lonely.
Campo Santo haven’t set a release date, but it will be coming out next year.