Originally released all the way back in 2016, Firewatch is now out on the Switch from developer Campo Santo. The story follows a fire lookout named Henry in the Shoshone National Forest, a year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. A month after his first day at work, strange things begin happening to him and his supervisor Delilah, which connects to a conspired mystery that happened years ago.
Henry interacts with Delilah using a walkie-talkie, with the player choosing from dialogue options to communicate. His exchanges with Delilah inform the process by which their relationship is developed. The game was directed by Olly Moss and Sean Vanaman, written by Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, Moss and Vanaman, and produced by Gabe McGill and artist Jane Ng. The game’s environment was modelled by Ng, based on a single painting by Moss. The design draws inspiration from New Deal advertisements by the National Park Service and field research conducted in Yosemite National Park.
Firewatch: Now for Nintendo Switch
Voice acting and the plot are the main selling points of the game. Henry’s backstory is told at the beginning of the game, through on-screen text and voice clips. This then shows why he decided to change jobs. This is where we then meet the other character in this game, Delilah. Voice acting is on point and really brings you into the story. They communicate via radio.
Though this isn’t an “open” game. You can explore various paths and areas. You are also rewarded with finding objects you can pick up. Therefore, the time spent walking feels realistic. Also, the area of the park feels large. I played this almost entirely in handheld mode, and the reduced frame rate is only a little noticeable. When playing on the TV I did notice a couple of frame drops.
Also the soundtrack and effects make the whole game an experience. You are greeted by vibrant colours in the daytime and the dark blues and purples in the night. Finally, check out our other gaming reviews.