Back in early 2016 newly formed game developer Campo Santo had a a hit on its hand with their adventure game Firewatch. The mystery-telling game has now also been released for the Nintendo Switch. For those wanting to play the game, which can be bough for 15 euros in the Nintendo eShop, have to be aware of a few caveats to this otherwise excellent title.
Firewatch is set in 1989 Wyoming (yes, Longmire land). You play as Henry, a man in his forties seeking some time alone in the wilderness after his wife is diagnosed with early on-set dementia. He takes on the job of fire-watch, looking for newly formed forest fires and prevent people setting new ones.
An immersive story
Slowly a mystery starts to develop. Creators Olly Moss and Sean Vanaman have created an immersive fast-developing narrative. In effect Firewatch is an interactive novel. That may not be up to everybody’s taste, but I think Firewatch makes for a wonderful change of pace in comparison to Fortnite, for example.
Henry is not alone. Through his Walkie-Talkie he can talk to Delilah, another lookout. Her cryptic answers to his questioning has the player wondering until the end of she herself has a part to play in the mystery. Or if the player is starting to become paranoid.
Graphics not up to snuff
Graphics wise the game is a mixed bag. The styling and artwork give the game an undeniably cozy atmosphere. While playing the game in hand-held mode it may even be said it is graphically beautiful. But there are plenty of blurred textures, frame rate and aliasing issues that detract. Sadly by playing the game with the Switch in its dock the situation worsens. You won’t be purchasing the game for its graphical prowess. I am saddened this is the case. The Switch is quite powerful, but the team of Campo Santo have not managed to port everything correctly.
In the Valley of Gods
Campo Santo is not done, next year they will be releasing “In the Valley of Gods”, a similar type of game as Firewatch but this time set in Egypt during the period of peak archaeological interest in the ancient civilization there. I cannot wait.