Firewatch last edited by FoxhoundXIII on 12/29/20 02:37PM View full history

Overview

Firewatch is the debut title from the independent studio Campo Santo. It officially began development in January 2014 and was released on PC, Mac, Linux and Playstation 4 in February 2016. It later came to the Xbox One on September 2016.

The game is a story-based first-person exploration title which follows a Shoshone National Forest fire lookout named Henry and his supervisor Delilah as mysterious events begin to occur one month into Henry's tenure.

Story

In the spring of 1989, after his wife develops early-onset dementia, Henry takes a job as a fire lookout in Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. On his first day, Delilah, 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 teenage girls, who accuse him of leering. He comes across a locked cave on his way home and spots a shadowy figure watching him before disappearing. 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 signed by the teens. He and Delilah plot to scare the girls off, but when he finds the girls' campsite ransacked and abandoned, they begin to worry.

Henry finds an old backpack, and a disposable camera belonging to a boy named Brian Goodwin, whom Delilah explains was the son of Ned, a former lookout. 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.

Two months after Henry started his job, a small wildfire breaks out south of his tower. Two weeks later, Henry discovers a radio and a clipboard while fishing, with notes including transcripts of his conversations with Delilah. He is knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant and wakes up 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, however, someone sets fire to the camp.

The next day, Henry uses the tracking device to find a backpack with a key to the locked 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. The next day, someone impersonating Henry calls another lookout and claims that Delilah knows the cause of the station fire, putting her and Henry more on edge.

Henry uses the found key to enter the cave but is suddenly locked inside by an unseen figure. Deep in the cave, he discovers Brian's body before escaping the cave. Delilah is upset by the news. The next day, an evacuation order is given for all the lookouts. The wildfire that Henry had spotted and named earlier has grown out of control.

As Henry prepares to leave, the tracking device begins beeping. He follows the signal and discovers a tape from Ned. Ned claims 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 has secretly lived in the area ever since. Choosing to venture deeper into the wilderness, Ned warns Henry not to look for him. Henry finds Ned's makeshift bunker, along with items stolen from the government camp, the lookout towers, and the teenage girls, whom Delilah confirms has been found safe. The government camp was studying wildlife; Ned had been using its radio equipment to ensure no one was looking for him and creating transcripts to scare Henry away. Despite Ned's confession, Delilah blames him for Brian's death and leaves on the helicopter. Henry goes to her tower, and he and Delilah say their goodbyes via radio before Henry evacuates.

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