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We’re quite partial to Firewatch here at Thumbsticks. My review turned out very positive and – other than a few performance issues that were quickly patched out – it was very hard to find something negative to say about it.

Dan and I actually did just that one afternoon, as something of an exercise in critique, and these were the best criticisms that we could come up with:

  • We’d quite like to be able to amble around the park listening to 80s tunes, especially after finding the Walkman. (That being said, this one’s easily fixed with the use of a stereo/Spotify in the real world).
  • We’d really like to just be able walk around the park and enjoy the chilled out setting, away from the main story. (Not that there’s anything wrong with the story, but an extra couple of hours playing at park ranger would have been lovely.)

And on that second point, it’s almost as if the good folks at Campo Santo have been listening: available today as a free update (on all platforms) is the Firewatch Audio Tour, that Campo Santo introduced to the world at PAX West 2016.


What’s it all about? Here’s a handy description from Director Sean Vanaman, taken from the Firewatch Steam page:

A few months ago we sat down and thought it’d be great to ship a commentary mode with Firewatch, so, we did the logical next thing and started making one. And then we made some more. And then we thought it’d be neat to build some exhibits out in the forest that would show you how we made certain things in the game. Then we added a scavenger hunt. Then, after a time, we realized we didn’t have a commentary mode on our hands, we had a full-on audio tour and tomorrow you’ll get to play it!

All in all, the free Firewatch Audio Tour update amounts to over three hours of commentary – from both the game’s directors and the stellar cast, Rich Sommer and Cissy Jones – plus up-to 100 audio logs and various pieces of concept art, animation, lighting and behind-the-scenes demonstrations of how the game was put together. It’s going to be great for fans of the game, and a must for anyone interested in the study or development of video games.

And best of all? The Firewatch Audio Tour allows you to spend even more time in the Shoshone National Forest, one of my absolute favourite places to hang out in 2016. It’s going to be bliss.

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