When a Video Game instantly draws you in.

It’s not very often a game comes along that has me immediately hooked from the minute I see the first piece of concept work. Firewatch is a mystery game set in the woodlands of Wyoming, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio. The game takes place in 1989, one year after the events of the devastating Yellowstone fires of 1988.  You play as a protagonist known only as Henry who has retreated from his previous life – which no doubt will be explained once the game is in your hands.

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Henry pictures an equipment container in near sight. Maybe something helpful?

You take up the role of a Firewatch Volunteer, in which you watch over a densely populated forest within the Wyoming wilderness. From atop of your isolated watch tower you keep lookout for smoke and anything that may endanger the environment around you. Within this secluded area of woodland your only form of contact with the world you’ve left behind is a woman named Delilah – whom is your supervisor and is always obtainable via handheld radio.

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Firewatch is a mystery game set in the woodlands of Wyoming, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.

Everything seems pleasant within your surrounding thicket until something strange draws you out of your isolated comfort aloft the treetops. This curiosity catapults you into the unknown where you’ll find yourself asking questions and making certain choices and decisions that can have drastic effect on the only lifeline you hold dear with the outside world. You are able to use climbing ropes, axes and other objects that will give you certain abilities in order to help you traverse the landscape.

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You live amongst the tree tops in seclution in your very own lookout tower. Nothing could go wrong, right?…right?

This is Campo Santo‘s first major video game release, though the team is made up of an array of talents that have worked on titles such as BioShock II, The Cave, The Walking Dead: Season 1 (game) and many more. The game takes on a glorious, vivid and vibrant art style in which you experience in first person mode.

I first heard about the game through Marty Silvas article on IGN in which he states;

Firewatch sounds like a marriage of the original BioShock and Metroid Prime, minus the combat but doubling down on the narrative, dialogue, and environmental storytelling.

Sean Vanaman, co-founder of Campo Santo tells of how “The first BioShock still stands out to us. I’ll never forget hearing Atlas in my ear for the first time, and then seeing him for half a second near the sub, but at the same time, I always wanted to be to respond to him. But I never could”.Vanaman hopes to allow Henry to become more social than BioShock’s main protagonist and wants us to question our actions or anything that may be suspicious within Firewatch’s environment.

Anyone who can relate a title to that of BioShock, or take inspiration from my all time favourite game and relate to how the storytelling could be made more engaging for the player, is something that makes me all ears. Anyone who knows me understands the love I have for Irrational Games’ Bioshock, so when a game even shares the same sentence as it, I know it’s going to be onto something special.

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Your handheld radio is the only form of contact with the world you left behind.

The game is still early in development, although looking to release in 2015. “Nothing is final as of yet, as stated the game is still in early development so could be changed in many areas” Vanaman stated. The game at the minute will only be released on Windows, Mac and Linux. I really hope to see this come to console, especially PS4, and hope this is something that can be worked out before release.

I’ve watched and read up on so much of the game already. I feel like I’m at the point where I’d like to no nothing more until I can experience it for myself, the game is a mystery story after all and already has me interested and left wanting more. It’s no good if you’ve already cracked it before lacing up your Firewatch safety boots now is it!

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The game does not operate on a 24 hour night cycle but the time will change to match the narrative of the story as you progress.

A lot of Video games these days are publicised to the point in which we know every major and minor detail before we play and nothing is left to us as a player, nothing feels as special when playing a game first hand. Knowing very little about a game creates that atmosphere and giddy tension, which leaves you wanting to know more. It’s like watching a trailer of an upcoming film, thinking it looks amazing and then being left disappointed after seeing too much of the title beforehand.

I remember playing ‘Journey’ on the PS3 for the first time, not having any concept of what the game was and what I was meant to do, apart from knowing to head towards a mountain in the distance. Six hours later, time had passed me by without realisation and I was simply left in awe of the game. Firewatch is something in which I hope to hold the same experience with. Just recently, I wrote about “My most anticipated games of 2015” in which I had no idea about this title. If I’d known now what I did then this would of knocked Metal Gear Solid V off it’s pedestal and plonked it’s self straight at numero uno.

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As you can see the view is absolutely beautiful and the art style really captures that dry, hot, summer.

I really do advise you to read up further on the game if you haven’t already; it’s something that’s hard to explain at first, in which I’ve tried best to do so in this article. It really seems like one of them games that doesn’t come around very often. I could go on and on about how amazing I think it’s looking but I don’t think there’s a character limit big enough. I put writing other blog articles on hold just so I could write about this beautiful game. I advise you to do the same, It’s worth checking out their reveal trailer if you’d like a taster of what to expect. So go on, volunteer as a lookout today and check this mother out. You won’t regret it!

/ CR

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A new year, a new chapter, a new saved game.

I suppose I best introduce myself, I go by the name ‘CreativeRhino’ and this is the start of my new blog. So, another place where someone talks about video games. Just like the thousands of others that do it. So why should you use your precious time to sift through my blog posts? why am I the special one? The truth in the matter is, I’m not someone who thinks they are. Here at ‘WhatRhinoSaid’ isn’t somewhere that will spurt out the same old rubbish you may see everywhere else.

You won’t be seeing the 2,449,254th rendition of ‘Minecraft: Lets play part one’. No.. This blog is for myself, it’s views, points and opinions are of my own. I’m not here to do what every other tom, dick and harry is doing. Because what would be the point in that?

I love video games as much as the next man.. woman.. or thumb wielding, nocturnal, pixel junkie. I want somewhere to share my experiences, something to look back on in years to come and think wow I remember those times. Like a virtual diary of gaming nostalgia. I want it to be somewhere to talk about these points with people who may share similar views, whether they agree or not.

I want to use it as a pedestal to lavish the games I love.. and those I don’t. I want to share my view on the industry, my nostalgic throwbacks to the old days and what the future may hold for video games and throughout it all I want you to listen, experience and share it all with me.

So here’s how I want to start. The new year is here, 2015 is already upon us and a week of it has gone already. I have a lot of big plans for this year and one of them is to game my rear end off. The dexterity within my thumbs and fingers has not been taken advantage of as much as I’d of liked it to have been and my mind lacks the wondrous adventures it so desires.

The last year was a great one for me, I got the job I’d always wanted, lost weight, built up a portfolio of work through it all I’ve had such a supportive family, friends and girlfriend by my side but throughout the last year I’ve not found as much time as I would of liked for gaming due to this busy schedule.

We’ve seen a few big game delays in 2014 meaning the year ahead proves to be an even greater one for Video games. So this year I’d like to list a few game related resolutions I’d like to stick too, hoping by the time 2016 comes I’ve stuck to or completed all of them. Firstly..

Complete more games: I tend to pick up a lot of games at once and depending on how much I’m into them I’ll play continuously for days on end and then after a few days/weeks, depending on what life is throwing at me or if Ive picked up a new game, the old ones tends to get left in the past and I usually don’t get round to going back to them. This annoys me personally. I look at my shelf full of games stacked with titles I’ve barely even touched upon and think why do I bother buying new games without first completeing the old ones . Completing those games is something that needs to start this year, Which brings me to my next point.

Stop buying games I don’t need: I have a seriously bad habit of buying games and then just not playing them, due to either already having to many im already working on or not enough time to play them all now i don’t mean not playing as in; do a few missions, spend a few hours completeing various tasks in the game then never going back to it. No, I mean not playing them at all – the bloody shrink wrap doesn’t even come off! As of now i have thirteen games sat on my shelf which still remain in that shiny cellophane.. Thirteen!! And I’ve not touched them since I walked out the shop with them. Hopefully 2015 will put a stop to that.

Focus on my Most wanted List: Now this in a way contradicts my last two points. If I’m to keep up with the latest games, but have to stop buying them how will I experience them? Now I usually make the mistake of buying so many games in one go I just play bits of each and can’t keep up with them all. Other games come out, news releases hereand there and I just fall behind in the whirlwind of those virtual worlds and never get to finish any. So this year I want to just focus on my most wanted titles which will be covered in another post.

Clear my Backlog: probably one of the most dreaded words for any gamer to hear… Just glimpsing at the backlog I have in front of me sends shivers down my spine. So many games, so little time. Sometimes I feel like creating a cut off point, turning my back on all of it and starting afresh. But something makes me stick at those that already remain in my collection. Don’t get me wrong this may sound like I’m making it out to be a chore rather than something that’s fun. It’s not, but when you know that all the games will take hours and hours to complete, taking up time you could spend catching up with current releases it makes me quiver.

Stop becoming so hung up on Trophies: Ahh trophies, those virtual dings we hear when completing various tasks throughout a game, those shiny pieces of pixlated silverware that I long for along like so many others. Some may not care, others obsess over them. Well now If a game has a trophy list that may seem off putting, who cares. The time is hear to stop worrying about these sometimes mundane tasks and to start enjoying the game for what it is.

So there it is, a little intro to myself and some motive to continue into the new year itself. Hope everyone has had a great start and here’s to making 2015 a great one!

/ CR