Firewatch meets The Thing in this game about a near-future plane crash in Alaska

Arctic Awakening is a first-person adventure about a plane crash, a lost pilot, a missing co-pilot, and an upbeat AI-powered drone, all of them trying to survive in the frigid Alaskan wilderness in the year 2062. It sounds like a bad situation, and yet it's actually even worse: Your plane didn't malfunction, it was sliced clean in half, and there's something out there making some very strange noises at night.

Unlike a lot of "lost in the wilderness" survival games, Arctic Awakening is not open-world, but the choices you make will impact your relationships with your companions, "and perhaps your story itself." Exploration is the real core of the game: Finding your missing co-pilot, figuring out what brought your plane down, and hopefully making your way back home in one piece.

"In Arctic Awakening the environment itself is a character, one not always on your side," the Steam page says. "Dynamic weather means each new area never feels the same, and gorgeously realised vistas combine with an ever-changing world to create an atmosphere of discovery, potential and fear."

Watching the trailer and looking at the screens, my immediate impression is that it looks quite a bit like Firewatch (which I loved), with a bit more of a catastrophic twist. Associate editor Ted Litchfield sees an element of The Thing in there too, presumably from the mix of Arctic setting and "something terrible is happening and we don't know what." The vistas are gorgeous and I'm eager to go roaming, but what I'm really hopeful for is that the mystery pays off in the end. Firewatch stumbled on that point a little bit, tarnishing (very slightly!) what was otherwise a masterful game, so I'd really like to see Arctic Awakening stick the landing.

Arctic Awakening is expected to be out sometime in 2023.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.