High quality weather effects are the icing on the cake when it comes to a compelling experience. For years’ weather has been integral to gameplay, as monsters come out at nightfall, in harsh rains and misty landscapes! All the way back to N64’s Zelda Ocarina of Time, you knew you were in trouble if you were stuck in the fields at night. Below we take a look at 5 games with amazing weather effects that will draw you in to the gaming experience.
One of the best games in recent memory to cultivate a convincing weather cycle was Dying Light. Dying Light was a first-person horror game, that sent gamers scavenging to survive, and to stay out of the reach of the infected swarming the cities. During the day, glaring sunlight made the tropical environment feel dry and claustrophobic. However, at night, the game really game into its own. The shear darkness and despair cultivated by the nighttime weather cycle, really drew you into John Crane’s world of stealth and fear (The main protagonist). One particularly memorable sequence sees you have to climb a communications antenna through a violent storm, with a skyline covered in dark clouds with heavy rainfall and relentless lightning.
When looking at weather in games, you can’t overlook the shear brilliance of Bethesda’s Skyrim, and the icy mountains and glaciers that drew thousands of gamers into the Elder scrolls world. As you travail the treacherous mountains the visual spectacle of the snow accompanied with a powerful score draws you into the harsh landscape. When fighting a dragon on a mountain top, there’s nothing more satisfying that besmirching your opponent upon the mountain side under the fall of snow. The authentic weather cycle accentuates the feeling of shelter when you go into a castle keep.
Witcher 3, the next generation RPG game featured some of the most picturesque landscapes we’ve ever seen on console before. The daylight weather cycle is fantastically brilliant, as the sun-beams down over the natural landscape, bringing to life the shear detail of the open world map. At night, the glistening moon is simply stunning. Rather than trying to create an environment of fear for gamers, Witcher 3 simply draws them in to a world of rich and indulgent fantasy.
Nothing has quite characterized our perception of the First World War like all-out trench warfare under a downpour of rain. The studio behind Battlefield 1 have been eager to bring this out, with a dynamic weather system, that affects players speed in rain, and visibility in fog. The weather adds a lot to the experience, as nothing helps you take cover from a sniper more than blanket of fog as gameplay quickly transitions to a closer range. For variety, on maps like the Sinai map, sandstorms will ravage the natural landscape as you try to get your bearings.
As one of the most successful open world franchises of all time, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V caught the wanabe gangsta’s of millions of gamers worldwide. Elaborate bank heists and larger than life characters frequently catch our attention, but we frequently overlook the shear brilliance of the weather. Los Santo’s neon purple sunsets are near breathtaking. Real-time weather effects take us from the sun of the desert to gritty inner city rain in a matter of minutes, in an experience that keeps us coming back for more.
This PS4 exclusive horror title brings around the stunning setting upon a mountain. From the snow blizzards to the howling winds, the weather effects are carefully crafted to pull you into the game’s horror, narrative scenario. This masterpiece isn’t just an award winner, but it brings about an atmosphere thanks to the beautiful and amazing weather effects. If you haven’t played this title, be sure to have it on your list if you are a PS4 gamer.
PS4 fans will be delighted to see another exclusive on this list – sorry Xbox fans. This game is far from perfect, yet, when it comes to weather effects, you’ll struggle to find a game that delivers better. As you race around the tracks, you’ll find rain, wind, snow, thunder and all of the other awesome effects that god likes to provide us humans with. Driveclub is more than worth playing, even if it is to just admire the views – beautiful.
From a god like view to zooming in, Cities Skylines has a weather expansion that dramatically enhances gameplay. Running a city certainly gets more complicated when heavy snow is a regulating force. As the citizens run for the comfort of their homes, your task will be to clear the roads. Not only will the weather create new scenarios for the player, but it looks gorgeous too. Interestingly, Planet Coaster, another business sim, tycoon styled game, has many players desiring weather effects to be added in a future update.
Isn’t snow great? Some would probably answer this question by saying no, but for those of us who enjoy the white stuff, Tom Clancy’s The Division is a game that turns New York into a very wintery setting. You’ll almost want to grab your coat as the environments give you the winter chills. Without the weather, Tom Clancy’s The Division wouldn’t be the game it is – the setting really does make it unique, especially since it’s set around the Christmas period.
Nathan Drake takes his adventure across a variety of terrain, all of which are accompanied by jaw-dropping weather visuals. Rain, snow, wind and thunder all create a dynamic atmosphere. This PS4 exclusive may not have won all of the awards because of the weather, but it’s certainly a nice addition to the engaging gameplay.
This was our top list, but what is yours? Be sure to leave your favorites in the comment section below.