It’s Summertime! The sun’s out and the temperatures are creeping up. All this sunshine is lovely, but it sure does make us miss cosying up by a log fire and watching the snow fall outside the window. If you’re missing the magical Winter weather too then boy do we have a few game recommendations for you. Here are 10 games with the most dramatic snowfalls to help you keep cool in the Summer heat!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The province of Skyrim is no stranger to a good few feet of snowfall, especially atop all those mountains. There are entire portions of the map that are blanketed in eternal snowfall, the town of Winterhold being one of them. There’s something truly magical about Skyrim, even after 7 years. Especially when you’re just out and about exploring the world and a blizzard kicks in. The sound of your boots crunching through fresh snow is also ridiculously satisfying. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to going for a Winter wonderland walk while it’s 30 degrees outside!
One of the most relaxing, popular and occasionally genuinely scary games of all time. The perfect place to build your own spruce wood log cabin and watch some hypnotic, pixelated snowfall. The flakes are huge, your footfalls go crunch and everything looks so…soft. The atmosphere in a Snowy Taiga biome is unmatched and nothing quite beats the joy of crossing over from a biome where it’s raining to one where it’s snowing. Ah, the sweet, snowy silence.
Red Dead Redemption II
Rockstar got snow so right in RDR2 we felt as though we could scoop it right out of the screen and start a snowball fight. Featuring heavily in the first few minutes of the game, the intense snowfall not only makes for a beautiful cinematic, it also demonstrates immediately how impressive the graphics are. It also reminds us of just how dangerous extreme weather can be. With the wind howling and swirling up a snowstorm, this is simply one of the most effective and dramatic uses of snow in videogame history. That and we love smushing it all up under our big cowboy boots and watching our horses leave super realistic hoof-prints.
For those of you who like a side of spooks with your snow, this one’s for you. Kholat opens with a tale of tragedy: 9 students get lost in the snow and die under suspicious circumstances. Not only is Kholat devastatingly beautiful, its haunting use of heavy snowfall and its deserted, lonely tundra setting is sublime. Dropping you into an abandoned Russian town and luring you into a blustering, blizzarding evergreen forest, the unrelenting snowfall inspires a feeling of deep loneliness and inhibits your vision just enough to make you feel vulnerable. No doubt about it, Kholat and its daunting drifts will chill you to the bone.
Another bitterly cold horror title, this cinematic, QTE-driven PS4 exclusive flips the Winter Wonderland setting on its head, turning what should’ve been a fun weekend away into a nightmare. The mountainous terrain and near constant snowfall really amp up the scare level, lowering visibility and making getting around ever more dangerous for our group of unassuming teens. There’s no denying that all that suffocating snow makes for an unsettling backdrop for this gory getaway.
Animal Crossing New Leaf
After all those jump-scares you’re going to need some R&R. How about building your very own bingo snowman? Or grabbing a takeout coffee and sitting on a bench, watching the gentle snowfall in 3D? Snow in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is dramatic in its own wistful way. The pensive mood is only intensified by the subtle change in the background music with the addition of an occasional shaking of sleigh-bells. This really is one of the most captivating and calming depictions of snow in videogames.
There are quite a few snowy horror games out there, but few match the eerie, mystical atmosphere of Simogo’s Year Walk. An intriguing mix of puzzle and horror, Year Walk is set in the fictional Swedish town of Vedtorp. Making use of haunting soundscapes, a fascinating art style, and a thick covering of Scandinavian snow, it tells a melancholy story of forbidden love and ancient traditions. With crunchy, muffled footsteps, flakes that blur in and out of focus, and a soundtrack to die for, Year Walk is the perfect moody game to get your frozen fix.
Journey is already a breath-taking experience of a game but add to that an epic trudge through an unyielding snowstorm and you’ve got serious drama. As you force your way through the drifts, the biting winds, and the white-out before you, snow clings to your cape almost camouflaging you against the wintery landscape. Paired with one of the most notoriously awe-inspiring videogame soundtracks of all time, Journey’s uphill blizzard battle is one to remember.
Dead Space 3
If entire towns covered in snow wasn’t enough for you, how about the whole world? Dead Space 3’s Tau Volantis is a frozen planet with as many feet of snow as there are mutated dead guys. And there are quite a lot of mutated dead guys. When it isn’t hurling shambling monsters at you, the desolate and dangerous Tau Volantis is constantly shoving snow into your visor. And nothing says drama like a battle with the Snowbeast in a violent, sub-zero storm!
Horizon Zero Dawn – Frozen Wilds DLC
Horizon Zero Dawn was already pretty damn snowy to begin with. Mountainous ridges slathered in ice, delicate flakes floating through the air every now and then. The physics of the stuff was already out of this world too. The Frozen Wilds expansion takes it to a whole new level. Taking place in an entirely snow-covered region known as The Cut, this DLC features its fair share of epic robot battles set against a flurrying sky and thick drifts underfoot. It looks simply incredible. We feel cold just looking at it. Maybe too cold…
Yep, it’s definitely time to start warming up again! That’s it for our list of virtual snow globes to keep you temperate in the inevitable heatwave! What other snowy settings did we miss? Leave us a comment down below! Now, where’s that mug of cocoa? My fingers are cold…