It’s officially the holiday season, and some parts of the world are experiencing colder weather. For those of you who don’t want to brave the outdoors (or who live somewhere that doesn’t have chilly weather), here are a few of the best, but coldest video game environments. It also doesn’t hurt that many of them may help gamers get into the spirit of the season!
Noveria is the location for one of the main story missions in Mass Effect. When you arrive, the normally chilly planet is in the middle of an ice/snow storm. Frankly, it’s one of the most effective “cold” planets I’ve ever had the joy of playing in. When you are outside, the planet is loud, windy, and covered in snow and ice. Inside doesn’t seem much better, though. There are windows in almost every major location showing you the frozen wasteland outside. Not only that, but the lighting is dark and mostly blues, giving the feeling of being cold even inside. Bundle up before you take your crew to this planet.
“Grubbins on Ice” is the Christmas-themed DLC for Costume Quest. In it, the kids visit a world inhabited by the monsters from the main game, Repugia. The title of the DLC should give you a hint as to what to expect—Repugia is cold. The entire world is made up of snow and ice, and even introduces a few winter-themed enemies and challenges.
It’s really hard to narrow down one chilly area from this game. Take your pick, there are plenty of options. Snow covered mountains, dark icy caves, trees showing the signs of winter—all of these things can be found. Most of this game makes you want to shiver while you are playing it.
The worst part about Christmas Town in Kingdom Hearts II (in my opinion) is how little time you get the spend there. While you are there, though, it lives up to the name. The world is covered in snow, Christmas decorations, presents, and ice. Also, if it doesn’t make you think of the winter holidays enough, just wait for the wonderful Sandy Claws to show up.
One of the best features of this game is how much detail went into the changing seasons. The winter season is no different. When you wander around the school and town, everything will be covered in snow. The characters suddenly have to bundle up, and ice becomes a challenge. Not only that, but the main character gets to sport the classic ugly Christmas sweater.
It’s not surprising that a game set during the Revolutionary War would have a largely winter landscape. The game is effective, blanketing the world in snow, and changing the look of many of the outfits and settings. The world is most beautiful in the more untouched areas—it’s just a blanket of snow and ice-covered trees. It’s easy for fans of the cold to lose themselves and enjoy the winter in this game.
Evil snowmen throwing snowballs at you, icy cold water, snow falling all around, sled races with polar bears, missions where you help lights make it to a Christmas tree—this world has pretty much everything that screams Winter Wonderland for gamers. If that’s not enough, you also have to turn into a Walrus and climb a massive snowman in the center of the world. Banjo will let you know just how chilly it is if you leave him idle for too long.
There are a lot of snowy areas in World of Warcraft, and they do tend to get into the holiday spirit. However, Dun Morogh seems to do it the best. High peaks, lots of snow-covered trees, lighting that makes the gamer think “chilly”—this little patch of the world has it all.
It certainly helps that the game is actually set in one of the colder places on our planet. Rise of the Tomb Raider captures that freezing feeling perfectly. A large part of the game and its cutscenes are filled with wind and snow, Lara is usually shivering, and they even went far enough to have her breath show in many scenes. Even when you are in areas that aren’t in the middle of a storm, they are still usually covered in snow and ice.
One of the key words in every description of Hoth is icy. The planet is always covered in snow and ice, and storms frequently. Through the years, different developers have taken us to one of our favorite locations from the Star Wars universe, and each time they nail the feeling of utter coldness.
So with this bundle done, grab a hot drink and take yourself to the world of holiday spirit and shiver-inducing environments. The best part is you won’t actually have to feel the sharp sting of that cold weather. Let your in-game characters be cold while you enjoy the beauty of the snow.
There are many others to choose from as well, so comment and let us know some of your favorites!