We like to find slices of real life in the games we play. That may include a city map, a famous landmark or a historical event we can relate to. But above all, we feel most delighted when we see familiar weather effects like rain, snow, fog, or sun being rendered in the most realistic of ways. The fact that video games have travelled such a long way and evolved in such a productive manner that their engines can render and replicate natural environments is truly amazing. For all of those games that offered us the best weather effects, we compiled a list with 10 of the most stunning visuals.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Prypiat
With lightning bolts that make the silhouettes of trees look like specters in the night the player is under the constant illusion that something is lurching in the shadows. The intensity of the rain that seems to never cease to fall adds to the general sense of isolation that Stalker: Call of Prypiat transpires through every pore. It always stays loyal to its horror legacy and entices us with the most desolate sceneries, the bleakest weather and the most toxic sun rises ever seen in a video game.
Driving through thunder rumblings, blinding fog and intense gusts of wind is possibly one of the toughest sensations one could feel. With its dynamic weather system, Mad Max, the game, offers these and much more in terms of variety. The desert is bathed in scorching sun rays by day and cold to the point of freezing by night, sandstorms becoming a natural occurrence during the gameplay. Even though it might have been criticized for other aspects, Mad Max is known to have some of the best weather effects found in a game.
As with every horror game that has to include the classical tropes of the genre, Dying Light could not miss on including fog, rain and wind in its environment. A milky pellicle covers everything in your path and you need to make your own way in this world infected by raging zombies. But as frightful and dark as the night may be, the next day brings hope and brightness, because Dying Light excels in maintaining the balance between the changes that occur during a period of 24 hours.
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Red Dead Redemption
When the sun shines over the vastness of the canyons and the wind blows through dry grass and trees, a scenery of immense significance starts unfolding. Set in a fictionalized space of the Western United States and Mexico, Red Dead Redemption takes advantage of the great outdoors featured by the geographical position and enhances their beauty with effects that make it one of the most appreciated games in terms of how the weather is depicted.
The bluest sky and the most flattering golden hour ever rendered in a video game complete the already amazing story the Witcher 3 has to offer, Geralt of Rivia riding into a sunset so picturesque you simply cannot grasp all of its beauty in just one glance, being so breathtakingly beautiful it feels real. When night falls, the moon looms over the world and shines its light through the thin clouds that surround it. As poetic as it may sound, it’s simply the truest expression of how realistic the weather effects appear in the Witcher 3.
Metro Last Light
In the aftermath of a world devastated by the nuclear war, rain falls heavily, flooding the walls of the ruins that are still standing. With rain and wind effects so visceral they feel real, Metro Last Light takes the liberty to give you a true taste of realism by splashing drops of water on your screen in order to simulate how you would see through your in-game mask. This will give you one strong sense of immersion. Not only do the visual effects give the purest of sensations but also the acoustic ones complete the gameplay with pure authenticity.
Precarious weather conditions affect the soldiers’ on-field performance and make them move slower in rain and have reduced visibility during fog. Depending on the map you’re on, Battlefield 1’s dynamic weather system renders different meteorological conditions according to the geography of the zone. For example, on the Sinai map, you’ll be engulfed in sandstorms of epic proportions, the only things you’ll be able to see in the distance will be the occasional explosions.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The extent of the weather that affects the main character’s actions reaches a high point when, in order to create a warmer coat, Lara has to wait for a specific time of the day so that the wolf she must hunt will come out. This perfect simulation of real-life conditions takes the weather effects in video gaming to a whole new level, one that involves not only visual accuracy but also functionality. Besides this point, we definitely must mention the absolutely stunning sun flares, smooth light leaks and intense snow storm effects.
Grand Theft Auto V
Adrenaline filled heists, cop chases or challenging quests are not the only amazing features GTA V has to offer. More organic elements such as weather effects are rendered in such an artistic way that they leave you contemplating forever. Probably the most beautiful of them are the pink and purple sunsets that slowly take over the sky of Los Santos, treating our eyes to a cornucopia of pastel nuances. Exactly like in real life, the beauty of nature manages to break through all of the daily hustle and make way for ineffable sceneries.
Each rain drop has its own behavior. Every change in meteorological conditions is made following a dynamic system that perfectly emulates real-life situations. The authenticity is at its maximum in Driveclub and the player has to adjust his driving skills according to weather particularities. All the rain drops hit the wind screen with such conviction you feel transposed into a real car on the racing track. The amount of life-like simulation involved is so convincing through all of Driveclub’s aspects, even the smallest of details is polished in the most elaborate way possible.