The thermometer is hovering around zero degrees and it’s grey and miserable outside. So what could be cosier than curling up indoors for a gaming session? Particularly when you can’t wait for it to snow, winter-themed games make for a perfect alternative. I’ve compiled a frosty list of season-inspired games for you.
Although its successor is in the pipeline, it will probably not have a hibernal theme. That’s a pity – after all, snow-covered New York is one of the highlights of «The Division». The game even features Christmas lighting. Alone or in a team, your purpose is to stand up to all kinds of riff-raff in a metropolis shaken by a virus. Along the way, you collect shooting irons like there’s no tomorrow and become increasingly efficient when it comes to cleaning up the streets.
In the snowy North-American wilderness, you’re fighting for survival. Food is scarce, shelter only provides temporary protection and countless wolves and bears want you for dinner. And you can’t blame them. After all, you’ve got your eyes on their fur to make stuff from. Admittedly, a survival game is no winter wonderland. But when that aurora borealis sets in and dips the icy landscape in a greenish light, you’d be forgiven for finding the atmosphere cosy.
It’s another fight for survival in «Until Dawn». You’re dealing with a lunatic who has is eyes set on a group of party animals looking for a wild weekend in a remote cabin in the forest. And, oh boy, do they get a wild weekend. Whenever you’re not trying to outrun the psycho killer, you can marvel at the beautiful winter landscape. Enjoy it. It’s about the only thing that isn’t after you. On second thought, that’s not entirely true.
Snowflakes, colourful Christmas lights and, as if that wasn’t enough, the game’s set on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t get more wintery than that.
OK, I think we’ve reached a limit in the snow department. Have a crack at various extreme sports and go crazy in beautifully snow-covered mountains in the Alps or in Alaska. You get to choose your equipment: wingsuit, snowboard, skis or paraglider.
Thirsty for a little more strategy? Then I can recommend «C&C». While you’re shaping up your base for action, you can send out your tanks and soldiers to play in the snow. Beautiful, right?
«Horizon Zero Dawn» offers epic battles with robot dinosaurs. The add-on «The Frozen Wilds» provides a change of scenery – a wintery landscape in which you compete with the wild beasts.
Prepare for twice the load of snow. Although you’re not playing John Snow himself, you are a member of House Forrester and will encounter the curly-headed character on several occasions. It’s not the best Telltale adventure but it’s solid enough.
With one of the best intros ever and snow effects that were incredibly realistic at the time, «Uncharted 2» delivered a true showstopper. The only thing Nathan Drake forgot to do was make a snow angel.
Who said you need to dig out an old relic to enjoy a little winter atmosphere? Rockstar’s western epic envelops you in sparkling powder snow for the first three hours. Unfortunately, the main character Arthur Morgan can neither ski nor snowboard. But he is talented when it comes to sliding down slopes on his backside. Not bad, right?
The whole loot box fiasco aside; «Star Wars Battlefront 2» is a pretty fun multiplayer game. And those snow levels on Hoth are the stuff of legend. Colourful lasers, colossal AT-ATs and lots of pewpew.
A tropical freeze is not a contradiction if you ask master monkey Donkey Kong. However, it does require a little patience until you reach the snow level. But hey, the journey is the destination.
Snow and ice – there’s plenty of that in «Rise of the Tomb Raider». Armed with an ice pick, you’re free to bump off enemies in true Basic Instinct fashion. Occasionally, the pick also comes in handy to climb along icy ridges. Ah, the tranquility of the festive season.
It needn’t always be car soccer. «Rocket League» has a Snow Day mode. It covers the pitch with ice and turns the ball into a puck. Smooth.
Even if the graphics without mods are still on a «Command & Conquer» level, the sheer amount of snow in the Skyrim region sure makes up for it. Come to think of it, I’ve been meaning to reinstall that game for a while. But then I took an arrow to the knee.
Donkey Kong too apish for you? Then «Super Mario Odyssey» could be the bringer of winter for you. The Snow Kingdom offers many frosty activities. They include beating up snow rabbits or racing overweight yetis.
White hair, a long beard... all Geralt needs now is a paunch and a red hat and he’s all set to be Father Christmas. What’s more, when it comes to giving people a talking to, the Witcher is second to none. The snowy island of Skellige would also provide the perfect surroundings for him to skid about on his sleigh. My personal recommendation is a boat trip up north. It will definitely put you in a winter mood.
Can you think of any other games that bring the magic of winter to the comfort of your own home?
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