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Digital Rain

I don't know about everyone else, but where I live, the weather has been terrible. I mean constantly swinging from 30 - 70 degrees all in the same week! Anyway, somewhere along the lines, this got me to thinking about the weather in video games. I'm not really sure how many people actually pay attention to weather when implemented inside a game, but I usually do. I've always founding it intriguing, exciting, and at times, very impactful. Here I will talk about those very games, the games whose weather left a profound mark on my psyche.

 

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain is an easy and obvious pick. The weather in this game is impossible to ignore because it's a key element to the storyline and in a sense, even the gameplay. In Heavy Rain you're racing against the clock and the rain in an attempt to save your missing son. The weather is fully integrated into the story and due to the near constant rainfall, the game is a dark and dreary mess. But I mean that it in a good way. The weather in Heavy Rain helps set the tone and in turn not only helps the player to become more immersed in the environment but also the narrative itself. By the end of Heavy Rain (depending on which ending you get) you'll be relieved to see the yearly downpour come to an end, but you'll never forget those horrific, nail-biting moments spent in the unrelenting storm.

 

Tomb Raider

It's no secret that Crystal Dynamics did an amazing job with revamping Tomb Raider. Their take on the franchise brought a level of depth and humanity to Lara Croft that we had never seen before. However, while I was captivated by the new, down to earth Lara, about halfway through the game it was the crazy mystical weather mystery that had totally captured my interest. What was the secret behind this bizarre phenomenon? How would Lara and her crew ever get off of the island? Would they be any match for the ancient weather controlling scoundrel? How do you even defeat such a villain? These are the questions that swirled about my head as I manically raced to the finish, playing well into the wee hours of the morning, in an effort to finish the game and solve the mystery in Scooby-Doo fashion! I was not disappointed. The complete explanation for the abnormal weather was and unexpected one. And the ending, when Lara truly comes into her own and transforms into the Tomb Raider left me wanting more. I still think about my visit to the island of Yamatai from time to time. However considering how horrible the weather is, it's a place that I'm in no rush to revisit.

Bully

Depending on how much of my writing you've read, you probably already know just how much I love Rockstar's Bully. It's safe to say it's my favorite game and it takes that spot for a number of reasons, one of which being a particular weather sequence that begins at the end of Chapter II. That weather sequence is the beginning of a winter snowfall! Never in a video game had I seen snow until I played Bully. To this day I can still remember my initial feelings of awe and amazement as I watched those pixelated white flakes fall from the digital sky. Truly, it was a sight to behold. And as I rode my bike to the final challenge of Chapter II, all I could think about was how beautiful the weather was. Even now, almost 8 years later, I still get excited when I near the end of Chapter II. And when that snow begins to fall, I still feel that same awe, that same amazement; and I still find myself stopping to watch the emergence of winter.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was for me, a major turning point in my gaming experience. It was the first "adult" game that I had ever played (besides Doom 32x). It was my first real open-world/sandbox experience. And it was the first game that I had ever played (once again, besides Doom 32x) that was just so damned violent! I had never seen anything like it; and like a glutton at a Golden Corral, I simply couldn't get enough of it. And then, something strange happened. It began to rain. And when I say rain, I mean dark luminous clouds, thunder, lightning, the whole shebang! It was absolutely unheard of! Now maybe I had played games that had weather changes prior to GTA: Vice City; however if I did, I certainly don't remember them. GTA:Vice City sucked me in and refused to spit me out; and little yet massive things like weather changes made living in the mouth of the beast all the more enjoyable! To this day I remain a massive GTA fan, and that is in part because of the first in game rain that I witnessed over 10 years ago. Something so simple yet remarkable, stuck to me, latching on to my very essence and in a sense, allowing GTA to mold my gaming interests from there on out. Who knew that something so unassuming could be so life changing?

 

So, how do you guys feel about in game weather? Does it affect your outlook on the game or is it just there, like a nice yet irrelevant add on? Are there any weather based games that have stolen your heart as these have stolen mine? Or what about in game weather based events; have any of those impressed you? Feel free to leave feedback in the comments sections. As always, thanks for reading, and Happy Gaming!

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