I started playing games again (I should be working), and while playing I noticed that some games attract you much more than others. They attract you in a way I cannot explain in words, they simply take you to a journey of feelings, emotions, dreams… you just wake up and you are part of the game. In other words I’m a typical European. I love foggy evenings and that kind of melancholy which makes you fade away in your own thoughts, that you would call it a positive melancholy. With that in mind and being the guy I am I will list the most attractive games.
Stalker – Shadow of Chernobyl In my opinion the most atmospheric game ever was Stalker. It was not the best game compared to the others but its tight atmosphere, its cloudy and rainy world are awesome. We Europeans like love long walks in fall. Especially that days where the sky is full of clouds and the atmosphere is embraced by fog. I played this game and thought I could feel the wind which blows from time to time through the tales.
Left 4 Dead Of course there are games which are better, look more advanced, have bigger worlds and so on. But damn this game is pure fun to play. All campaigns especially Crash Course and Death Toll give you that feeling I’m talking above. This was so great to play. I find myself feeling that kind of melancholy while playing Death Toll. Here I have nothing more to add.
Half-Life 2 Most of you would have expected Half Life 2 to be the winner. Yes it would usually be but unlike most magazines and game sites I try to be subjective not objective, because I’m talking about the feelings these games wake up. If someone would ask me how the future would look like I would say: like the world in Half-Life 2. Definitely the most complete end-time world seen in a computer game.
FEAR I played this game at late nights with the volume turned up and it was like being part of a horror movie. Damn. I was afraid every time Alma appeared, and even if she was not visible you felt like you could feel hear breath in you neck.
Metro 2033 It was not an easy decision to place Metro 2033 on 5th. There are many other games with similar story and plot playing in similar worlds, I know the arguments. Anyway what counts is what feelings and impressions you get while playing. I believe the game have could make it higher in this list or could have not made it at all. There are only this two possibilities. Since I liked the tunnels very much and the levels full of smoke and dust and I felt like being in Russia myself 🙂 a well deserved 5th place.
Far Cry Yeah this was great. Playing Far Cry was like being on holiday. This looked so cool, the water, the isles. It was perfect. No other game managed to render such perfect Caribbean atmosphere. If you can’t afford a holiday trip to the Caribbean spend some bucks on this game and you won’t regret it.
Doom Maybe not comparable with today’s games, I still feel the hell on earth when playing this game. The midi sound and the level builds makes you think you are there. Lost and alone with a shotgun and the only think you want is to kill everything that moves.
Dead Space I was surprised about Dead Space. It’s the perfect game for a perfect weekend. Friday evening watching “Ghosts of Mars” and maybe also “Chronicles of Riddick”. Friday night playing “Dead Space”. This game belongs to those games who would be a perfect plot for a movie. Dead Space is one of the most complete science fiction game. The horror attributes give the complete game the finishing touch.
Doom 3 I’m a big id fan. So I was surprised to recognize that Doom 3 made it only on the 9th. Doom 3 looked awesome on release and still does. It also has a great science fiction atmosphere but was a bit too dark to get a better ranking. Nevertheless a great horror science fiction mixture. Thanks to id. They showed us how hell might look like.
Mirror’s Edge Surprised? When showing the draft of this post to some friends they called me stupid. Others just smiled. But all were irritated when reading about Mirror’s Edge. I played enough games in my life but no game presented such perfect city atmosphere like Mirror’s Edge. Most of you will disagree arguing that most of the racing games have better looking cities, and that may be true but no game could show a city with that much atmospheric summer feelings like Mirror’s Edge. Well deserved and could be ranked higher.
I think that matches most my top list of atmospheric games. Sure Blood could/should make it but I think at current those games are that what I think to be worth being in this list.