T Nation

Video Games with Atmosphere


#1

Some of my fondest memories of gaming, are of playing games which created an all-consuming 'atmosphere' - the kind of immersive quality that you don't find in a lot of admittedly very good games.

What are some of your favourite atmosphere-rich games? My favourite is Grim Fandango. Close contenders being Riven, Red Dead, Thief.

Cheers
M


#2

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Years and years ago, I really enjoyed Journeyman: Project Turbo which came with my Packard Bell. Loved the futuristic utopia vibe.

The Descent series was good too, since it completely screwed with your spatial awareness and you really had to think in 3D.


#3

Grim Fandango… classic!


#4

If you havent done Mass Effect I really cant suggest that game enough. Many people didnt care for the ending but I didnt think it was a big deal, and the 60-80 hours of game play that you get out of the game playing it one time through is MORE than enough to make up for it.

It has a very high replay value and it is very open, so you could almost play 2 entirely different games with different “atmospheres” as you put it.


#5

When Skyrim first came out I turned my AC as cold as it would go and turned the fan on and made it fucking frigid in my apartment while I played it. Does that count?


#6

I remember when the first resident evil came out and i used to play it alone in the dark. That game fucked up my brain. Couldnt pee with the shower curtain closed for like a year.


#7

[quote]Waittz wrote:
I remember when the first resident evil came out and i used to play it alone in the dark. That game fucked up my brain. Couldnt pee with the shower curtain closed for like a year. [/quote]

I was similar with Doom, would turn it off every time I heard a monster or the music got too intense lol.


#8

Phantasmagoria


#9

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:

[quote]Waittz wrote:
I remember when the first resident evil came out and i used to play it alone in the dark. That game fucked up my brain. Couldnt pee with the shower curtain closed for like a year. [/quote]

I was similar with Doom, would turn it off every time I heard a monster or the music got too intense lol.[/quote]

I have a hard time picking between Doom and Duke Nukem 3D for GOAT status. Duke might get it just for the spacebar stripper flashing.


#10

Arkham Asylum/City
Red Dead

Those are really just about how drawn into the game world you get, I may have misunderstood what you meant by atmosphere though.


#11

I was really drawn into Fallout 3. With good headphones and playing in the dark, man I would get caught up in the environment.


#12

[quote]Waittz wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:

[quote]Waittz wrote:
I remember when the first resident evil came out and i used to play it alone in the dark. That game fucked up my brain. Couldnt pee with the shower curtain closed for like a year. [/quote]

I was similar with Doom, would turn it off every time I heard a monster or the music got too intense lol.[/quote]

I have a hard time picking between Doom and Duke Nukem 3D for GOAT status. Duke might get it just for the spacebar stripper flashing. [/quote]

I preferred the original Duke Nukem on PC, even that game felt scary to me somehow ?!

The original AVP for PC terrified me for years, even into my teens. Insta kill face huggers made you sweat bullets.


#13

I just want to say the general rule that I adhere to is THE MORE LINEAR THE GAME THE BETTER NARRATIVE/ATMOSPHERE.

While this is not entirely true(like red dead, thief) but majority of games adhere to this.

Last of Us, Uncharted Series, The Walking Dead(TellTale Game), Mass Effect Series(Sure its open world but its an EXTREMELY structured open world), Spec Ops: The Line(Amazing game check it), Halo 4, Dead Space and a slew of others


#14

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
[/quote]

x one million


#15

Skyrim and both Borderlands games. I have put way too many hours into Borderlands 1 and 2.

Despite being a really quick game (can beat it in 90 minutes), Journey is a game that has a great atmosphere. Awesome graphics, story that is up for interpretation, and every time I play I feel like I forget to blink. The first time I ran into the first enemies in the game my heartbeat shot through the roof.


#16

Lol, I was the same way with some older horror games … Resident Evil, Anything with the Undead or whatever sometimes I would get nightmares and was really bizarre… I think some involved being in the actual games and in the middle I would realize I was playing x,y, or z game… I would be suddenly holding a controller and playing a console and would turn the power off and wake up.

Anyways I think in terms of immersion for me it changes with age, when I was really, really young I got super into Pokemon even with pixel graphics and limited interface… Feel it had more to do with investment… Then as I got older it turned to final fantasy titles and the really graphically satisfying franchises, Uncharted drew me in pretty deep especially, wanted to be a treasure hunter after playing that series lol


#17

[quote]farmerson12 wrote:
I was really drawn into Fallout 3. With good headphones and playing in the dark, man I would get caught up in the environment.[/quote]
I knew there was a reason we are friends.


#18

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
Arkham Asylum/City
Red Dead

Those are really just about how drawn into the game world you get, I may have misunderstood what you meant by atmosphere though.[/quote]

Pretty much agree with this.

I remember playing Fantasy World Dizzy on the Commodore 64 when I was about 7 years old - such basic graphics etc. but I still dream about that world; it worked magic on my imagination.


#19

F.E.A.R. series
Final Fantasy series
Resident Evil
Silent Hill
GTA series
Metal Gear Solid series

There’s a bunch more I have played but never played them long enough to get wound up in the atmosphere.


#20

F.E.A.R. was really well done.