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What's the most atmospheric game you've played?

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Fallout 3 and 4 were amazing to me and really sucked me into their fantastic worlds. FO4 was enhanced when I decided to go through it in survival and forego quick travel for hundreds of hours of on foot only experiences  only; you miss this once you start to take the teleportation of travelling for granted. 

 

Other games I’ve really enjoyed the atmospheres of include Machinarium largely down to the fantastic visuals and music which fit so well. This game I’ve listened to the ost more than just about any other. 

 

Obscure on the ps2. There are two of these and while both are good, I think the first felt even more darker to me than the first. It’s the amazing children’s choir that makes it stand out too and really adds to the atmosphere. RE Remake I played only about 18 months and that too is excellent. Of course Silent Hill fits into the same catrgory also.

 

Doom on the PS1 and Saturn due to the audio again and I loved Hexen for atmosphere. 

 

Shadowman, once again the audio plays a huge role but the deep none hand holding explorative Metroidvania style of gameplay made it stand out. Some of the areas are brilliant and it has this dark vibe to it that I like. I remember getting stuck over and over but overcoming each situation and really got to know every corner of each location well. The music had an interesting technique which dynamically altered it depending on where you were and was quite abstract at times. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Talk Show Host said:

Difficult choice but it has to Witcher 3 for me. The feeling of walking through a forest during a storm or reaching an abandoned village looking for clues is simply unmatched imo. RDR2 is also up there. 

Atmosphere wise I found this a little inconsistent. At times it was nice but the wind never seemed to stop blowing and there wasn't much in the way of nature that I remember. It all felt a little synthetic. 

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2 hours ago, GamesGamesGames said:

This War of Mine.

That reminds me of another fave of mine (altho tomb raider is top) - the feeling of dread and despair is equally as good in Paper's Please. All you see is text and you booth and the stick men around it but it is gorgeously realised.

 

 

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I remember playing GTA for the first time. The top-down original. It was the first time I’d heard radio stations in a game (maybe the first time I’d heard recorded music playing from CD as before that I’d had a Mega Drive). It’s a cliche now but it was impressive then and added to the atmosphere of being in a city.

 

The most atmospheric game though, I dunno. Maybe Ico or SOTC. Also Castle of Terror on the C64 with its graphics and music for every screen. Terrible game but it terrified me when I was 10. I still don’t know what the mouldy bone was used for.

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I think it's interesting that a lot of the games people are suggesting here, ones that I was going to go for - Alien Isolation, Dead Space, Minecraft, System Shock 2 maybe Dishonored - are games which have very functional sound design, where hearing things and understanding what they mean for the state of the world are a very important part of actually playing the game. I think it engages you with the world in a much more complete way, and having a larger scope than whatever room you're currently in. I guess part of that is that they are games where you're not just dealing with the stuff literally in front of you.

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The original Mortal Kombat. I don't know if it's just me but (despite not being a brilliant game) it oozes this weird, sinister and almost haunted kind of atmosphere that I can't quite put my finger on. 

 

And how has no one mentioned Majora's Mask? From the intro with Skull Kid onwards it just just builds and builds, the closer that leering moon gets...

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22 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

I remember playing GTA for the first time. The top-down original. It was the first time I’d heard radio stations in a game (maybe the first time I’d heard recorded music playing from CD as before that I’d had a Mega Drive). It’s a cliche now but it was impressive then and added to the atmosphere of being in a city.

"That song is so great, I'm gonna play it again" ... :lol:

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So, so many. The atmos is perfect in the Resident Evil remake. A perfect combo of chills and silliness.

 

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Metroid Prime has that brooding atmosphere of mystery and loneliness. 

 

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And just for a change from dark stuff, the universe of Super Mario 3D World is just an endlessly gorgeous, fun and exciting theme park you're loathe to leave  :)

 

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Oh fuck, can't believe I didn't mention it after having replayed it just a week ago: Alan Wake. Superb atmosphere, and another with great sound design. 

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yep pos on Alan Wake, made me feel like I was in a substandard Stephen King novel - which felt great :D

 

On a simila vein I loved the atmosphere of Until Dawn - It felt like living in a schlocky teen slasher flick from the 80s/90s  :)

Wipeout 2097 - lovely feeling of the future being all clean and floaty and pounding soundtrack and everything blurring

No Man's Sky - lovely vistas - like exploring old scifi novel covers :)

 

 

Going back is always hard and going back a long way means that the atmosphere is almost purely self generated - but I will mention a few

 

The original Elite - That feeling of being a lone explorer/trader/killer... The Dark Wheel helped ALOT before you even got in the game.

Mercenary had a wonderful quirky and odd outlook

Midwinter for it's snowbound feeling of being lost.

Hunter for similar reasons.

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At the risk of becoming that guy who always mentions Yakuza in these types of threads. I found walking around an eerily quiet small town in the early hours of the morning, desperately trying to find anyplace that was still open, in Yakuza 6 to be incredibly atmospheric.

 

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In fact all the locations in these games are dripping in atmosphere and great for the whole virtual tourist experience. 

 

 

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Morrowind was great. The first time I rocked up at the town where the guilds are, and there was an ash storm, and everyone had their hands in front of their faces to protect their eyes it genuinely changed me as a game designer. I realised that most games play environmental effects softball - really half-heartedly. In Morrowind THIS was really not a nice place to be. Even these days very few games get across that sense of adversity from a prevailing condition - even those set in arctic conditions etc. The fact that the rest of the world was just alien enough to be interesting, but still familiar enough to make sense was great too. When I played Oblivion I got bored almost immediately because most of it looked like the countryside near where I live and I was expecting so much more.

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Dear Esther

The Witness

GRIS

Ecco: Tides of Time

Shadow of the Beast

Journey

Zelda BotW

World of Warcraft

Space Giraffe

 

No particular order, whatever's come to mind in the last few minutes of thinking.

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Gone Home, there's just something about exploring that house and finding the story behind it. The various rooms and objects in them making a great atmospheric game.

 

 

Minecraft, standing in the rain as your making a shelter ready for your first night. Waiting in a small cave with just a torch to light the room to stop the enemies spawning. 

 

Traversing over barren lands trying to find resources to use, and to keep you alive while the tunes of C418.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hylian said:

The start of Link to the Past, where you head out into the rain, through the sewers and into the castle dungeon.

 

 

 

Weather in games, especially rain, adds so much atmosphere. 

 

Metroid Prime has been mentioned a lot and a big part of that for me was the wind and lightening and the way the rain fell on Samus' visor. And I can remember so clearly driving around Vice City in the rain, late at night with Kate Bush singing 'Wow', the raindrops on the windscreen, the neon all streaky. I still get a little shiver when I remember that. 

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Shadow of the colossus. 

 

Dark souls. 

 

But most of all probably a game almost none of you will have played:  MUD2. 

 

Still the most captivating game I’ve ever played in my whole life. 

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There are some great suggestions in here. For me though, one of the most incredibly atmospheric games ever, even though it is over twenty years old (!), is Chrono Trigger. 

 

That is largely because of the soundtrack; most games are doing well if they have a memorable track or two, whereas Chrono Trigger has at least 10. Maybe more!

 

One of my favourites is “Secret of the forest”. I dont think I have ever felt so much like I was actually in a forest, without actually being in one. For me, that is atmosphere.

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Doom at the time was unbelievably atmospheric.

 

Bizarrely I found Chuckie Egg 2 one of the most atmospheric games when it was released also, there was a terrifying feeling of vertigo it created which I didn’t feel again until I played The Last Guardian some 30 years later.

 

Currently Wipeout VR has to be the most atmospheric game, well, ever. So completely immersive you may as well be on the holodeck.

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I loved castlevania on the n64 where you enter the rose garden and you trigger a cutscene with a vampire,she starts watering her plants with blood in her little watering can.

The music is just so soothing and i just felt so safe like nothing can happen to you when you are there(the same feeling i got when i found a room with a typewriter in on resident evil:wub:

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Sea of Thieves wins this for me by miles, the whole game is one immersive playground that looks utterly stunning non stop and simply is a living breathing love letter to all things piratey. 
When I play this game I *am* there, not just playing a video game.

Credit to @Boothjan as these are his pictures.
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