Podcast: Is bad weather spectacular or just annoying?

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The blizzards of Siberia have gone on holiday to the United Kingdom this week. But the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, doesn’t do snow days. The pod squad have trekked hard through the whiteout (from their bedrooms to their computers) to gather on their respective microphones. To what end? Well, to talk about the weather. Blizzards, thunderclouds, sandstorms and, er, night-time? In videogames, it all counts.

Adam likes being warm while looking out at the frosty cold in survival game The Long Dark. Brendan likes the blizzards of Viking strategy game Northgard and foggy, windless days of sailing sim Sailaway. John, however, thinks the weather should stop. There’s no reason why everything should be covered in smog, nor our hands and feet detached from the cliffside by Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s annoying rain.

But we’ve also been playing lots. Adam shares his thoughts on story-trading hobo-em-up, Where The Water Tastes Like Wine. John has been trying to see the willies and boobies in Assassin’s Creed: Origins‘ educational museum mode. And Brendan has been getting floored in Street Fighter V as newly added doll salesman Blanka.

You can listen above, or go straight to Soundcloud where you can download it for later.

You can also get the RSS feed here or find it on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts. Frosty music is by Jack de Quidt.

Want to write in with questions or suggest a theme for a future episode? You can do that! Please email: podcast@rockpapershotgun.com.

Links:

The joy of Witcher 3’s great outdoors

Adam and Brendan’s road trip in The Crew

Weather watching in The Long Dark

Northgard’s early access review

Have you played… Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Sailing the Northwest Passage in Sailaway

Sailaway floats out of early access

All is Lost is about a competent man

Hell in the Pacific is about two incompetent men

Games don’t get Thunderstorms right (supporter post)

Have you played… Proteus?

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles has great storms

Adam’s Where the Water Tastes Like Wine review

All Walls Must Fall is also out

Vagante is very difficult but still fun, says John

Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength chapter one review

Assassin’s Creed: Origin’s tour guide teaches badly

And it covers up the willies

Three days of Blanka in Street Fighter V

Adam’s pretentious Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture article

8 Comments

  1. kud13 says:

    Thunderstorms in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. were probably one of the best parts of that game. Being caught in the drenching rain running the military blockade from Cordon to Junkyard, getting chased by animals in an open field, and finally stumbling either to a friendly campfire, or to the Bar half-year and exhausted… it’s an unbeatable experience for me.

    • Ushao says:

      I’m a huge fan of STALKER and couldn’t agree more. Just another thing I disagree with John on. I’ve been playing a lot of MGSV:TPP recently and a well timed rain or sandstorm can also mean the difference between life and death sometimes.

  2. Killy_V says:

    Recently, I found riding on Roach as Geralt in the middle of a thunderstorm very satisfying.

    Many moons ago, I remember playing Resident Evil (remake ofc) during a real thunderstorm and teenage me was horified.

    Many many moons ago, I remember the rainy swamp in Zelda ALTTP, or the rainy marsch of Lotus Turbo Esprit

  3. PancakeWizard says:

    “John, however, thinks the weather should stop. There’s no reason why everything should be covered in smog, nor our hands and feet detached from the cliffside by Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s annoying rain.”

    Literal ‘Old Man Yells At Cloud’

    Ignoring the atmospheric reasoning for weather in games, these are often genuine game systems, John! In Breath of the Wild for instance, there’s a specific shrine that can’t be reached without oodles of stamina because of the constant rain (which stops when you solve the shrine). Zelda games actually use weather quite a lot in their games. Sandstorms and the Song of Storms in Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker’s well…wind, even Link to the Past had a stormy swamp that had clear skies once you opened the temple.

    STALKER is another great (PC-specific) example where the weather has a specific purpose (even more so in COP with the impressive AtmosFear mod).

    There’s something PRIMAL about weather than matters. Generally speaking in our modern world it doesn’t matter all that much (especially here in the UK where we discuss it endlessly because it’s variant but wholly unremarkable). Weather that matters in games (where you generally have to avoid it or it gates progress) has become a welcome part of the escapist fantasy of games for that reason, IMO.

  4. K_Sezegedin says:

    Love inclement weather in games, it really bothers me when a title has a great weather system in place, but insists on only letting weather conditions run for a minute or two presumably cause the devs are worried payers will get tired/bored/annoyed with the weather.

    If its gonna rain let it rain for a day, then be foggy afterward, dont be afraid to commit.

    Horizon Zero Dawn is a particular offender – its like you’re just getting into a storm and Guerilla
    suddenly snatches it away replacing it with sunshine as if they’re worried players have no tolerance for their gorgeous weather effects.

  5. NuclearSword says:

    I beat Horizon Zero Dawn on my PS4 earlier this year, and I really found the weather annoying pretty quickly. When it got rainy/foggy and whatnot, I literally would keep going to Photo Mode to try and change the time of day or whatever to get a good vantage of my surroundings, because you just lose it in the poor weather. Either that, or just stop moving until it passed in a few minutes. So dumb.

    Impressive effects? Sure. Was it spectacular looking? Technically. But it was not fun. Good game design > Technical stuff: People should not want ANYTHING to supercede gameplay, especially a visual effect :/ “Get back to playing” should be the mantra of every developer

  6. Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

    I feel The Solus Project was forgotten unfairly quickly – the weather system kicked ass and was the core element of survival mechanics in it.
    It’s also the only recent game I can remember that has functional hurricanes (or rather tornadoes)

  7. Danda says:

    Well made rain is awesome.

    As someone said, it helped a lot gameplay-wise in The Phantom Pain, but it’s also very cool. Sometimes I just let my character under the rain for a while because I enjoy it. I did that with other games which are not even photorealistic like Ubersoldier 2, which had a rainy city level.