I have spent the winter holidays making a list, checking it twice, trying to find who is naughty on ice. But unlike the popular red-clad demon of the north, my list is reserved for terrors, demons and critters larger than 4 feet tall. I’m talking about cold monsters. They’re very chic this week. You see, while Nic has been battering majestic species of endangered giganto-moose in our Monster Hunter World: Iceborne review, I have been working hard to catalogue the frostiest freaks this side of video gaming. Here you go, the 8 coldest monsters in PC games.
Frost troll – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The frost troll is Skyrim’s wintry emblem of tenacity, rampaging through the mountains like a furious ice hockey mascot who has lost his stick. This white-haired rib smasher regenerates his health in the middle of a fight, and shrugs off sword wounds as if they were a northwesterly breeze. His only weakness is fire, his roar is voluminous, and his hairy coat is practical and fashionable. He leaves globules of his own fat on your kitchen counter and does not care to clean them up. He has three eyes, and uses all of them to judge you.
Xenomorph – Alien Isolation
Webster’s dictionary defines ‘cold’ as “unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality”. Below that, there is a photograph of the xenomorph from Alien. It is frowning. As a video gamer of prestige and discernment, you have doubtless encountered this creature yourself. Remember when it dropped from the ventilation shaft aboard the Sevastopol space station and spent 10 full minutes doing spine-chilling squats through the hallways? It took up the entire corridor and wouldn’t let anyone pass. Very inconsiderate, and entirely in keeping with the character of an infernal monstrosity. Science fiction has never envisioned a more stand-offish animal than this seven-foot erection with acid for blood. The xenomorph is a being of joyless, icy frenzy. It has two mouths and neither of them smile.
Eredin Bréacc Glas – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Big elf, big fan of murder. Eredin has the will of a glacier and the armour of a giant, disgruntled crab. He is the king of the Wild Hunt, a posse of freezing horsemen who rock up to remote villages with the boreal violence of a Norwegian metal orchestra. Just look at him. Eredin Bréacc Glas. Even his name sounds like a Nazi smashing a cathedral window. He is so cold his armour is covered in snowflakes. But not pretty snowflakes. Bad snowflakes. He hunts people down with a pack of demonic frosthounds, like a fox hunter covered in glitter. Eredin Bréacc Glas would delete photos of his family to make space for a second Solitaire app. If you met him at a Christmas party and offered him a greeting handshake, he would scoff, roll his eyes, and go back to talking to his clique. Or he would cut your arm off. 50-50.
Guardian Ape – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro’s best and most-feared foe is this perilous ape, found relaxing amid snow-capped peaks in Japan’s mythical mountains. He is a titanic dirtbag. He throws his poo at you, he farts, he slams your body until it is mush, he would kill you for breathing. Every night I live in fear that he remains alive. This being of raw disregard is the monster caring Kong could never be, summoning all the lurid malignancy of an icy Harambe, back from the grave and ravenous for indiscriminate vengeance. He is an expression of flawless, disinterested apoplexy. He would drop a brick at your head from a rooftop, and he would not even stay to watch it land.
Sister Friede – Dark Souls 3
Sister Friede is a frosty nun who is so unconcerned with humanity she has gone to live in a painting. She speaks with the monotonous coolness of an Alexa-enabled refrigerator. Her only friend is a Scottish horrorpriest whose hobbies include breakfast cereal and self-flagellation. She has the power of invisibility, and often disappears without saying goodbye. She carries a scythe so cold it gives you frostbite even as it severs your arm. She turns the ground to crystalline ice and runs over this fatal blue frost with dead-eyed purpose, ready to dismember you, like some sort of terrifying curling player. Her blood is so chilly it wakes up her holy preistpal and he smashes his giant cereal bowl around in a big tantrum. Sister Friede has to be killed three times. She is so cold, hell does not want her. If you meet Sister Friede in the shops and say hello to her, she will not say hello back.
Ice Worm – Subnautica: Below Zero
This frigid sequel is good, says John in his nippy Subnautica: Below Zero early access review, even if it is unfinished. But he has not met the ice worm. The ice worm is an asshole. This segmented behemoth lives below the frozen surface and only comes up to take an indifferent stab at your torso with his oversized wormhorn. Sometimes he leaps into the air and pierces the ice floe beneath you in one fluid motion of cold-blooded apathy. And just like that, he is gone. The ice worm is as aloof as a house cat. If he cares for you in any way, it is only because he associates you with food.
Sander Choen – BioShock
You may have heard it said that “man is the real monster”. They were talking about this man. He freezes people into mediocre art installations and then forces you to walk around his macabre gallery like a couple of tourists who aren’t really interested but only there to waste time on their last day in the city because, listen, the hotel check-out was at 10am but the flight home isn’t until 9 in the evening and honestly we should have thought of this when we were booking darling no I don’t want a frozen dismembered leg from the gift shop, thanks.
Hannah – Her Story
Ah, so woman is the real monster.
One Off The List from… the best games with time travel
Last week we listed 9 of the best games with time travel. But you blinked one of them out of existence. It’s… Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time.
Time purist and internet commenter “podbaydoors” was not convinced by the White Star Liner time travel adventure game, and wants it removed from the record. Mostly because the man in this picture “looks like he’s been simultaneously struck by brain freeze, lockjaw, the unanticipated end of a painful bout of constipation, and the realisation that he forgot to put the milk back in the fridge before he left for work two weeks ago.”
And… well, yes. Yes, I see it now. See you next week!