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PC Games Are All About Terrain

I Remember When All This Were Vectors

About this time, every few years, we like to remember that a strange man once observed that "PC games are all about terrain". Little did he know that in fact all games are about terrain. Except the ones that aren't. But those are hardly games at all.

Terrain! It's the undulating table on which the pieces of our play are set. It's the sandbox in which we dig, and the garden in which we grow. Terrain: for exploring, for absorbing, for smoothing, for deforming. It is the unsung underfoot heroic substrate of all that is gaming, and much else besides.

Twitter helped me think about how much I love terrain. While hardly definitive, I think this gallery gives a taste of the rainbow of landscape that gaming terrain encompasses. Here's how we got on:

Ad Astra

The Hunter

Planetside 2

From Dust


Lord Of The Rings Online

Total War: Rome 2

Carrier Command

Fallout: New Vegas

Warhammer Online

3D Deathchase

The Secret Of Monkey Island

Tribes Ascend



The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Dwarf Fortress

XCOM: UfO Defense


Arma 2

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Half-Life 2


Baldur's Gate

Just Cause 2


Battlefield 2 (Project Reality mod)


Ground Control



Thanks to everyone who contributed to #terrain!

Commenters: post your own terrain greatest hits below, and I will add the best ones to the gallery.

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