As Christmas approaches, and our hopes of snow begin to consume us, it’s worth looking back at some of the games that have incorporated the magical white flakes into the experience. This list is by no means exhaustive or an attempt at conclusively defining a list of the ‘best’ games with snow levels – instead it is more of a personal look into my five favourites. Now that I have effectively covered myself from the inevitable backlash at not including Cool Cool Mountain from Mario 64, let’s kick the list off!
- Chumly’s Snow Den – Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
The first entry on the list is a charming little game for the PS1 and PC that has criminally been overlooked in the past. Croc is a little anthropomorphic crocodile (shocker), and he journeys through various worlds on his quest, supported by an absolutely amazing soundtrack. In this level, Croc must fight his way to the boss, Chumly, passing monsters and penguins alike. Chumly is the only boss to not be transformed by Baron Dante, the Big Bad guy of the game, instead being fitted with a jetpack. Think Olaf from Frozen, crossed with Boba Fett.
- Cliffhanger – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
This level is pretty much perfection when it comes to FPS games. Opening with the monumental spectacle of Roach and Soap, the two characters, climbing a mountain, it has all the trademarks of a Call of Duty game: smoking cigarettes, badass soldiers, and an undeniably fantastic score provided by the ever-great Hans Zimmer. From the climb, the player then goes through some great stealth (or carnage if you are so inclined), before ending the mission with some snowmobile action. Whilst many of the other missions in the campaign are forgettable, this is one that every player remembers.
- Unbearable – Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crash Bandicoot 2 has some fantastic level designs, and as such I had a hard time picking just one level for this list (I could make an equally long list consisting of levels from just this one game). I chose Unbearable for a number of reasons, the first one being that I could never fully complete it. There is one box that, to this day, I could never get. Oh, and did I forget to mention the great hulking polar bears chasing you Raiders of the Lost Ark-style through electric fences, over explosive boxes, and next to chasms of death? Because yeah, that happens, and it’s terrifying.
- Heart of Ice – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
One of my many, many unpopular opinions is that I prefer the Uncharted series to Naughty Dog’s later offering, The Last of Us. The level designs are consistently superb, the characterizations are perfect, and the game manages to capture that ‘Indiana Jones meets hardcore parkour’ vibe in its entirety. Heart of Ice is the 18th chapter of the game, and you traverse a vast, expansive cavern, climbing on ancient machinery, before fighting yeti-like monsters. The controls may be slightly frustrating in some of the climbing segments, but it’s more than worth it for you to be able to unload a clip into Bigfoot.
- Throat of the World – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The quest ‘Throat of the World’ leads the player up the Seven Thousand Steps (Cardiac Hill, anyone?) to High Hrothgar, the dwelling places of the Greybeards. After learning various shouts, the player is able to climb to the peak of the mountain, also known as the Throat of the World. Here you meet Paarthurnax, and in a plot twist, you find out he is a dragon. This level is fantastic due to the scenery – a huge, ancient monastery perched on the edge of a sharp drop – and the revelation at the end, that your mentor is one of the very beings you are trying to fight and destroy.
Here you meet Paarthurnax, and in a plot twist, you find out he is a dragon.
Featured Image Credit: Elder Scrolls Wikia