You can stand under my um-ber-ella
Take a look through your nearest window. What do you see? If you’re living in or visiting the UK, the answer is ‘rain’. The answer has been ‘rain’ for about 2 months now, which--even for a country that is known globally for the frequency of its precipitation--is excessive. Thankfully, the rain will (eventually) stop in real life but not-so in some games. No, in some games it rains FOREVER.
Here is a list of 8 soggy games where rain plays a huge role; a list that definitely isn’t a product of me staring out of the office window in search of inspiration. No, sir. In most of the following cases it never stops raining, while in others it merely lashes down for the majority of the game. Either way, if you’re venturing into any of the following games… I’d recommend you pack an umbrella. And sturdy boots. And maybe a small rowing boat.
Yuuup, the clue is in the name here. This curious, PSN-only puzzler puts you in the wet shoes of a young boy who, caught in a heavy downpour, notices an invisible girl splashing through some puddles. He follows the girl and discovers a whole world of invisible stuff that he can only see while it’s raining. It’s a pretty charming little game, somewhat under-publicised by Sony. Check it out, because no matter how hard you look in real life, you’ll never see invisible girls scampering through the rain-soaked streets. Not that I’ve tried looking, you understand.
Another one from Captain Obvious here. Yeah, as the name suggests, it rains quite a lot in Heavy Rain. Not all the time, mind you. The prologue is all nice and sunny, right up until Jason gets run down by a car, shattering the perfect life of the Mars family. See, it’s raining inside Ethan’s mind (on account of him being all gloomy about the loss of his family), and that’s reflected in the weather. It’s a metaphor, yeah? Also, all the data we have suggests that large swathes of GamesRadar readers respond positively to this picture of Madison leaning on the window. Not sure why, but here it is. Go nuts.
No, it doesn’t rain all the time in Deadly Premonition, but it does so for the majority of the game. And, again, the rain actually plays a key role in the plot. See, FBI agent York is in Greenvale to investigate the raincoat killer, a nutbar who does his murdering when it’s tipping down with rain. Which it does a hell of a lot in Greenvale. People don’t go out into the streets when it’s raining, because they fear becoming the next victim (it's definitely NOT an excuse to avoid programming too many NPCs. Definitely). Also, there's a severe shortage of umbrellas in Greenvale. Probably. I don't really know.
Bit of an open-goal, this one. Wetrix is all about managing water within a small square of land, so you expect it to rain most of the time. While many other games on this list see rain as something of a distraction or inconvenience, Wetrix builds its puzzles around how you actually deal with the wet-stuff. Do you keep it at bay with a dam? Evaporate it with fireballs (an option the UK government must surely be considering for Somerset about now)? Or just drain it off to another tier? Word of warning, though: letting your flood defences get too elaborate will eventually lead to an earthquake. Hopefully, that isn’t something that’ll be reflected in real life…
So, you’re a young American woman. You’ve been travelling around Europe for the past few months, and you arrive home to discover that… everyone has left. There’s a massive storm happening, and you’re forced to make your own way from the airport in a taxi. You’d be fairly annoyed, right? Well, that’s the exact scenario in Gone Home, the curious indie-made drawer-opening sim. Sure, you rarely notice the driving rain as you explore your new family-home for strategically-hidden pieces of paper, but it’s always there as a recurring theme. The weather broadcast on the radio and TV, the flashes of lightning in the windows… it all adds to the atmosphere in what is a very, very atmospheric game (about opening drawers).
Silent Hill Downpour
Silent Hill is a series known for its fog, so the decision to move into the bold new world of precipitation was a real gamble for the developer. The results are mixed in this painfully-middling survival horror, mainly because it feels like every element of horror is just aping past glories like Silent Hill 2 or 3 without really understanding what made them scary. Still, the rain (and snow) adds some extra ‘oppressive grimness’, so the experiment to change Silent Hill’s weather isn’t a complete failure. Frankly, the weather we’re getting in the UK right now makes some towns feel very much like Silent Hill in its Downpour guise. I won’t mention any by name, but if you live in Wigan you’ll know what I mean.
David Cage, head of Quantic Dream, and creator of both Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain, seems obsessed with the weather. Maybe he lives in a particularly wet corner of France. Anyway, it’s always snowing in Fahrenheit. Snow is frozen rain, so this totally counts. Again, it’s a real tone-setter for the generally downbeat story and also a device that feeds into the ‘psychological health’ system. Stare out of the window at the rubbish weather for too long, and your character starts to lose the will to live. Get dangerously depressed, and it’s game over. Thanks, snow, you asshole.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Is this technically a game? Or just a giant dummy (you call it a pacifier in the US) for grown-assed men who need to leave the house more? Whatever--in Flight Simulator you can have the ‘game’ pull in real-world weather to help you simulate each flight more realistically. And that means rain for anyone flying into popular UK terminals like Heathrow, Gatwick or Mary Poppins' house in central London. This one’s a bit meta, on account of it only making the list because it’s currently raining a lot. And this list wouldn’t have ever existed, if it would just stop raining for one goddam week or so.
Drowning, not waving
So, there you have them. 8 games where it rains most of the time. Look, if you don’t live in the UK--say you live somewhere like California, which is basically warm all year round--then you may never understand the reasons for my writing this feature. So, thanks for reading. Also, please send help--I think my boat has sprung a leak…
Want more features about hostile environments? Here’s one on Places Only An Idiot Would Live (In Games), and another on the 9 Worst Man-Made Disasters In Games.