Somewhere in the sub-zero temperatures of Vancouver, athletes from around the world gather to compete for shiny medals. The recent game from SEGA that accompanies the event has prompted us to call to mind other games that feature the cold white stuff. So, grab a duvet, a warm mug of your favourite hot drink, and join us as we take a look at the Top 10 Games With Snow.
In war, snow has far more practical purposes than those seen in the Olympics. The 'Cliffhanger' level of Modern Warfare 2 sees Roach Sanderson infiltrate a military base in the midst of a raging blizzard. It may be cold, but the storm offers a welcome cloak of invisibility, and enemies are oblivious to your presence right up until the moment you plunge your knife into the side of their neck.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Back in 1993, Sonic the Hedgehog could be found speeding down the snowy slopes of the Ice Cap Zone on a snowboard. With its glistening blue and white scenery, frequent avalanches and ice-cool retro soundtrack, the Ice Cap Zone was one of the first video game levels to successfully capture the concept of cold. Since then, snow-themed levels have appeared with alarming frequency in platform titles.
When Cloud Strife isn't off saving the world from the maniacal Sephiroth, he likes nothing better than to strap on a snowboard, and hit the slopes of Icicle Inn. One of the more successful mini-games in the game, Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding was also released as mobile phone game. Square Enix is still obsessed with precipitation today, with FFXIII characters Lightning and Snow both referencing the heroic Cloud.
We could have included the official Vancouver 2010 game on this list, but that would have been far too easy. Instead, we offer a remarkably similar title that swaps the toned athletes of the real world for the disproportionate mascots of SEGA and Nintendo's most popular franchises. Quite why the two groups decided to settle their differences in Olympic events has yet to be explained.
A flurry of snow falls from the grey heavens above. Delicate flakes cling to Nathan Drake's clothes as he struts around the blustery mountains of Tibet. The satisfying crunch of snow underfoot accompanies each footprint he leaves, and remains long after it's been made. To experience the pinnacle of virtual cold, look no further than the gorgeous white landscapes of Uncharted 2.
When Mario took his first steps in the third dimension, there were a plethora of exciting new environments for him to stretch his legs in. Cool Cool Mountain was up there with the best of them; an expansive white mountain populated by penguins and talking snow-men. Unlike Sonic, Mario didn't need a snowboard to get about, and preferred the cushioned pads of his own tummy as a mode of transport.
"Whose footprints are these!?" a guard at Shadow Moses yells as an inexplicable exclamation mark appears above his head. He decides to follow them; they must lead somewhere he figures. Soon after picking up the trail, he notices something moving behind him. Too late. A pair of hands tighten around his neck. The last thing he hears is the snap of this own neck. Solid Snake smiles - oh how he loves the snow.
The mountains of the early 90s PC game Ski Free featured everything you'd expect from a real Ski slope; trees, rocks, lifts, flags, oh, and a ten-foot killer yeti who wants nothing more than to tear your head from your lifeless body. Why this game hasn't been treated to a next-gen remake already is anybody's guess.
There's nothing quite like tearing down the side of a mountain with Run DMC's immortal Hip-Hop anthem "It's Tricky" ringing through the air. It may be a few years old now, but the vivid and colourful slopes of SSX Tricky still play host to one of the finest snowboarding games money can buy. Those who think SSX3 is better are wrong.
If you're planning on visiting Lost Planet's E.D.N. III, you're going to want to pack your long-johns; it's pretty darn cold out there. In the alternative future of Capcom's shooter, humanity needs a new home, and E.D.N. III is a promising candidate. Grab a jumper and crank up the thermostat before starting a new game though; even from the other side of the screen, Lost Planet is enough to give you a cold, or at least a snivel.