Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. This conventionally misquoted line from Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner conveys the age old human fascination with H2O. What with it comprising over 70% of our bodies, it’s the kind of thing that comes up a lot in our daily lives, so it makes sense that our most beloved games are going to include or encounter water at some point. For something so common in our day to day existence, it’s something that few games are truly able to render correctly. With this in mind, here’s our adage to those games that do the best job of visually portraying water.
Note: Check our updated list over here.
For one of the Xbox 360’s launch titles, Kameo hid a good amount of solid gameplay under its cute and cuddly exterior. One of the better products of Rare from recent memory, Kameo involved you playing as an elf who could transform herself into various elemental creatures. Cue the water type elemental warriors who demonstrated their prowess in some scrumptious looking water levels. It may have been early on in our current generation of hardware, but the water effects in Kameo were definitely not a false start.
9. Mario Sunshine
There is no doubt that its age and the meagre graphical capabilities of its native Gamecube prevent Mario Sunshine from climbing too high on this list, but there is no doubt that its water effects looked fantastic for the time. Considering the whole game revolved around using water to clear up poisonous paint grafitti on the isle of Delfino, it certainly looked polished. Whether it was the nozzle power clearing away the paint, or mario jetting up into the sky with the water jet pack attachment, the water always looks like a class act in its own cartoon sort of way.
8. God of War 3
The mythical setting of God of War gives a lot of creative leeway in terms of how water can be used. With ancient sea gods galore and the power of the PS3 behind it, God of War 3 was able to deliver water that looked both creative and realistic at the same time. Flowing and crashing water horses get a definite win in my books, and the video above demonstrates their aesthetic grace.
7. Heavy Rain
Whilst most of the titles on this list so far gain their place through gorgeous looking bodies of water, Heavy Rain largely renders moving rain water. It’s not surprising considering the game’s title, but the rain effects and the way that character models are effected by them are truly jaw dropping. The whole game looks good enough already, but the realistic water effects are just icing on the cake.