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You Just Can't Beat A Good Video Game Sunset

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You Just Can't Beat A Good Video Game Sunset

Who doesn’t love a good sunset? Watching that big ol’ fiery sky ball sink below the horizon as it bathes its surroundings in a warm orange hue, it can make anything look beautiful. And I should know, I’m from the East Midlands. 

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The internet tells me there are plenty of reasons as to why we like to stop and watch the sun going down. It’s calming. It’s Meditative. It reminds us to be grateful for the Earth, and not to leave our picnic waste scattered across the park like revolting little wretches. 

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All of this is just as true when it comes to video games, apart from the bit about picnic waste (although that’s always a good thing to remember). You simply cannot understate the importance of a quality sunset in a virtual adventure. I’m not saying it makes or breaks the experience, but I find it’s rare that you’ll play a bad video game with a good sunset. 

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My first experience of watching the sun go down in a video game came in The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, and it quite rightly blew my mind. The idea of a day/night cycle in a video game wasn’t something I was used to at this point in my life, but being able to watch the sun physically go down as the light gradually died was something that genuinely took my breath away. As I stood there gaping at the splendour of Hyrule field draped in dying embers of sunlight, I felt like I was part of a much larger world. Then night came, a bunch of monsters sprung up from the ground, and I had nightmares for a week. 

Ever since then, I’ve always found myself judging a video game’s sunsets as critically as I do their water and rain. These are, to me, vital parts of a world that help them to feel truly alive.

As in real life, these are the moments where we can pause to take in the beauty of it all, and really reflect. 

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I can be thundering across Skellige in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, on my way to slay some monster or other and get tossed a coin for my troubles, and I will always stop to watch the sun dip below the sea and illuminate the mountains. I could have dear friends to save in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Horizon Forbidden West, but put it all on hold to take in that sunset. 

To me, a good video game sunset isn’t just something that gets the player to briefly acknowledge its beauty. It’s something that gets them to stop in their tracks, pause whatever important world-saving nonsense they had in their quest log, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty and scope of the world that has been built for them. 

If you ask me, that’s why you can’t beat a good sunset in a video game. 

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo/Rockstar Games

Topics: The Legend Of Zelda, The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption

Ewan Moore
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