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[PC] The Mod Thread
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Mar 2006


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Old Mar 28, 2007, 04:51 PM Local time: Mar 28, 2007, 04:51 PM #1 of 3
The Mod Thread

So one of the reasons I loved the original Half-Life was that it opened up its code to outside groups who wanted to make mods for it. It added a whole lot to the replay value, and hell, it was free! These days, it's not uncommon to see mods coming out for pretty much every new game on the market.

This thread is to discuss upcoming or released mods that you think look pretty interesting. Who knows, some of us may even want to play a few rounds on some of these. I could simply refer you to www.moddb.com, but not all mods make it onto their list, and frankly, a lot of the ones they have listed aren't worth the trouble of keeping an eye on. (Many have in fact been discontinued.)

So, to start off:

Unreal Tournament 2004
  • Hollow Moon/Single Player/No release date - More of an artistic vision than a real shooter mod, this sci-fi themed mod puts you in the place of an astronaut mechanic in the near future who is being shuttled into the moon base to repair certain things. When you arrive, everything looks abandoned, except for the strange creatures that want to shoot you on sight. Your job now is to search the compound for clues as to what happened.

    The whole mod is in black and white, and contains no sound effects at this point. Instead there is a constant background music that helps to unnerve you and keep you on your toes. Check out the demo for a good taste.
  • Alien Swarm/Single & Multiplayer/Released - Top down shooter in the same vein as Smash TV, but with definite origins in the Aliens films. Colonial marines work as a squad to complete objectives and try not to get their faces eaten. This mod has a lot of polish, and is plenty of fun to boot. You can play by yourself, or with friends to combat the alien menace.

    Another version is coming soon on the Source engine, and will be released commercially over Steam (i.e. cost money) but this version is still great.

Half-Life 2
  • Black Mesa Source/Single & Multiplayer/No Release Date - If you haven't heard about this one yet, you might be a caveman. When Half-Life 2 got released, one of the big things I was interested in was Half-Life: Source which was penned as a conversion of the original Half-Life into the source engine. What it ended up being was the original Half-Life with improved water effects. Needless to say, many people felt let down when this came out, and lo and behold, a group of modellers and coders joined together soon afterwards to set things right!

    This is a TOTAL conversion of the original Half-Life. The entire game environment is being upgraded, and in most cases, improved upon, in order to meet the expectations of the many fans.

    This mod has an active roster of about 50 people (!), and they are as devoted as any professional dev team to make sure that the finished product is done right. Moreover, they have Valve's blessing.

    Check out the media on their site, and see if just the music and photos doesn't get you drooling.
  • Nightfall/Single player/2007 - Valve says episodic content is the future, but according to a few folks in the mod community, these guys might just beat Valve at their own game with this episodic release that takes place in the Half-Life universe, but has a horror/psychological theme rather than sci-fi action.

    Expect this one to be loaded with a compelling story, something that is usually sorely lacking from many mod releases.
  • No More Room in Hell/Multiplayer/No Release Date - What mod list would be complete without a zombie mod? This mod shares a lot in common with the upcoming commercial release, Left 4 Dead, but the distinction is that this one is free. neither Left 4 Dead nor this mod have shown a lot about how the actual gameplay will play out, but they're both oriented around co-op and a dynamic AI spawning system.

    Nevertheless, it's fairly professional looking, and the blurb on their moddb page mentions that the team wants to incorporate as much of the source physics as they can, which is always good.

    It remains to be seen just how this mod will distinguish itself from the hordes (hrhr) of zombie mods that are in development.

Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • The Sith Lords Restoration Project/Single Player/No release date - Some of you might not have heard, but KOTOR 2 had approximately a 13 month dev cycle, as compared with KOTOR 1's 36 months. What this means is that when the game did ship, it had a lot of bugs, and what we'd later find out is that there was a lot of deleted content left on the game disc. People speculated that Obsidian had been rushed by the publisher to finish in time for the holidays, and that Obsidian might have left this data on the disc on purpose, so that the fan community might take up the torch and later try to include it.

    That is just what Team Gizka aims to do, and by most measurements they are making great progress. of a total of 805 known issues with the content they've incorporated, 742 have been resolved. But Team Gizka is being meticulous about it, and they won't do an official release until all issues have been found, and resolved. This means that they have no current release date, and in fact patently refuse to give one now or ever, at least until it's done.

    At a rate of 2-3 bugs a day resolved, however, it may be arriving sooner than we think. Expect to be able to play KOTOR 2 as it was meant to be.

Feel free to add your own, but please note this is intended as a thread to inform people about stuff they might consider fun, not to be a promotional tool.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
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