RPS Asks: Your Mod Recommendations?

By Jim Rossignol on October 26th, 2009 at 3:06 pm.


For any game, of any genre, at any age: just make sure it’s available to download. Recommend us mods, tell us why they are great, and why should we play them. Should they be featured on RPS? Should they, like Air Buccaneers, be pulled from death and made to live again? You are their champions: speak your mods!

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214 Comments »

  1. RJ-45 says:

    R&L is great!

  2. Andrew Dunn says:

    The Eagle and the Radiant Cross for Mount & Blade. A mod that brings the medieval fantasy world of Calradia slightly further forward into the renaissance fantasy world of Calradia, with pike and shot battles being dominant. Also adds a whole bunch of entirely anachronistic stuff which is nonetheless very, very fun.

    Age of Chivalry: Hegemony for Age of Empires 2′s Conquerors expansion. Bit of a self-pimping here, as I’m one of the two creators of the mod. It’s a total conversion of the game which narrows the focus to Europe between the 12th and 15th centuries only, but consequently increases the detail enormously. Every faction is distinct, with more than just a single unique unit setting each one apart; there are policy decisions inspired by Company of Heroes’ doctrine system which lets you customise factions even further, or even change them entirely (such as Saxony becoming the Teutonic Order); combat is rebalanced; the interface is redone; resources are reworked; new sounds are added; hundreds of buildings and units are changed and added. If you still have the game kicking around I recommend you give it a shot – it comes with a full campaign as well as multiplayer/random map support.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      Hm, the Radiant Cross link didn’t work.

      Here’s the URL:

      http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/board,95.0.html

    • Tei says:

      I agree, thats a very good for M&B, I wish my “main” character where RC, and not vanilla.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      Yeah, you and Kor did some amazing work for AoE2 back then.

      The Eagle and the Radiant Cross is nice, but could be improved by changing some of the assets reused from vanilla M&B (last version I tried had still the same town names, and map)
      Is it you writing the Reggio Perino at the Blue Casket? I didn’t know :)

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      Cheers Fede. Yeah, Reggio Perino is my baby – it’s on hiatus now while I do some other stuff (which reminds me that I must link another mod also, once I get home) but I mean to return to it one of these days.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      Was AoC:H the project you two started when modding (instead of scripting) became viable? If it is, Kor talked to me about it when you were beginning.

      Guess I will have to search for my AoE2 disks. ;)

  3. Seth says:

    FreeSpace 2: Blue Planet.

    If you can handle the difficulty, mind; this is not for the unskilled pilot.

  4. Cooper says:

    Not sure how much of a ‘mod’ this counts as, but, without this, I just would not have enjoyed a game;
    Oscuros’ Oblivion Overhaul.

    I -hate- the world levelling with you aspect of Bethesda’s games. Really. This gets rid of that completely and makes enemy levels linked to location (and same with loot – the best loot in the game is in dungeons with the highest level bad guys).

    Leads to situations like me sneaking into a trolls’ cave to grab what I needed to get the unbreakable lockpick. Then running as fast as I could, after being spotted on the way out, towards the nearest town so that guards could take on the trolls that were mullering me. Took two guards to take down that troll as I hid and watched… Never have had that scenario in the vanilla.

    Will play Fallout3 the moment something similar is available for that.

    • CMaster says:

      FO3′s auto-levelling isn’t that noticable. Weak enemies remain weak, strong ones remain strong. Early in the game a few ants or radroaches are a real threat, later on they aren’t.

    • Hermit says:

      Give Fallout Wanderer’s Edition and Mart’s Mutant Mod a look-in. The two together really do improve FO3 considerably.

  5. westyfield says:

    As others have already said, Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2 is my mod of choice. I don’t play it much any more, but in its day it was one of my all-time favourite games (still is, in terms of how much fun I’ve had).
    It completely changes the game, and version 9 is coming out soon, adding the Israeli Defence Force (we know how much the internet loves Israel!) and loads of new stuff. It’s got great vehicle combat, tight squad-based infantry action and a generally friendly community.

    Oh, and destructible buildings.

    • GC says:

      +1 for that mod, even if I have not played it or anything BF2 for a loooong time.

      Basically it’s ArmA2 with less traveling and crawling and waiting.

      One of the best modern combat simulation, but filled with action !

      They really hacked BF2′s code to its limit and beyond, it should ave been an hard time for the team !
      Their 32 vs 32 persistent campaign are very interesting too.

  6. Nels Anderson says:

    As long as you’re not playing with random angry/dumb stranger on the Internet, NeoTokyo is indeed quite fantastic.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      NeoTokyo suffers from horrible balance bugs and is far too close to CS/:S in terms of gameplay to be that interesting. I’m not sure why you’d bring it up (other than the fact that the visual side of things is pretty damn swish).

  7. RED_404 says:

    OK I messed that up but hell Im drunk
    MODERN PAINTBALL http://www.modernpaintball.net/

  8. lamellama says:

    It is still the best ever

  9. Gnoupi says:

    Suicide Survival, a mod for Half-life 2 : http://suicidesurvival.2ndsky.ch/?page_id=2

    Features suicidal shrubberies in a garden full of static bushes, and gardeners in air pilot suits trying to survive by throwing “Gardening for beginners” books at them.

    Completely crazy mod, certainly not the mod of the year, but great for a few sessions of high craziness.

  10. Powderblue Kes says:

    Hidden: Source was no good, I’ve seen better mods made by a bunch of guys with games degrees living in the same house.

    And trust me, that’s saying something about the quality of that.

  11. Doug F says:

    If we’re talking about single-player mods too, Prophecy of Pendor is where it’s at for Mount & Blade. The amount it adds to the game is staggering – no longer are you limited to becoming a rogue lord if you claim a castle for yourself rather than joining one of the other nations, you can now declare yourself a king, start your own kingdom, and recruit captured Lords to swear felty to you. Add to this a completely redesigned map/factions, and the ability to found elite Knighthoods to upgrade your troops into, There are NPC hero generals who pose massive challenges, but the rewards for catching them are worth it.

    And so much more. PoP is what the game was meant to be.

  12. Olly Harris says:

    THEY HUNGER for half life 1. still ridiculous atmospheric, and, at the time, i remember enjoying it more than half life. Shame development on they hunger – lost souls, its source powered follow up, seems to have died a death.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      Oh I totally agree about They Hunger, absolutely fantastic mod. Shame about the relative bugginess of some of the triggering, particularly around the final boss. Even so, highly recommended.

  13. Wooly says:

    I vote for the Jurassic Rage and Snowreal mods for UT3.

    Also, for HL2: Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II; perhaps as well Zombie Master (yes really)– it’s a bit of good, stupid, zombie rts/fps fun.

  14. KindredPhantom says:

    Dystopia
    http://www.dystopia-game.com & http://www.dystopia-game.com/downloads & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia_(video_game) & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McIMai3GDk8

    Why? Because it’s everything the (fairly) recent shadow run game should have been. It is directly inspired by Cyberpunk and William Gibson’s works. It has the real world (meatspace) and digital world (cyberspace) players can play in both worlds and actions in one have an effect on the other. It is free and simple to download as it has steamworks. It rewards players who work together as a team. It’s fast paced and a lot of fun.

    The player chooses from 3 classes light, medium and heavy they then choose which weapon they wish to use and further customise their chosen class using implants.
    Implants are enhancements players can equip; they range from thermal version, stealth to a cyberdeck used to deck into the virtual world (cyberspace).
    Cyberspace is a 3D representation of a computer network, in cyberspace you hack things like doors, turrets and capture objectives and fight against other enemy players all in a bright and vibrant 3D world.

    Check out the latest trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McIMai3GDk8

    • CaptainHairy says:

      Dystopia definitely. I’ve spent more time on that mod than I have on I think any other game. Ever. Maybe a little confusing to new players, but the game flow and the rush of just barely defending an objective against an oncoming horde of enemy players is just the best on that game. For seriously.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      I love the threat of backhacking in some maps, too. And those mad rushes to get to the Jack-In Point (“jip”) when you know someone is starting to hack it. Made even more exciting by the way everyone spawns at the same time.

      The spawn timer is a whole strategy game in itself. In a time-sensitive situation where you’re outnumbered or hurt, do you just lay low and wait for your team to spawn? Or do you try to attack but risk dying and slowing down your team’s spawn even further?

      Granted, both Dystopia and Tremulous suffer a bit in that respect, in that bad players on your team aren’t just wasted player slots — their deaths either directly help the enemy (Tremulous) or slow down your own team (Dystopia). And that’s in addition to any friendly fire incidents. So in a game of mainly skilled players, a single newbie on either team can really skew things against them.

  15. lumpi says:

    http://www.neotokyohq.com/ just got a great update.

    My personal favorite, still: Science & Industry for HL1. ( http://si.hlgaming.com/ ): OLD mod… but still the best team experience I know of. Fast-paced with a research tree. Scientists are working in your teams labs, talk to you, heal you, develop new weapons and implants… they can be distracted with placeable radios, boosted with “mindrays… Your job is to protect them or kidnap enemy scis to “recruit” them for your team. Good, clean, crazy old-school fun. All remaining players meet on Sundays, 10pm mid european time on the one still active server.

  16. Reginald says:

    Sorry, I completely forgot to close my url tag!

    That should have been Spellhold Studios

  17. Krikey! says:

    Doom 3′s Last Man Standing for some good old school co-op fun.

  18. Jetsetlemming says:

    I can’t think of a more impressive mod than The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex. One playthrough on average is like 30 hours, and that’s just for one of the two branching paths that have their own questline and levels (some are shared, I dunno the exact breakdown of new content versus revisited, I haven’t completed a second playthrough yet). Seven year development, professionally cleaned up and encoded voice acting, and lots of new weapons and features over Vanilla Deus Ex.

    Another one I gotta mention is Afraid of Monsters: Director’s Cut for Half-life 1. I’ve heard hardened, hardcore tough as nails PC gamers say they couldn’t even make it through the very first level, because it was so dark and oppressive and panic inspiring. AoM is basically the scariest thing ever, including compared to commercial games. Made mostly by just one single foul mouthed Swedish teenager, to boot (the Director’s Cut version had a second guy help with the programming to polish it, but all the art, design, levels etc are from RuMpel, the aforementioned swedish teenager).

  19. Forceflow says:

    Dystopia still is a mod of amazing quality. Ohe of the first HL2 mods I’ve played, and it just keeps on sticking :)

  20. Shadrach says:

    Deus Lo Vult for M2TW – so much detail it feels like a completely different game. Huge campaign map with field costs, so you need to plan where to send armies, much harder campaign, no more getting super-rich in a few turns.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=309

    And I’m with acidburns, Darkest Hour mod for Red Orchestra is really great, most realistic depiction of the western front:
    http://www.darkesthourgame.com/

    Also Third Age for M2TW!

  21. Lucas says:

    Boss Generals for Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour. It replaces the pick-a-powerset style with a buyable tech tree for each side, and really amps up the fundamentals and balances everything well. Seriously great mod, but the website seems to be MIA. I still have the R3 download from 2006. If not for the infernal “mismatch” networking error I might still be playing this. Worthy of its own retail release IMHO.

    Ironically, I recently picked up StarCraft to play with friends because it’s still getting patches after 10 years. The ChaosLauncher app that lets you run it in a window and double the size as and has some other plugin goodies is great.

  22. EGTF says:

    One I tried recently and did a write up about, Battlegrounds 2. Really, I just want to see an RPS line battle between the English and American readers. -

    The mod:
    http://www.bgmod.com/

    My write up:
    http://www.gamingdaily.co.uk/2009/battlegrounds-2/

  23. Seraphim2150 says:

    For anyone still playing DOW, maybe the Steel Legion mod. Only because I helped to test it before its release

  24. Unacosamedarisa says:

    I’m going to echo the calls of “Dystopia”. Was never too interested in Multi-player FPSes… then I got myself broadband, and thought I would check out a few. Hidden Source was interesting, and could be fun, for a while. Then I found Dystopia… That was about 4 years ago. Pretty much still the only online shooter I’ve played for any great length of time. Great fun, decent community, quite accessible (despite what Marvin says)… if you die you’ll be back in the action in about 15 seconds… no getting 1 shotted and having to wait til the next round to join back in. It rewards skills, but not 1 specific skill over all others… Good aim? Try one of the snipey hit-scan weapons. Prefer fast, upclose, acrobatic twitch fighting? Go a light, with some leg boosters and a shotgun and get dancing. Want to do some support and tactics? Go a medium, with a TAC and a mediplant, show your team where the enemy are coming from and heal teammates. Want to be Tank? Go a heavy, fist peoples heads off, take the sound suppressor implant and wait behind a door with your MiniGun spun up and ready to fire.

    I was also heavily into the Rome Total Realism mod for Rome Total War. And, the Oscuro Oblivion Overhaul mod I saw mentioned was great as well… made Oblivion playable, which was no mean feat.

  25. Alexander Norris says:

    Science & Industry! It’s a CTF-ish game where you have to capture the other team’s scientists (by picking them up like flags) then take them back to your base to drive them into slavery and force them to research better weapons and armour for you. It’s pretty fun, and I seem to recall there’s a regular pug group on the Steam community somewhere.

    Also: Desert Crisis! Features backflipping and plasma cannons and throwing knives and dual MP5Ks and in general, silly OTT CP-based action.

    Also also: Frontline Force! Still has the best chokepoint design I have ever seen in games ever (also CP-based).

    All of these are GoldSrc (HL1) mods, and all of them are multiplayer and regrettably dead.

    Also, Battlefied 2 mods: Project Reality for near-OFP levels of teamwork, and Point of Existence for being basically a better BF2.

  26. Ishy says:

    I nominate Galactic Conquest for Battlefield 1942 (now merged/migrated to First Strike for 2142), particularly the first versions (.1), when the only map was Hoth and unless they could hold the trench (with big satellite dish and white cylinder turret things), the rebels were fucked. Later versions added a great deal of variety, including quite good space combat.

  27. Viperion says:

    I am a hardcore Total Annihilation fan, so all of my preferred mods are TA-related.

    Some are no longer around, as in actively developed and played, some of the greats like the Uberhack, SWTA, and TA:Dark Suns, or my own custom race, The Joined Tribe (which sadly has no home on the internet anymore. Sniff).

    But I would say the best current mod is Escalation. Unfortunately they just exceeded their site bandwidth for the month, so after you grab the installation file from here, you’d probably want to hop onto the forum for more information.

    The TA mod scene is still alive, kicking, and producing some pretty neat stuff given the constraints of the nearly 13 year old engine. Plus, lots of new maps, and still places producing one-off units. There are also several other mature, fairly feature complete TC’s out there, TAUniverse.com is pretty much the place for current TA info. (Disclaimer: I am an admin from TAU).

    Any old TA’ers out there, come back and see what the game’s still got!

    The Hyper Viper

  28. Wooly says:

    Ooh, we should ressurect the old HL1 Firearms mod. That was good fun.

  29. marvelza says:

    Day of Defeat
    Firearms
    Action Quake (not action HL…it lost something in the conversion)
    Source Forts (i think thats the name)

  30. KBKarma says:

    A lovely mod for UT2k4 known as Clone Bandits. It made the semifinalists in the UT2k4 Make Something Unreal competition. Demiurge now do optimisation and other stuff for major gaming studios. Which means that what there is is all there is.

    … If you can understand that.

  31. Empy says:

    Zombie Master. /Comments

  32. CaptainHairy says:

    Actually thinking about it, there was a tiny, throwaway mod that I don’t think very many people played, and it was abandoned quite a while back, which is Master Blasters for HL2. It could have been genuinely great if development wasn’t stalled at such an early stage, but it’s still playable even now.

    It’s kinda like a FPS version of Smash Brothers, with a small level and no way to die except to fall off. Everyone is given jetpacks and rocket launchers and then split into teams. For groups of 4-6 it was some fantastically manic fun. I think you can still get it at ModDB, if anyone wanted to try it.

  33. SenatorPalpatine says:

    RPS, play Dystopia! Though the learning curve is steep, it has things that no other game has(yay cyberspace!). It’s fast paced but also has room for strategy. And the cyberpunk feel of the game is perfect. It’s been years since I discovered this mod and I still play it semi-regularly.

  34. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Two fo my early favourite mods were old school Quake classics:
    Der Zerstorer
    Cassandra Calamity (in fact any of the Mexx mods for Quake)

    Been looking everywhere for these but I think maybe my Google-fu is weak or they genuinely no longer exist… anyone know wherein I may find them?

    Otherwise: Day Of Defeat (not the Source version), Dystopia, They Hunger, Heart of Darkness, Metaball and Urban Terror are the ones that spring to mind as keeping me most occupied over the years.

  35. Metal_Circus says:

    Sven Co-op.

  36. Adam Whitehead says:

    Westeros: Total War for Medieval 2, based on the Song of Ice and Fire books, is quite good, though still in an early build. You can check it here.

    I’ve also been playing a lot of Third Age Total War, which you’ve covered elsewhere, and it’s also excellent.

  37. salejemaster says:

    age of chivalry is pretty cool

  38. Lack_26 says:

    A Company of Heroes mod here,

    Normandy 1944: European Theater

    Absolutely brilliant mod this, in fact, far better than it’s original game. It’s a total conversion aiming to make Company of Heroes the more realistic game it deserves to be. Completely re-does the game, scraps all the old doctrines and units and replaces them with far more choice, each side is split into 3 main doctrines, then 3 sub-doctrines. It effectively replaces the original 12 sides with 36 sides that play very differently. The combat has been changed massively, weapons are actually deadly, unit sizes are increased. It’s not uncommon for 1000+ men to die in a short game.

    My personal favourite is the 709th Static Infantry Division, Georgion Ost troops mainly.
    Although, the ’1st Polish Armoured Division/79th Armoured Division’ is another fav.

    ‘The mod focuses on realism and is a Total Conversion of the game, Including lots of new abilities, units, models, skins, strategies, and much more’

    The current beta release is brilliant, I’ve played numerous versions of the mod over the years.

    Link to RelicNews thread:

    http://forums.relicnews.com/showthread.php?t=233474

    Mod website:

    http://atlanticwallmilitaria.com/Normandy%20%2744/index.html

    Although it may be a bit confusing to those who’ve just played vanilla CoH at the start, but you’ll get the hang of it.

    Just remember when you start a game, choose your main doctrine, then click on the HQ and select a sub-doctrine.

    Trust me, it’s worth playing, I certainly can’t go back to Vanilla CoH now. Warning, this mod now takes up about 50% of my time spent gaming.

    • mejobloggs says:

      Do I need any expansions to play this?

    • Lack_26 says:

      No, any version of Company of Heroes patched up to patch 2.6 (although that’s quite a lot of big downloads).

  39. PetitPrince says:

    I’m still amazed by Max Payne – Kung-fu Edition v3 (youtube). It blends so well with the game. Adding Kung-fu (and nothing else !) could have ruined the Story Mode with an overpowered, cheap-looking gimmick, but you got a deep, classy and ultimately interesting new experience.

  40. Theory says:

    A new build of CSS SCI FI came out the other day. Ignore the first campaign (which starts off with several snore-inducing pistol/metrocop trudges) and get stuck in their number two or three – it’s spectacular, endlessly replayable and VERY hard.

  41. Kor says:

    Hello Fede! And yes, it is. The first release was made last year, in March, but I’ve been providing it with quite a steady set of updates/patches and it’s pretty much perfect now.

  42. IMissTroika says:

    Alright since no one else mentioned them and they’re typically labeled “flawed masterpieces,” and they’re technically “mods,” the unofficial patches for Troika’s games:

    Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines:

    http://www.patches-scrolls.de/vampire_bloodlines.php

    Temple of Elemental Evil Circle of Eight Modpack:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/circle-of-eight-modpack

    Unofficial Arcanum Patch:

    http://www.terra-arcanum.com/downloads/

    And for old school gamers:

    Qpong for Quake 2
    http://qpong.hypexr.org/q2down.html

    Artifact Quake
    http://singe.telefragged.com/artifact/a_quake.html

    Action Quake 2 (previously mentioned) and Action Half Life

    http://action.telefragged.com/
    http://ahl.telefragged.com/

  43. Mysterio says:

    Alright since no one else mentioned them and they’re typically labeled “flawed masterpieces,” and they’re technically “mods,” the unofficial patches for Troika’s games:

    Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines:

    http://www.patches-scrolls.de/vampire_bloodlines.php

    Temple of Elemental Evil Circle of Eight Modpack:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/circle-of-eight-modpack

    Unofficial Arcanum Patch:

    http://www.terra-arcanum.com/downloads/

    And for old school gamers:

    Qpong for Quake 2
    http://qpong.hypexr.org/q2down.html

    Artifact Quake
    http://singe.telefragged.com/artifact/a_quake.html

    Action Quake 2 (previously mentioned):

    http://action.telefragged.com/

  44. de5me7 says:

    Hidden source for HL2 is probably the mod ive played most followed by natural selection for HL1 (which your probably already aware of due to up coming sequal).

    the hidden source pitches one player in a predator esc role against a group of marines. its a good game because its very high on paranoia and out thinking your opponents rather than twitch shooting skills. I dont mind twitch skills but something different is nice.

    Zombie panic source is also pretty good because of the inevitable death factor. Its amazing watching other players go to extreme lengths to survive – screwing over other humans.

  45. Cid88 says:

    I’m kinda self-pimping right now as a semi-retired developer, but I’d have to say <a href="http://www.moviebattles.com/&quot; MovieBattles II, which is a popular total conversion for Jedi Academy multiplayer.

    It’s objective-based team play. In open mode, you can play as a variety of customizable classes on both the Rebel/Republic and Imperial/Seperatist sides. It’s gone through a variety of builds for many years and is very fun, if a tad complex. There’s a lot of dev focus on balance. It does take a good amount of skill, especially if you want to play as Jedi/Sith – it’s a lot more in-depth than base JKA.

    There’s also an extremely active community. Check us out!

  46. cjlr says:

    Europa Barbarorum.

    Also known as the greatest thing ever to happen to Rome: Total War. Or any Total War game. Hell, pretty much greatest thing period.

  47. Bhazor says:

    Real Time Settler for Fallout 3. A wonderful idea where you hunt for a place to live, build walls, build shelters, establish water and food sources, assign work and weapons and then hold off the barbarian hordes. At times it plays like Zulu, at times it’s unbearably tense and at times it’s profoundly broken. Someone make a full game out of this now!

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=7070