Mod News: Release The Valve

By Lewis Denby on April 20th, 2011 at 11:34 am.

In the week of Portal 2’s release, it seems apt that Valve’s games should dominate the mod scene’s output. While the range of titles you can mod these days is impressive, and so many of the tools are easy to learn, I’ve still yet to come across a moddable engine that’s quite as intuitive and flexible as Source. I can’t wait to see what people can do with Portal 2 when we’re able to mod that. It’s going to be very interesting to see the results. Onwards, then…

NEWS

The likes of Cry of Fear show what can still be done with the now-ancient Half-Life engine, and modders are still utilising it as a base for their big ideas. This week, Office Shift emerges. It’s a Half-Life mod set in the city of Jefferson, near Black Mesa, where plenty of portals have ripped open and dumped Xen-native life forms into your path. I’ll be interested to see how this one turns out.

Talking of Cry of Fear, did you see the awesome new screenshot? There’s just the one new image, but it’s the first I’ve seen that really shows off a dramatic in-game moment. Since it’s a 13-year-old engine the team is using here, it doesn’t exactly look like a modern shooter, but still, it in no way looks quite that old. Still no release date announced. But still it’s supposedly almost finished.

There’s also this Half-Life 2 mod called The Fifties, which is about being either a cop or a gangster 60 years ago. In this team-based FPS you pick one side or the other, then battle it out in one of several close-quarter game modes. A couple of new images show off a character model and the general visual style.

More organised-crimey times emerge in American Gangster, a small Half-Life 2 mod made in three weeks as a school project. This team had no modding experience prior to this project, and have learned everything from scratch in order to piece it together, so I’ll be interested to see what it’s like once it’s all available. They’ll now be spending the next few weeks polishing up the visual side of things and suchlike. Good for them. I’ll be playing this once I can.

And there’s a huge and splendid update from Wilson Chronicles, which features lots of impressive new screenshots. It’s been six months since we last saw anything of this mod, and the progress that’s been made is remarkable. Head on over to the relevant ModDB page to check out some lovely new media. There’ll be a demo out on August 16th.

Away from Valve, there’s a new media release from the Crysis Crash Bandicoot mod, Crash Bandicoot Return. And it looks simply wonderful. It’s both authentic and fresh, and exactly what I’d make the thing look like were I in charge of its art direction. It has the lush foliage of Naughty Dog’s recent stuff, alongside the playful feel of Crash of old. Great work, I say. One of the new screenshots is below.

Also, hey, look! A new Oblivion mod. It’s a prequel of sorts to Skyrim, and is said to be planning a release a good time before that game gets out. It’s called Darkshines: The Lonely Journey, and in a smart move there’ll be different versions of the mod released, in order to accommodate for differently leveled ‘Blivvy characters. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one. (And thanks for the tip, Thomas!) Here’s the trailer:

RELEASES

Yet again, I’ve not spotted the release of anything especially interesting. So I’ll use this space to note that a bunch of new games and their mods are now supported by Desura. Total Annihilation, Civilization IV and Homeworld 2 are among those titles. So while nothing new of interest has been released, you can install some older mods in new and exciting ways. Hurrah!

UPDATES

More Half-Life 2? Oh goodness, there’s just so much of it! But yes. Precursor, the single-player mod released recently, has received an update. The mod’s developers have been taking player feedback since it came out, and have pieced together a patch which purports to fix everyone’s concerns. Among the changes are bug-fixes, a tad of content modification, and lots of tweaks to balance. The full changelog is beyond the link above.

Build 7 of Blade Symphony is knocking about now, as well. This Half-Life 2 mod’s well into the beta process now, and you can get the details about signing up over on ModDB, along with a collection of lovely new screenshots like the one below.

And finally, the complete version of Oblivion mod Integration: The Stranded Light has appeared. Originally released in 2008, Integration’s seen a slow stream of updates, but this should be the “final” build, say the devs. That’s in quotes because, apparently, Version 1.0 does not necessarily mean the end, and if issues arise, they will still be fixed. You can read all the details here.

‘Til next week.

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15 Comments »

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  1. pakoito says:

    Oblivion + Nehrim = Love.

    That game should get proper coverage more than the first half an hour someone played one lifetime ago.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      This is very true, the intro dungeon is wholly unrepresentative of how awesome the rest of Nehrim is. The rest of the game is like a hundred hours of excellent questions and a great gameworld to explore.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Nehrim needs more documentation. I mean it, there’s so much in that you can’t figure stuff by yourself, especially with the english translation being half-done. Truly a pity.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Nehrim’s great! Far superior to the original.

      Though it does suffer from the dreaded ‘Oh NO! It’s a wolf!’ curse of overpowered wildlife, far more troublesome than any of the included fantasy monsters.

  2. thepaleking says:

    Those road blocks are faces.

  3. qrter says:

    Eventhough I was fully aware I was reading the Mod News, I still managed to get ever so slightly confused about the Precursors bit – what, there’s a new patch for Russian weirdo game Precursors, why is it on moddb ohwaitI’mreadingmodnews..

    • arccos says:

      And it seems to be getting a bit of a cult following among people who like quirky Russian games. Glad it was WIT’ed here.

  4. Sarlix says:

    I was going to comment about a certain mod for a certain game that rebuilds a certain famous research facility in New Mexico. But I didn’t want to get rebuked by a certain commenter, so I think I’ll pass this week.

    Tried to get excited about that oblivion mod but I can’t seem to do it. Not sure if there is anything that could make me reinstall oblivion again. The first couple of shots of the caves turned me off. I have seen those cave walls so many times…I see them in my sleep! I don’t know why no one ever re-skins them or something,/i>

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Hey, about that.

      Dunno if you’ll read this, but I was kind of a dick over the Black Mesa thing.
      I apologize about that.

  5. AdamK117 says:

    In other HL2 news Black Mesa sou-

    naaah, just trollin’

  6. Navagon says:

    Now that UDK is effectively free to use, Source engine mods seem to be about about the only ones keeping the scene alive. That said, there are some nice Crytek ones.

  7. Shih Tzu says:

    So the Crash Bandicoot mod team is announcing their project and putting up screens, but the actual mod release is still quite some time away. Has no one learned from the past? Do they not realize they’re going to have to throw away months of hard work as soon as a humorless legal team happens upon it, without even the consolation of a finished release for fans to pass around outside of the control of the trademark holder?

    Inexplicable.

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    Invasion 1944 2.5 for Arma 2 CO is out.