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Mod News: Re-Vamped

You know what? I’m excited this week. That’s because some completely foolish but eternally wonderful folks are embarking on something pretty awesome: taking what is officially the third best PC game of all time (don’t argue) and making its engine go all fancy and current-gen. Whatever am I talking about? Read on, my pretties.

NEWS

So, this week’s the first I’ve heard about Bloodlines Revival. It’s a Vampire: Bloodlines mod, which is interesting, as it wasn’t a moddable game. Except, well, now it is, apparently. I’m not entirely sure of the legal implications of this – no one I’ve mentioned it to has said anything sounds untoward – but this team of wonderful human beings is working updating Bloodlines to the latest version of the Source engine. That means two things. One: fancy graphical updates and higher-detail textures. Two: Bloodlines editing within Source SDK.

Everything after fancy updates and the potential for user-created content within the Official Third Best PC Game Of All Time (Don’t Argue) will probably sound a little underwhelming now. But let’s run through this week’s news anyway. Thievious, which I mentioned last week, has another new video and some information. It’s still far too luminous, but hey – co-op medieval monster bashing in Doom 3. Y’know?

Then there’s Thantos, a Half-Life 2 mod which has released some screenshots of its first level. While they’re not exactly beautiful, I do particularly like the big surly monster in the bottom image. This one sounds highly ambitious – which is often a little bit disastrous where mods are concerned.

What else? Well, there’s an intriguing attempt to integrate Half-Life 2 mechanics and themes into Portal, with Half-Life: Aperture Adventures. Here’s some new screenshots of that. And gorgeous-looking Crysis mod Butterfly has just a single new image to gawp at: an enormous dome, which is apparently 2000 metres high. /Two thousand/!

Finally – and this one sounds quite interesting, actually – SHIFT’s lead developer is working on a solo side project called Cure. Again using Half-Life 2 as a base, he’s documenting every step of his journey to make a 100 per cent custom content single-player mod on his own. He must be barmy.

RELEASES

Just a couple of releases this week, neither of which are the finished article. Rise of the Underworld [http://www.moddb.com/mods/rise-of-the-underworld/news/rise-of-the-underworld-beta-1-released], a Battlefield 2 mod with awesome godlike powers, has hit its first open beta. The screenshots are very red, but the videos aren’t, which is beyond my mental capacity. I hear mixed things about this one.

And the Reloaded mods are back. Hooray! It’s Call of Pripyat’s time to get its first public Reloaded beta [http://www.moddb.com/mods/call-of-pripyat-reloaded/downloads/call-of-pripyat-reloaded-06-beta]. Texture and audio improvements this time, apparently: mechanistic stuff to follow at a later date.

UPDATES

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour mod Black Nuke has a new map. This mod purports to “add more punch to existing units and buildings,” whatever that means. Perhaps you’d like to go and find out?

Elsewhere, Eastern Front – the rather well-received Company of Heroes mod – has hit Version 1.10. Bugs are fixed and structure is restructured. This is a mod that adds an entire Soviet faction to the game, which is – according to the devs – something that has never been achieved before.

Civ 4 mod Fairytale gets an update, too. Now at Version 6b, this mod takes Civ 4’s mechanics and drops them in a fairytale world. “New units, buildings, extensive balancing AND a new Royal Family member make this an update of importance!” exclaim the devs.

And Resistence and Liberation has reached Beta 1.1. The Half-Life 2 mod now has open server hosting, as well as a brand new map map to play in.

AND THE REST

Just the one And The Rest item this week. Can you guess where it’s from? Of course! It’s the blog of Robert Yang again! But this is really interesting, actually: the story for Radiator 2, as it began, in short-story format. Yang wrote it up this way to help him get a feel for the characters and the narrative before trying to frame them within the game. It’s a good read.

You know, by now, where to go for more.

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Lewis Denby

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