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Mod News: Fear And Forget

This week, a mod made me properly gasp. I turned a corner in a cave network to suddenly emerge in an enormous opening, water cascading down the sides of the rock, crashing into the pool below and sending the water churning in turbulent waves. It looked absolutely astonishing. I’ll be writing about what I’ve played of Robert Briscoe’s upcoming Dear Esther remake elsewhere in the near future, but suffice it to say: it’s shaping up to be absolutely extraordinary.

But that’s not this week’s mod news. This is this week’s mod news…

NEWS
I embarrassed myself the other day by saying “holy mackerel” for the first time in my life. What on Earth could have led to such a preposterous outburst? Why, it was this here Oblivion mod, which looks beautiful beyond all words. The Betrayal of Jarvall is due for an episodic release at some point in the near future, it would seem. And good crikey, it does look alarmingly pretty.

Meanwhile, this progress update for Counter-Strike X amused me. The CS1.6 mod, according to its developers, aims to “pay tribute” to the original Counter-Strike mod, “aiming to bring back the classic and evolve it to an entirely new level.” You’ll notice, I’m sure, that one of the new screenshots has /a lightsaber/ in it. A fitting tribute indeed.

Lethal Sigma, a promising Half-Life 2 mod, was supposed to come out this month. It didn’t. Here’s why. August 14th, apparently.

And Halo mod Project Lumoria has released some new screenshots. It’s set on a new planet which, spectacularly, looks a hell of a lot like Halo. Whatever are the chances? The team’s looking for some animators, too. If that’s up your alley, contact details are beyond that link above.

RELEASES
AtmosFear 2 for Call of Pripyat is here! I debated whether to chuck this in the ‘Releases’ or ‘Updates’ section, but hey, there’s a 2 on the end, which means ‘proper sequel, right? Anyway, there are allegedly over 120 new photorealistic textures, new environment sounds, a complete new blowout sequence, and the proverbial more.

And Firearms: Source came out! Hooray! Opinions seem split, however. Is it a fantastic recreation of the old Firearms mod for Half-Life? Is it a bug-ridden mess? Should everyone just /shut the hell up/? ModDB’s comments thread seems very much split between these three viewpoints. Either way, there’s a patch on the horizon, which will hopefully silence at least one of the crowds.

UPDATES
At least one loyal reader of Mod News was unhappy with Firearms: Source, anyway. Billyboob emailed me this week pointing me towards an update for HL2 mod Swarm, of which he said: “It’s sure to soothe the souls of those disappointed with the release of Firearms: Source.” Harsh words. And perplexing ones, perhaps, since Swarm is a single-player mod. It’s a horde-mode type thing for the solo blaster, and word seems good. Grab it here.

And here’s something I actually didn’t see last week: the beta of a LOST multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2 was released – although its creator confesses it has very little to do with the TV show and seems to be getting very angry with anyone who points this out. Anyway, this week it’s been updated, with a patch that fixes some issues discovered during testing. Reception still seems mixed, mind.

AND THE REST
You might have noticed ModDB has been up and down for the past week or so. In case you hadn’t spotted it on there, they’ve posted a quick update about it. Seems there’s a server problem which has no quick fix, but which they’re working to address as quickly as possible. Here’s the deets.

Anyway. I’ve gone and done a small round-up of decent mods over at BeefJack. Probably nothing you didn’t know about, and a fairly obvious (and far from comprehensive) list, but writing for an audience and all that. Have a read if you want – and if there’s something on there you haven’t tried, you definitely should be heading in its direction.

And the Open Outcast guys have gone and done something lovely: they’ve released a PDF artbook! UserCreated has the scoop. And you’ll find more stuff over there to satisfying your mod-hunger, I’m sure. Until next week!

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Lewis Denby

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