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Mod News: News Mods

Right! I’m back. Did you miss me? Don’t answer that. Instead, take a look at this alarming amount of catch-uppy mod news. I even mention Black Mesa! Is it old news? Is it new news? Read on to probably be disappointed.

NEWS

This is like one of those madcap science projects, or something. A couple of years ago, someone decided that Unreal Tournament 3’s Warfare mode wasn’t big enough, only allowing for 32 players. So they set about a project to increase this. Warfare++ been in beta since 2008, allowing 128 players to battle it out on a single map. But they’ve just announced the final version – Warfare Unlimited – will be released in November. And will allow for 1024 players. On a single UT map. Which sounds ridiculous, and even the dev accepts there might be problems: “…providing it doesn’t bring [the engine] to a halt” is the caveat.

Meanwhile, there’s a World War 1 mod in the works for Men of War. It’s called – um – Men of War World War 1 Mod. Despite the unimaginative name, it seems to be fairly well put together, judging by the screenies. Out later this year, it seems.

Then there’s City Freerun, which freely admits to being Mirror’s Edge in the Source Engine. The problem I suspect it’ll face is that Source just isn’t quite so great at those stark whites and all that lovely daylight glowiness that made the Mirror’s Edge aesthetic so compelling. (Yes, I’m aware I just wrote “aesthetic” and “compelling” in the same sentence, and should now never be allowed to write about games again.) Anyway, there’s a new WIP video out, which seems to raise another potential issue: there doesn’t actually seem to be much freerunning in it. Hmm. I’ll keep half an eye on it, nevertheless.

Now this is lovely. a while back someone mocked up some gag renders of a hypothetical Team Fortcraft. As in, Team Fortress meets Starcraft. Now, someone’s decided to actually try make the thing, for StarCraft II. It’s still very early days, but here’s a bit of news. If they pull it off, then they’re fantastic human beings who must be recognised as the pillars of our society.

Zeitgeist, the super-ambitious and super-beautiful HL2 mod, seems to still be chugging along just nicely. That’s good, because I’m absolutely terrified this is going to be too big a project for its dev team, which would be tragic, because it looks extraordinary. Last week they unveiled Venice, one of a few locations in the game. While I don’t think these new shots /quite/ show off the fusion art style as much as other areas in the game, it is still lovely. Keep going, Zeitgeist guys!

And finally, something I missed before, and someone pointed out in the comments: Black Mesa devs say the mod will arrive in 2010. Y’know, kinda like they said it’d arrive in 2009, and in 2008. My main fear for Black Mesa these days is, well, will it work any more? The whole point was to remake a classic game in a modern engine, right? And now the engine’s heading inexorably towards its sixth birthday. It’ll have to be really bloody good to pull it off.

RELEASES

I’ve only just this second realised that Nightmare House 2 was released. A single-player Half-Life 2 mod sequel, one that’s been eagerly awaited by many for a while, it’s apparently brilliant. It’s only been out a few days, but its average user rating is one of the highest I’ve seen on ModDB. It is downloading now. Here’s where to go if you want to download it too.

Meanwhile – and still on HL2 – there’s been the first public release of Overwatch, which appeared out of nowhere a few weeks ago. Early signs seem promising, and the team’s already planning improvements.

Payne Effects 3 came out too. A little bit before I went away, actually, but I seemingly didn’t mention it in my last Mod News, so here you go. Its purpose is to make Max Payne “more realistic and tactical, but at the same time to give a dramatic and cinematographic feel to the shootouts,” says mister dev. Grab it here.

UPDATES

This happened ages ago. But I’ve forgotten to include it for about three weeks on the trot, despite you lot shouting at me every time. Sorry. But hey! Fistful of Frags hit beta 3.0! Would you believe it? Act surprised. Go on, humour me. Anyway, it’s a mod set out in the old Wild West, and given that it uses all its own art assets, the only requirement for play is that you own any Valve-created Source-powered game. More mods should try this, I suspect.

And shortly after confirmation of a Stalker 2, Clear Sky mod Faction Fronts has received a big update. Version 1.2 tweaks everything from graphics to stability, apparently. Word on the street, i.e. on the internet, is that ‘sgood.

AND THE REST

There’s nothing to report this week, because Robert Yang has been selfishly moving house. Surely he understands I rely on his blog for this bit, right? What a bast.

Ta-ra for now.

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Lewis Denby

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