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Mod News: New Year Bumper Pack

It’s January! Oh my. Two weeks have passed since the last Mod News, since RPS went to sleep for a little while while we all ate and drank and suchlike. Typically, there were more happenings on the mod scene during that fortnight than in a long time. So welcome to an extra special bumper edition of Mod News, to help you burn off that Christmas fat.

NEWS

A new Crysis mod, Storm, has been announced. And it looks extraordinary. The announcement turns up with a collection of absolutely gorgeous screenshots, dark and moody and steeped in atmosphere. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this one in the weeks and months to come.

Left 4 Dead 2 mod Dead Before Dawn is getting a Director’s Cut on January 26th. This Dawn of the Dead themed mod was released back in September, but the Director’s Cut aims to increase the level of detail to an “amazing” degree, as well as making the setting more authentic than ever. Here’s a teaser for it.

It wouldn’t be New Year without a Black Mesa update, of course. It’s not an official one, however. Someone on the team has said on the official forums that the mod’s at least a couple of months away from release. Which is… mixed news? It may have been nice of the team to keep its dedicated following in the loop a little more officially, but the prospect of possibly playing this in two months is– oh no, wait, it turns out I’m not too bothered any more. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what this enormous team has done, but frankly, the buzz has died down and I’m finding it difficult to stay excited.

The developers of Half-Life 2 mod Nightmare House 2 have released all their source files, which is a lovely thing. More modders should share their content, I feel: there’s so much pressure in the mod community to make all your own original content, when really, sometimes, people’s efforts would be better placed in creatively utilising existing assets or code. So yes, you can do just that with Nightmare House 2, as long as you credit the original team. Bravo, I say.

And still on Half-Life 2, there are some pretty wonderful new screenshots of the City 17 mod. Specifically, Part One of Episode One. That’s rather a lot of part-splitting going on there, and suggests ambitious of a ludicrous scale. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into another Cassandra Project.

We’re allowed to tease Kieron now that he’s no longer with us, right?

RELEASES

A demo of the absolutely gorgeous Far Cry 2010 has emerged. This is a visual update for Crytek’s first born, one that also switches around the level design a little bit. This is some impressive work, and has been well-received so far. One thing struck me from reading the ModDB page, though: the mod developer says he originally wanted to replace Far Cry models with ones from Crysis, but EA – who now hold the Far Cry IP – wouldn’t let them. It strikes me as a shame that this amateur modder wasn’t legally allowed to use content from one game in a free mod for its spiritual predecessor, even though both games were made by the same company.

Still on the topic of Crysis, Ghostbusters-themed Crysis Wars mod Crybusters has finally been completed. Mission 3 was released on December 27th, which was also my birthday, so presumably this is a wonderful mod. Except… well, it’s not been completed at all. The developer cites a lack of time and declining interest for the community when excusing the fact that Mission 3 has been released in an unfinished state. Oh well. You can grab what’s been completed here.

The Circle of Eight Modpack has turned up, too. It’s a collection for Troika’s Temple of Elemental Evil, which collects a bunch of mods together into one ultramod, fixing bugs, balancing stats, expanding content and suchlike. Have a look at the full list of stuff this does. You can download the modpack from that link as well.

UPDATES

Shock Therapy for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has hit version 1.01c, which means… well, I’m not sure, actually. I’ve trotted around the mod’s forums and ModDB page, but nowhere can I find any sort of changelog or similar. Curious. Still, the mod itself is a “partial conversion” of Red Alert 3, whose aim is to fix and switch around various parts of the mother game. Grab the update here.

Also in the world of Command & Conquer, there’s been an update for C&C 3: The Forgotten, a C&C3: Tiberium Wars mod. This finished third in ModDB’s Singleplayer Mod of the Year category, and tells a whole new story featuring custom-made high-def video footage. Authentic!

In Half-Life 2 news, Pirates, Vikings and Knights II has hit Beta 2.4. This new version adds new unique voices or each class, a new game mode, a new map and a bunch of bugfixes. But, um, everyone seems to think the new voice acting is rubbish. What a shame. You can get the update through Steam.

Meanwhile, there’s been a second beta release for The Battle for Alagaësia, a Battle for Middle Earth II mod which allows players to fight as a whole host of different Lord of the Rings factions. All those factions are now in place, say the devs, but the environment still needs work.

And Diablo II: Lord of Destruction mod Hell Unleashed has received a new update. The original mod was released way back in 2005, and now the community has patched up the multiplayer version. Lots of adjustments to the balancing and suchlike, by the looks of things. Have a read of the full list here, and grab the mod here.

AND THE REST

Radiator dev Robert Yang has been rounding up more Levels to Look Out For. some interesting stuff here. Robert’s also added to his Resources for Source Modders post, which is a splendid collection of stuff to help mod-makers using Valve’s engine.

Phew. That was a big old bunch of words. ‘Til next week, humans.EST

Radiator dev Robert Yang has been rounding up more Levels to Look Out For.

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