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Mod News: Early Bird

Welcome to another Mod News, folks. I don’t like to start with an excuse, but for the next couple of weeks I’ll be compiling these just a little bit early, as I’m away in the latter halves of the weeks in question. If I’ve missed anything really huge that’s happened in the last 24 hours or so, try not to kill me: I’ll lob it in with next week’s update. Onwards for the past seven days in mod-related happenings, then…

NEWS

Gorgeous fantasy multiplayer mod Kingdoms Collide, for Half-Life 2, has a release date for its final version. It’ll arrive in – ooh – just a few days, on January 16th. The last version was well-received but many felt it had a few balancing issues. Let’s hope they’re fixed for v1.0. In the meantime, there’s a video of the co-op survival mode beyond that link.

Also for Half-Life 2 is the fan-made sequel to Opposing Force. It’s known, imaginatively, as Opposing Force 2, and it’s looking absolutely beautiful. I mean, just take a look at the new screenshots. The team have also set up a livestream to show off the mod in action, though I haven’t seen it at a time when it’s switched on yet. Have you?

Darting back in time to Half-Life 1 mod news – and yes, we’ll get off the Half-Lives soon enough – there’s a Cry of Fear update. This is the hyper-impressive horror mod that’s been in development forever. But it appears to be so close to being finished now, one of its developers saying they’re basically putting the finishing touches on the completed maps. And ironsights! Aren’t they always splendid? I still can’t believe they’ve managed to get this engine looking so good: it doesn’t quite compete with the modern beasts, but it isn’t anywhere near as far behind as you’d expect.

People do still like modding for the older games. Deus Ex, too, has been getting some love this week. This mod, Nihilum, is still some way away from release (its developer estimates January 2012), but being a Deus Ex mod it’s still something I’m keeping an eye on. A bit of information, and some teasery music, is about all there is to go on at the moment.

And finally, last week I mentioned Far Cry 2010 (and got all confused about who owns the Far cry license). This week, there’s a lovely video showing off all the swanky visual updates to the game. It looks predictably wonderful. And look! There’s also a demo. We’re being spoilt.

RELEASES

Just spotted the one notable release this week (no doubt more have slipped beneath my beady eyes), but it’s one that made me immediately delighted: Spelunky with multiplayer! Co-op, specifically, with the second player taking on the roll of the damsel in distress. Spelunky, despite being a mere 8mb freebie, is probably my favourite game of the last few years. No, seriously. Here’s Quinns being right about it.

UPDATES

Only the one new release, but plenty of updates. First up is Titan Quest mod Underlord. Popular in various countries, it’s been patched to include support for several different European languages. But not Spanish. Sorry if you’re Spanish! Grab it from ModDB.

Then there’s Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun mod Twisted Insurrection, which has found its way to a second public beta. The mod, which concerns a second terrifying Tiberian war, now features a whole bunch of new artwork, new maps, altered missions and various new or tweaked features to tighten everything up.

Elsewhere, super-popular Crysis mod MechWarrior: Living Legends has received an update. It’s now at public versin 0.4.0, which sounds a lot smaller than you’d expect for a mod that’s been on the scene for ages. The biggest change, perhaps, is that it’s now supported by both Crysis and Crysis Wars. There’s also a new game mode, as well as new units, new weapons and stuff.

Finally, there’s Mushroomia, which sounds interesting. It’s a total conversion for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, set in a brand new world (albeit one with a pretty small map). It’s hard to work out what exactly it’s all about (and my copy of San Andreas is on the PS2, so I shan’t be able to check it out), but one of the screenshots on its ModDB page does appear to show you driving around a pumpkin world in something resembling a mine cart. Clearly, it’s the best thing to have ever been created by anyone.

AND THE REST

If you’re a mod-maker, this could be interesting to you: a 20-brush challenge. Basically, create a workable multiplayer map using 20 solid objects or less. It appears to have been spearheaded by Radiator dude Robert Yang, making him the most prolific man in all of the world, ever.

‘Til next week.

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Lewis Denby

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