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Mod News: Sequel Syndrome

Why are you checking alt-text on a Mod News post? Everybody knows Mod News doesn't get alt-text. Weirdo.

It’s maybe a little strange, but it always surprises me to see a mod sequel in development. The nature of modding – generally amateur-level, non-profit stuff – means you don’t have to worry about franchising or suchlike, and can let your new ideas run riot as soon as you have them. Nevertheless, we do occasionally see a follow-up to something released before – and this week, one of them has released a whole load of new media. Read on to find out what I’m talking about – and, more importantly, whether or not it’s any good.

NEWS

There’s a bunch of new The Gate 2 screenshots, taken from the Area 51 section of the Half-Life 2 mod sequel. The original, a Half-Life 1 mod, was quite excellent and well-received, but this sequel’s looking a bit iffy to me. Some of the ideas seem weak, and the level design looks blocky. Still, I’m only going on the released media, and the final product could be a lot better. Here are the new grabs.

Upcoming stealth-based Crysis mod Storm impressed a while back when the devs released a first set of moody screenshots. Now there’s an in-game video which projects a similar feel. It’s all night-time and lightning, which creates a pretty hefty atmosphere, by the looks of things. Why not go and watch it?

Deus Ex mods are relatively rare, so it’s always nice to see one that’s clearly very active, releasing six new screenshots. That’s what Nihilum has done… before announcing that the project’s to be put on hold for hal a year. Oh. So it’s not going to make its 2011 release date. But the new images are really strong. Desperately hoping this one doesn’t go under: I’ve been following it for a while, and it looks lovely.

And here’s a crazy ambitious thing. I somehow doubt we’ll ever see it, but it’s an interesting approach, so we’ll lob it in here. Mindworld, basically, is a fully-fledged design for a first-person action adventure, set in a surreal dream world. It’s listed on ModDB as a Half-Life 2 mod, but apparently that’s not confirmed yet – they’re attempting to build up a community, and will then consult them on whether it should be a HL2 mod, whether it should be a mod for something else, or whether they should have a go at a full indie title. You see crazy-ambitious stuff like this all the time, but the reason I’m quite excited by the prospect of this is… well, the utterly tremendous concept art, basically. There’s a taster of it below.

RELEASES

Not so much a full mod as an individual map, but zB Master for Warcraft III: Frozen Throne has been released. It’s part of a larger project called Warcraft vs Starcraft, a mod which will attempt to pull Starcraft’s elements of play into Warcraft III. This map is only an 8mb download, which you can grab here.

Also – and this technically should be in Updates, but I missed its release last week – there’s a Fallout: New Vegas mod called Vault 24. Vault 24 is, according to the description, a huge, 1000-person ruined vault deep beneath the city itself. This week, a new area of the vault has been polished up. You can grab it from here.

UPDATES

Arsenal of Democracy mod 1964 has released its second public alpha this week. This mod covers an alternate history between 1964 and the present, in which the goodies had lost the Second World War. Alpha 1.1.2 expands the technology three and adds some new units, as well making a few other tweaks. You can grab it from ModDB.

There’s also a new version of Doom III mod/toolkit The Dark Mod, which turns id’s frantic shooter into something approximating Thief with a level editor. This new version adds a heap of new features for level designers, including new textures, character models and voval sets, while those on player-side benefit from smaller file sizes, better AI, and a new mission preview screen. You can find the update here.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Revision has hit version 1.3. This mod takes the original Deus Ex, rebuilds certain areas of the game, adds more expansive areas, and generally neatens things up. I haven’t tried this, but I like it as an idea for breathing new life into an 11-year-old game. The update is available, like most are, on ModDB.

‘Til next week, ladies and gents.

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