Mod News: Rebuilt

Exciting times are upon us this week. Below, there’s an absolutely stunning interpretation of the STALKER universe, as built in the Crysis engine. This should happen more often. There’s also some news about a certain mod that rebuilds a certain famous research facility in New Mexico. Whatever could I be talking about? Read on to find out…


The prologue of Half-Life 2 mod Underhell was released last month, and now its devs are gearing up for the launch of Chapter One proper. While I’ve not played any of this yet, its story of a weapons operative distraught after the death of his family reminds me a little of Max Payne. Anyway, there’s some brand new info about the game beyond this link, and some screenshots that came out a while back but which I forgot to show you all.

Staying in the realms of Half-Life 2 mod news, here’s a ModDB post I like. The dev of Rats 1985 can’t quite get a particular bedroom looking right, so he’s asking the community for pointers. This is both a nice example of how delightfully community-centric modding can be, and a bit of an insight into the dev process. Take a look here.

CryZone: Sector 23 is a Crysis mod that released some new screenshots this week. Rather gorgeous ones, too. Sector 23 is, essentially, STALKER in the Crysis engine. And that is, apparently, quite a staggeringly, hauntingly beautiful thing. A representative screenshot is below, but do click through to see the whole lot, because wow.

What else? Well, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts mod 1949 has received an update, introducing the Othseer. This mod’s been shaping up quite nicely, but the dev here also reveals there won’t be another update for a while, as real life has taken over a little bit. A shame, but I’ll keep my eye on this one.

There’s even more, delightfully. Crash Bandicoot Return is a Crysis mod that rekindles Naughty Dog’s old IP. This week, the developers released a video which takes me right back there. I loved Crash, and this looks like a really nice take on it:

Amnesia mod White Night wound people up a little bit recently when the developer announced there would be a flashlight mechanic introduced. People weren’t keen on that, it seemed. This week, the developer has been clarifying how this will work, and why he’s made this decision. It’s worth a read, mainly because the mod looks intriguing.

And finally there’s a new media release for Black Mesa! It’s– oh, wait, no, sorry. This is Operation Black Mesa, the remake of Opposing Force, rather than the one we all gently tease in the comments thread every week. Still, it’s looking good. There are a couple of screenshots showing a new work-in-progress HUD beyond this link, but it’s some lovely concept art that impressed me the most, so that gets pride of place below.


I’m not sure when this actually came out, as it’s a mod that was originally lobbed on the Mirror’s Edge forums but has now been put on ModDB by someone who liked it. But anyway: a rare Mirror’s Edge mod, and one that looks good, Overtime has shown up this week. This is a short prequel to Mirror’s Edge, telling the story of the fall that took Faith out of action for some time before the events of the main game. It’s a nice idea, and the game world retains all the stark brilliance that made the full game so captivating.


Oblivion mod Dibella’s Watch has reached Beta 07, which introduces an in-game map designed to make exploration easier and more rewarding. There’s also new detail added to the world, as well as some minor changes. The in-game map, so says the dev, was a result of people suggesting it might be a good idea – and how he’s inviting people to submit more ideas for the mod, which you can do over at ModDB.

‘Til next week, y’all.


  1. stahlwerk says:

    Huh, didn’t know Mirror’s Edge was modifiable, but then, it is a Frostbite game, isn’t it?

    • aldo_14 says:

      Huh, didn’t know Mirror’s Edge was modifiable, but then, it is a Frostbite game, isn’t it?

      It’s an Unreal engine game (with heavily modified lighting algorithms, IIRC). I think Frostbite wasn’t ready in time for them to start using it (not sure if it was maybe cheaper to build a ‘risky’ project like ME on Unreal than tie it into the development of the more expensive, inhouse engine).

    • Icarus says:

      I thought it was UE3, but I could be wrong.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      It is UE3.

  2. Sarlix says:

    Oh great, so now I have to ask where’s Operation Black Mesa AND regular Black Mesa, every week…All I need now is for someone to do a Blue Shift remake and I’ll have a full time job.

    p.s I actually thought BM had been released when I read “There’s also some news about a certain mod that rebuilds a certain famous research facility in New Mexico” Shame on you Lewis, shame – on – you.

    p.p.s Yay OP4 remake

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, he got me with that, too. :p

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      There is actually already a Blue Shift Source remake in the works:

      link to

      Hasn’t been officially updated for a while but I gather they are still working on it.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Alternately you could stop asking and trust the guy whose job it is to report on mods to report on the biggest most anticipated mod release I’ve ever heard of.
      Perhaps it will not somehow slip under his gaze if you fail to irritatingly drop that question every single time he posts.

    • Sarlix says:


      Well I don’t really ask every week. I only do it part time. I believe someone else filled in last week. It’s not aimed at Lewis specifically, but rather carrying on what someone else started. I did even try to spice it up by doing a ‘fill in the blanks’ style word game, but someone guessed Black Cement so I stopped that. I’m sorry that it aggravates you. You understand I was only joking about asking twice, once for each game. I’m sure we can condense it into one comment.

      p.s thanks for the link JohnnyMaverik.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      I always quite liked the running gag. Kinda like “first” over at Eurogamer.

  3. AdamK117 says:

    Hey, I still check the black mesa source site weekly to see how its going! Although maybe a preset-JPEG screenshot of the site could of sufficed for the last 2 years :(

  4. faelnor says:

    There’s something off with those STALKER/Crysis shots. Technically impressive but it doesn’t have quite the same feeling of contrasted warmth and desolation as our beloved X-Ray engine games.

    • 12kill4 says:

      i’d hazard to say that some of the better graphics mods for SoC look as good, if not better…

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Second that. Shadow of Chernobyl with Stalker Complete v1.44 looks as good if not better than those screens (which reminds me I need to take time out from TF2 scrimming to actually finish it).

    • mashakos says:

      I am surprised to not agree with you guys at all. Usually I see the merit in what fellow pc gamers are saying but not on this topic.
      Trees and grass have sever aliasing in stalker, making foliage – to my eyes – look like cardboard props. This is very jarring for me. No graphical mod has worked around this issue. Add to the fluorescent like lighting system, the graphics of stalker were underwhelming to say the least. Especially when the game’s graphics were hyped so much. While I love the gameplay, I really didn’t like the game’s graphics engine and would be very excited if/when this stalker based crysis mod is released.

  5. jonfitt says:

    That Mirror’s Edge mod has me intrigued. I really enjoyed ME despite its flaws and I was sad to hear that the sequel is canned.

    • MistaJah says:

      And as promised it was short indeed, 10 or 15 minutes including install. If ME2 wasn’t cancelled it could have been out around these times, same time with Portal 2 :(

  6. Jetsetlemming says:

    That Crash mod could use with some technical help it seems. He’s still got the player tied to WASD + mouse controls, and the same jumping physics of the nanosuit guy.
    Still, I loved that series as a kid, even got Crash 3 on my PSP, so if it ends up playing well I’m all for it.

  7. Oak says:

    This post on Sugar Free Gamer tipped me off to Mount & Musket, a Napoleonic mod for M&B: Warband, which I spent much of last night playing. It’s very impressive. There are clans (regiments) who drill and have proper battles regularly, but even with half the players beings pubs we managed to form line quite a few times and follow some pretty simple orders. I also drummed (accompanied by bagpipes) while my brothers in arms defended a hilltop, and felt very proud of myself.

  8. Navagon says:

    Stalker in the Crysis engine? Okay now I must go see. I might be gone some time. Any news on the Outcast Crysis mod?

  9. bythie says:

    I played a bit of Underhell, and it’s awesome once you get used to the bouncy walking. The trailer really doesn’t do it justice.

  10. medwards says:

    Has anyone tried the Mirror’s Edge level? I’ve tried to install it but it doesn’t seem to be playable as the prologue… I think this might be related to the fact that I bought ME on Steam and you can’t buy the DLC for the Steam version.

  11. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    so was there not a link to OpBlackMesa up there, or did i miss it?

    I googleried it but the website doesn’t have the media update listed here…