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Mod News: Piled Up High

It must be a Christmas time generosity thing. There are literally heaps of mod news at the moment. Yes, literally. They're stacked up tall, like so many piles of gargantuan molehills. Read on with your beady eyes for all the splendid details.

I am suddenly very, very interested in Tales from the Galactopticon. I've been keeping my eyes vaguely peeled for updates on this one, but it's only the other day that it began to really impress me. Because basically, holy bloomin' heck, look at these screenshots and that video. It's a guns-and-conversation mod for Half-Life 2, "starring a gang of hard-boiled interstellar pirates." I cannot wait. No ETA as yet, alas.

There's a new Crysis Mod in the works. Due out next year, Task Force Black is a mod set just a little bit into the future and concerning the Korea situation. A tactical single-player shooter, apparently. There's some information, images and a video on its ModDB page.

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings-based Oblivion mod Middle Earth Roleplaying Project has chucked a new media update out of the door. The work these folks are doing is really quite impressive, and I'll be interested to see how it all holds together when it's released.

There's also FUEL: REFUELED, a capital-lettered enhancement mod for that big old open-world driving game. A version released in May, but the devs have been working on a visual makeover recently. Here's what they've been up to.

And we're going a fair way back in time for this one. Unreal Tournament mod The Chosen One is almost finished. Yep, the first Unreal Tournament. It's a single-player, quest-based, action-RPG, and considering the age of the engine it's looking quite remarkably pretty. Have a look at these screenshots, for example. My favourite is below.

Mount & Blade: Warband mod Europe 1200 has been released. Okay, so there was a version released some time ago, it would seem. But today is the first I've heard of it, so it gets lumped here. Formerly a mod for the original M&B, it's a supposedly realistic mod which takes players to the Middle Ages, providing 17 historical factions and four military orders. Have a gander at the trailer, and grab the download, from ModDB.

Half-Life 2: Wars now has a multiplayer mode. It's been two years since the last Wars release, but the buzz has remained pretty strong through that time. This multiplayer component - in beta currently - allows you to play as Antlions or Combine forces, and features three modes covering competitive and co-operative combat. Which is an awful amount of astonishing alliteration.

Also in Half-Life 2 release news, Overwatch has unleashed another update. Two brand new levels, as well as many minor improvements, are what you'll find within.

And after five years of hard work, C&C Generals: Zero Hour mod ShockWave is finished. It's been in public beta for some time, but its developer has now said he considers the latest update - released a week or so ago - to be the final version. Which is lovely. Always nice to see something properly finished after so much slaving.

ModDB's Mod of the Year awards continue. At this stage we're down to the top 100. Which isn't really a top 100 in the sense you might imagine, but instead a collection of 100 nominations, categorised by game, from which you can choose to cast your vote. It all closes up on January 1st, so you've a little while to do so.

Meanwhile, ultramodder Robert Yang has been piecing together a list of resources for Source modders. Very useful for anyone considering tackling a HL2 mod or similar.

And this is cute. Open Outcast's sound designer goes through the process of creating a single snippet of audio. Short, but worth a read.

'Til next time, folks. Be sure to drop me an email should you spot anything intriguing. Click on my name atop this post to do so.

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Lewis Denby