This is it. The end. This column you are about to read will be the last ever Mod News. Sniff. It’s been a pleasure, guys.
But no, really, it has. Over the past year, I’ve had a fantastic time as RPS’ mods guy, and it’s been a real honour to write this column every week - even if it is essentially just a roundup of all the latest happenings on a particular gaming scene. I can assure you that the end of Mod News coincides with the Hivemind’s bigger and better plans for mod coverage in the months ahead. You’re being left in very safe hands.
So, folks, would you join me for one more dance? Here’s the last and final week in mod news, including stuff for Half-Life 2, Neverwinter Nights, Oblivion, Morrowind and Stalker.
Since the Dear Esther remake came along and depressed every Half-Life 2 modder in the world, making caves in the Source Engine must be a pretty daunting experience. The level designers of Prison Island have had a bloody good go, though, judging by the pair of new screenshots that have been released. The mod’s latest update also includes some other model renders and some Pictures Of Guns, which is nice; you can see it all over at ModDB.
Still on Half-Life 2, In Peremptorys’ Shadow still hasn’t fixed the grammatical ugliness that is its preposterously punctuated name, but its developers have seen fit to release yet another bunch of enticing screenshots. They’re doing this every week, it would seem - and since they keep getting better, for my money, this should be one to watch in the months ahead. It’s a slow-burning horror mod, by the looks of things, although we should probably expect to know more when the official website launches any time now.
Elsewhere, there’s a series of Neverwinter Nights mods in production called Tales of a Forgotten Realm. The mod currently in-focus is The Lowland General 2, and the developers have released a new trailer for it. There’s plenty of information over in the usual place, but for now, why not watch the video? It’s embedded below.
Plus, if you’re feeling your fantasy RPGs at the moment, there’s another update for Dibella’s Watch. A “massive” update, according to the notes accompanying it. Heaps of corrections, new locations, added detail, bug fixes and all sorts. There’s a full list of changes over on its ModDB page
Or maybe you fancy a bit of Stalker? Atmosfear 3 for Stalker: Call of Pripyat is in production, you’ll be pleased to know. It seems a bit obsessive, too: the first two things mentioned in this feature list are to do with correcting the position of the game’s sun and moon. Man! Elsewhere, there are new weather effects, a scary new psi event, amended NPC behaviour and in-game configuration. No news on when it’ll be out, but here’s where you can get the scoop.
And, as is tradition, we might as well go back onto Half-Life 2 to round off our final news section. Underhell released a prologue quite a while ago, to a decent player response, even though it had a ludicrously derivative story. The developer’s been working on Chapter One ever since, and now is ready to unveil a trailer. A good one, at that. It’s embedded below, for your viewing pleasure.
Then there’s Eternal Silence, the delightful HL2 mod, whose developers are currently working on a co-op-focused spin-off called Eternal Silence: Nova War. It’s still in pre-production, by the sounds of things, but the developers have detailed all their plans over on ModDB. It sounds like an exciting prospect, the idea being a fusion of role-playing elements with co-op FPS trappings, to be released episodically. Have a read of this page for more information.
And to finish off, I can confirm that Black Mesa has not yet been released. On Friday, Duke Nukem Forever will be. Guys? I guess we finally have our answer.
Morrowind Rebirth, the enormous re-imagining of Bethesda’s classic, has finally been released. It’s been in several open beta stages for a long time now, the developer choosing to unleash his opus bit by bit. But it’s now hit version 1.0. It’s all about adding detail to create a more convincing fantasy world: this isn’t a mod about enormous changes and totally-converting, but about the finer points, and how they can positively affect the experience of playing a game. So that’s cool. You can get this final version of Rebirth over at ModDB.
The beta of Pirates of the Caribbean mod New Horizons has been patched. As well as the obligatory long list of fixes, this update adds some new high-resolution ship models into the mix. The New Horizons project has been ongoing for absolutely ages, and the current version is rather impressively called Build 14, Beta 1, Version 6. You can grab it from ModDB.
AND THE REST
The latest episode of Podcast 17 interviews both Gabe Newell and Kutta Srinivasan of Valve Software. The discussion isn’t just limited to mod-related gubbins, but there’s a fair chunk about the Source SDK and Portal 2’s authoring tools. You can listen to the lengthy show over at the Podcast 17 website.
And that’s it! ‘Til next time, folks - whenever that may be.