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Mod News: There's Life In Her Yet

Usually we expect mods - amateur creations, let's not forget - to utilise game engines to a less effective degree than professional developers would manage. But what I love about the mod scene is that sometimes we're thrown a complete curveball in that respect. We've seen what Robert Briscoe's doing with Dear Esther, for example. And sometimes, it's an even older engine that has new life breathed into it by some talented bedroom coders. Have a read below the jump to see what I'm talking about, and to peruse the week's mod news.

So yes, this is extraordinary. Half-Life 1 mod Cry of Fear, which has been in development for a hundred thousand years, has always looked impressive. But I don't think I've seen it look quite this impressive before. There's a new trailer beyond this link. Do keep in mind, especially during the opening scene, that Half-Life effectively runs on a modified Quake engine.

Meanwhile, A Half-Life 2 mod is shouting at me. I glossed over this initially, assuming it to be something a bit crass from that big red command. But then I clicked through to the mod itself, and it's looking interesting, particularly with that visual style. Less so the generic setup: you wake up with amnesia, and have to escape from a place. But it'll be out in January, and I'll be keeping my eye on it.

Then there's a bunch of new Morrowind Rebirth screenshots, from the city of Gnisis. Rebirth is an attempt to turn Morrowind into a game which is a bit more like the one the mod's dev envisioned. Which is a great thing about the mod scene: you can make what you want, not what you reckon other people will. Anyway, the grabs are here.

Pirates, Vikings and Knights II, the popular multiplayer HL2 mod, is due an update shortly. Its developers have written up a preview of version 2.4, including some new videos. Take a look, if you're interested.

And FUEL: REFUELED's next update will allow for user-created content, its developers have revealed. Custom challenges and custom vehicle colours will be allowed, and players' creations will be shareable on the mod's forum. The update, beta 4, will be available in the next few days.

Here's Dynamic Itano Circus for Freelancer. Basically, there was once a mod called Itano Circus, which a lot of people liked. Including the devs of this one. So they got in touch to ask if they could take their work and add their own touches to it. The result is a completely new mod which expands on the old one. Exquisite stuff.

Meanwhile, over in Left 4 Deadsville, there's a new campaign called Last Night. At least, a demo of it. My understanding is that it contains the first map, and an early version of the second, but I've only just spotted it now, so I haven't played it.

GoldenEye: Source received a massive update at the weekend. Now at version 4.1, it's no longer considered to be in beta. There's an enormo-list of all the changes here, and you can grab the download from the torrent linked on ModDB.

Also updated this week, Payne Effect 3 is now at version 1.4. The Max Payne 2 mod - which adds a bit of extra realism to the game's gunplay, as well as making things a touch more cinematic - includes some bug-fixes, performance tweaks, and new animations.

And there's another update for Eidan Mod for Battle for Middle Earth II: Rise of the Witch King. "In creating this version, we have focussed on fixing flaws and errors in our previous release to allow for a much smoother gaming experience," say the devs. A full list of what this means is beyond the link above.

Finally, the Christmas Map Pack was released for Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality. Grab it here.

'Til next week, lovers.

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