Posts Tagged ‘Mods’

QC:DE brings modern-style arena FPS thrills to Doom 2

Quake Champions: Doom Edition

It should almost go without saying now that Doom 2 is all things to all people, in the most literal sense. Thanks to 25 years of evolution in modding tools, it’s Donkey Kong, Resident Evil and even Heroes of Might & Magic now, among other things.

The latest game to be swallowed by the all-consuming vortex of creativity that is the GZDoom-powered mod scene is Quake Champions. The arena FPS reboot may still be in public testing, but it’s already been systematically disassembled, stripped for parts, and launched today as Quake Champions: Doom Edition (or QC:DE for short), a mod for possibly the most enduring game in PC history.

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Ring in 2018 with 11 concentrated shots of Quake

Quake Xmas Jam

We’ve previously covered Quake mega-mod Arcane Dimensions, which has become a cornerstone of modern Quake mapping thanks to its slew of new gameplay features, enemy types and weapons going a long way to refresh the formula of Id’s cyber-gothic classic without diluting its breakneck pacing and drum-tight combat loops.

Xmas Jam: 1024^3 is the latest group project to come from the quietly industrious func_msgboard mapping community. Built using Arcane Dimensions’ bag of tricks, it offers 11 new levels from 11 different creators, all adhering to a single restriction: the level must fit (roughly) within a tiny space, 1024 Quake map units cubed, approximately three seconds travel time across.

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Doom turns philosophical in The Revenant Problem

Doom 2: The Revenant Problem

A classic Doom 2 combat scenario: A Revenant (its chaotic nature making it one of the most agitating skeletal foes in gaming history) runs headlong down a track. If it reaches its destination, it will inadvertently kill five Imps. If you choose to divert it, it will only kill one. What do you decide?

Okay, it’s not much of a question – more Imp-murder is always good – but this and several dozen increasingly complex philosophical conundrums (plus a few surprises) await a baffled Doomguy in The Revenant Problem, a very silly Doom mod to cap off the venerable FPS’s 24th year.

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Mass Effect 2 & 3 overhauled with a huge fan-made texture pack

mass-effect-textures

Face still feeling tired after the whole Mass Effect: Andromeda debacle? Well, the earlier, better games haven’t stopped existing, y’know. Maybe revisiting them with a slightly more 2017 look will scratch your itch. For instance, with these mods that add over 3,000 replacement, higher-res, 4K-friendly textures to Mass Effect 2 & 3.

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High Noon Drifter brings Doom to the Weird West

High Noon Drifter

One of the best things about Doom is that there’s a version of it for everybody. If you like your weapons a little more old-school and your Westerns thoroughly Weird, then High Noon Drifter might just be what you’re looking for in a retro FPS.

It’s High Noon (or was when I was writing this), so dust off your hat and slip into the well-worn cowboy boots of ghostly drifter Corzo for your regularly scheduled fix of demon-slaughter across a thousand worlds with an arsenal of chunky revolvers, lever-action shotguns and a vicious whip.

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Death Wish is a huge infusion of goodness for Blood

Blood: Death Wish

One last shot of Halloween retro FPS goodness for the road, before we begin our dark descent into November/December and the obnoxious hellscape that is Christmas marketing.

We listed Blood as one of the best horror games of all time, celebrating the action and tongue-in-cheek humour making it more Sam Raimi than John Carpenter. Despite largely falling from memory, the venerable horror FPS has one last trick up its sleeve; Death Wish, a full-game-length unofficial expansion that pushes both the engine and the action to their limits.

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Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny is a treat of a Doom mod

castlevania

Skeleton Appreciation Month has been, gone and shuffled back off to its grave, but I figure we can afford to extend the spooky festivities just a little while longer, especially with gems like this having snuck out in the final hours of October.

Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny was released on Halloween day, and is a genuinely impressive fan-game, remaking the entirety of the original NES game in first-person perspective, all built on the open-source (and increasingly flexible) GZDoom engine. Well worth a play, if you feel you could do with a little more Dracula in your life.

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Brutal Doom’s latest beta remixes the classics

Brutal Doom

Brutal Doom in a nutshell: Doom 2‘s familiar (iconic?) Icon Of Sin battle re-purposed into the very image of heavy metal excess; No longer just a wall texture, the monster bobs and sways, protruding out from a wall of giant intestines surrounded by torrents of blood pouring into the arena, all whilst the player gracefully extends a middle finger on each hand.

It’s been nearly two years since this juggernaut of Doom modding saw a major release, with its creator taking some time off to remake Doom 64 in the interim. Missing Halloween by just one day, this week saw the release of version 21 (albeit in beta form) and it feels like a milestone in its transformation into something almost entirely new, and distinct from both Doom of 1993, and Doom of 2016.

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Death’s Cold Embrace: Thief 2’s new fan-made campaign

Death's Cold Embrace

The best thing about PC gaming is that the classics don’t die. They just don’t. They remain timeless, immortal and ever-growing. To give a familiar example, Doom as it stands now is not the Doom of 1993, but something much deeper, broader and stranger.

While the Thief community may not be quite as massive, they are a dedicated lot. Case in point: Death’s Cold Embrace, a winter-themed ten-mission campaign for Thief 2: The Metal Age, released just yesterday, a full 17 years since the game first came out.

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Total War: Warhammer 2 launches Steam Workshop

You’re already busy enough with war preparations, I’m sure.

☑ Sharpen blade
☑ Scrape blood off boots
☑ Polish helmet
☑ Learn words to latest warchants
☐ Pack lunch
☐ Download mods
☐ Install mods
☐ Ask Rat Mother for sick note to skip parade

So much to do, so very much to do. You can now streamline some of this process, as Total War: Warhammer 2 [official site] launched its Steam Workshop the other day to simplify finding, downloading, and installing mods.
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Ex-Valve chap launches Half-Life mod C.A.G.E.D.

While Valve Software are unable to continue Half-Life in a way they like, some former employees seem drawn back to HL after leaving. Former Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw recently leaked a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 plot idea and now Cayle George has released a new Half-Life mod. Available now free through Steam, C.A.G.E.D. [official site] is a short singleplayer episode set in a prison. I found parts frustrating but if you’ve missed the Half-Life look, feel, and weapons, this is a pretty flashy reason to return. Read the rest of this entry »

7 essential mods for XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen

xcom-war-of-the-chosen-mods

Now that the new, humungous XCOM 2 expansion pack has had a couple of weeks to bed in, the game’s mod community has been steadily fixing up their tweaks to work with War of the Chosen [official site]. Over time, there’ll be more Steam Workshop offerings which take specific advantage of the onslaught of changes WOTC introduces, but right now what I’m interested in is assorted quality of life improvements that remove pointless dead time from the game, offer more tactical detail and generally make the whole shebang slicker and quicker to use.

These, then, are the XCOM 2 War Of The Chosen mods that I just don’t think I could do without. (Well, I could, but I’d be complaining the whole damn time).

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Bethesda: Fallout Creation Club “is not paid mods”

falloutmods

Bethesda VP Pete Hines strikes me as a man grown weary of discussing mod controversies, like 2015’s paid Skyrim mods hullabaloo. In less than a week since its release, Bethesda’s Creation Club, which lets you buy mods for Fallout 4 [official site] with credits that cost real cash, has drummed up a fair amount of them. Hines, however, not only seeks to assuage fears that these premium mods were heralding something terrible, but also disputes the very idea that the Creation Club constitutes ‘paid mods’.
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Final Fantasy XV will get mod support, says director

Dress this boy band how you like with mods.

You might have heard that the lads-on-tour simulator Final Fantasy XV [official site] is coming to PC next year. But long before that announcement game director Hajime Tabata dreamt of the idea of including mod support in the then ethereal PC version. Well, that’s now a solid plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Deus Ex overhaul mod GMDX launches final version

If magic isn’t real, you explain why me chanting DEUS EX DEUS EX DEUS EX has just caused sent several dozen people to, without even realising, reinstall the vintage FPS-RPG. But hold up, bewitched nostalgics! After years of development, the overhaul mod Give Me Deus Ex [official site] has launched its final version. GMDX shakes things up with more-advanced AI for a tougher challenge, improved mantling for agile Dentons, expanded physics for fancier mayhem, and new textures and bits for people who say “Ew, is that a pixel?” If the magic words compel you to return to Deus Ex, you might fancy a few surprises. Observe, a trailer showcasing newnesss: Read the rest of this entry »

OpenIV devs drop bringing GTA IV’s Liberty City to GTA V

The modding project creating a tool to import Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto IV into GTA V has, sadly, shut down. It was the work of the team behind unofficial modding tool OpenIV [official site] but, after the fuss which saw the owners of GTA briefly shut down OpenIV with legal threats before making peace, they now say they can’t make it. Such a tool would be against the new Rockstar modding policy, see. But hey, at least OpenIV is back and its development will continue. Read the rest of this entry »

Skyrim Beyond: Bruma mod travels to familiar lands

A corner of the world of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has arrived in Skyrim with the launch of Beyond Skyrim: Bruma [official site], a mod set around Cyrodil’s city of Bruma. Unlike the still-in-development mod remaking Oblivion inside Skyrim, this mod is telling new stories set around the time of Skryim – 200 years after Oblivion. As well as recreating and updating the Bruma region, it brings new quests, characters, weapons, armour, music, and all that, plus a whopping 24,000-ish lines of voiced dialogue from a cast including professional actors. Fancy! Here, check out this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

GTA modding tool OpenIV shut down by legal threat

Take-Two’s lawyers have allegedly shut down OpenIV, one of the main tools for modding Grand Theft Auto IV and V. The OpenIV team say they’ve received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from The Suits saying that OpenIV lets people bypass security features and modify the game, which violates Take-Two’s rights and must be stopped. And so, the team have announced they’ll stop distributing the tool. I’m sure it’ll still float around the Internet unofficially, but this is a terrible loss. Read the rest of this entry »

Creation Club is Bethesda’s alternative to paid mods

In among the game announcements at E3 2017 Bethesda also announced Creation Club, “a collection of new game content for Skyrim and Fallout 4.” That content includes new weapons, armour, crafting and housing features, and changes to core systems, and you buy all of it in-game with ‘credits’ purchased for real money through Steam. Is this a new paid mods system? No, says the FAQ, “Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they’d like.” Read the rest of this entry »

Best Europa Universalis 4 mods

Since you already know what the best Crusader Kings 2 mods are, I thought you should probably get the skinny on the best additions to Paradox’s other grand strategy romp: Europa Universalis 4. It’s got more than a few, too.

Tweaks, fantastical overhauls, graphics improvements – modders have given the game plenty of love. And while some mods have fallen by the wayside, there’s still a mountain of crackers to dig through. Read the rest of this entry »