Posts Tagged ‘Mods’

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 »

Minecraft Windows 10 launching mod Marketplace

All right: who picked Minecraft in the pool for who’d try paid mods next? Come see me to collect your winnings. Mojang have announced the Minecraft Marketplace, a microtransaction store coming to sell skin and texture packs, adventure worlds, minigames, and more in the brick ’em up’s Windows 10 and pocket telephone version. Mojang say they’ll curate the store and only accept submissions from registered businesses, so it won’t be quite as much of a free-for-all as Steam and Skyrim’s crack at paid mods in 2015. And this is only in Microsoft’s rebuild of Minecraft, to be clear, not the original Java version. Read the rest of this entry »

The modders making games more gender-diverse

Hannah just wanted to be a farmer. Not a male farmer. Not a female farmer. Just a farmer that didn’t have to suffer NPC after NPC lumping them into one gender or the other. Hannah’s hopes rose with the release of Stardew Valley, but after jumping into the farming sim they discovered it offered only male and female gender identities, with he/she pronouns to match. As someone who identifies as non-binary, Hannah couldn’t help but be disappointed.

“I’ve almost come to expect little to no representation,” says Hannah. “Being able to play a character that is different from myself is fun and interesting, but playing one true to myself I find is often more fun. It feels more real if you are in the world rather than just an observer playing a person in that world.”

Unwilling to sit idly by, Hannah took it upon themselves to broaden Stardew Valley’s gender diversity, modding the game so that NPCs referred to the protagonist with gender-neutral pronouns and replacing the gender symbols in the character creator with ungendered body-type indicators.

The response from other players was overwhelming. Read the rest of this entry »

Darkest Dungeon launches Steam Workshop for mods

The splendid Darkest Dungeon [official site] has launched a Steam Workshop, making it a snap to find and install mods. With a while still to wait for Darkest Dungeon’s expansion, Crimson Curse, why not have a crack at some mods? Mods already on the Workshop cover everything from to a wintry makeover and UI tweaks to new classes and ways to make DD even more challenging. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Crusader Kings 2 mods

Crusader Kings 2 [official site] is (somehow) now five years old. Adam raised a glass to its humour and humanity last month in celebration of its half-decade anniversary, so I thought I’d delve into its modding community to mark the occasion too.

Much like the digital empires depicted in-game, many of its mods have risen and fallen since my last visit, however the following list sends the best into battle. Given how involved CK 2 can be at times, I’ve tried my best to link videos where possible so as to properly showcase each mod’s worth. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Best Half-Life 2 mods

Did you know that in 2004 Valve launched Half-Life 2 [official site]? And did you know that Episode 1 followed two years later and Episode 2 a year after that? Did you know it’s now been ten years and besides a mass of rumours, bad jokes and conversations with unverified sources, Gordon Freeman’s elusive third Half-Life outing – be that Half-Life 3 or HL2: Episode 3 – is still Not A Thing?

I’m sure you did. Let me now ask you this: do you know about Half-Life 2’s modding scene – a community which has been producing consistently brilliant tweaks and tinkerings to Freeman’s Combine-killing shooter for over a decade? Built from Valve’s Source Engine, the following list is comprised of single and multiplayer mods for the Seattle-based dev’s seminal and ever-enduring FPS – some of which are set in Freeman-familiar worlds, others which take on completely new looks entirely.

I know it’s hard to swallow, but Half-Life 3 might never happen. Play these mods instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Ark: Survival Evolved now paying modders to mod

The makers of dinosaur-y sandbox survival game Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] have launched a scheme sponsoring mod development with actual real cash money. Every month they’ll pay fifteen modders (and teams) $4,000 (£3.2k), with a view to potentially including their finished mods in the full game – as they have with others before. The first round includes everything from moonbases to islands inspired by albums. Mods can be huge for the long-term health of games, benefitting players and developers, so slinging them a big bag of bucks is a pretty great move. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Long War 2 mods

Those of you familiar with XCOM 2’s Long War 2 [official site] mod will know it needs little introduction. Crafted by Pavonis Interactive (formerly Long War Studios), it’s the indirect follow-up to Enemy Unknown’s Long War – a total conversion mod that expands upon Firaxis’ core concepts and ideas, making just about every little detail more difficult along the way.

Long War 2 offers much of the same, and, as Adam aptly noted in his hands-on last month, stars “tougher recruits for a tougher war.” Given its broad size and scope Long War 2 feels as much a standalone game as it does a total conversion, therefore it’s of little surprise modders of the base game have been updating their works so as to be compatible with Pavonis’ ambitious venture. Shy of regurgitating our best XCOM 2 mods list from last year, the following collection gathers those which have helped me (attempt) to conquer the long, Long War.

Read the rest of this entry »

Best total conversion mods

I think mods are great. And if you’ve been following the best mods lists I’ve been compiling for RPS over the last several months, I dare say you feel somewhat the same. Be it superficial tweaks, or highly ambitious overhauls, the work of creative hobbyists is often wonderful – and anything which is capable of breathing new life into our most treasured games is surely worth celebrating.

Total conversion mods are arguably the most impressive of this remarkable bunch. Due to their often exceptional standard, pulling this list together was a daunting task. I’ve gathered my favourites below, including a number of honourable mentions after the core lineup, which cover a wide range of genres. Be it finely-tuned strategy or guns-blazing first-person shooting, and everything in between, you’re sure to find something that tickles your modification fancies here.

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Skyblivion looks even more like Oblivion rebuilt in Skyrim

Skyblivion [official site], the huge fan project to remake The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as a Skyrim mod, is picking up pace. We had a peek at their progress in December and, the dev team say, that video helped them recruit a load more help. “We have made more progress in the 2 months after the release of our update video than we have in the year prior to it,” they say. Crumbs! So let’s take a look at a new video showing what they’ve done in those two months: Read the rest of this entry »

Mod me up! Isaac: Afterbirth+ and Antibirth future plans

The first of the promised official mod packs for the new The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ [official site] expansion should arrive in March. The developers have blig-blogged about how they’ll go about rolling player-made mods into official updates and yup, we can expect them to arrive by the end of each month from March onwards.

In other mod news, the makers of the amazing mod Antibirth [official site] for plain ole Isaac: Rebirth are still fixing bugs and have smashing plans to expand and renovate bits they didn’t have time to finish properly. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Cities: Skylines mods

Cities: Skylines [official site] is one of those games that if given the chance will swallow you whole. Like any simulation game worth its salt, it’s comprised of so many moving parts that only by digging deep into its systems, mechanics and quirks can you hope to scratch its veneer and begin to understand what makes it tick. It’s a wonderful game once you do, but getting there can be a daunting task – even for the most tenacious of players.

User-made mods, of which there are now thousands, make this process a wee bit easier. It’s been the best part of two years since Alec shared his favourites (which are absolutely worth checking out), however the following list gathers the ones I’ve come to find essential in crafting my own homegrown cities and keeping my populace happy.

That last part might be a lie, but I swear that’s not my fault. (It totally is.)

Read the rest of this entry »

ModDB’s Mod of the Year winner announced

If I was a betting man, I’d have put money on Enderal, the vast Skyrim total conversion, winning the public vote for ModDB‘s mod of the year. That I’d have lost all that money is why I’m not a betting man. Enderal came second behind Stalker: Call of Chernobyl, a similarly vast total conversion for the enduring Stalker: Call of Pripyat. Read the rest of this entry »

Best mods of 2016

If you look beyond the celebrity death epidemic, killer clowns, political turmoil and the fact the Great British Bake Off parted ways with the BBC, 2016 has actually been a pretty great year. Well, it’s at least been a pretty great year for videogames, and a pretty great year for game modifications.

As you’ve probably spied elsewhere on the coveted pages of RPS of late, we’re list-entry deep in Best Of season which means I’m now here to present you with this year’s best PC mods. In no particular order, the following collection gathers the best modifications that have either been launched or have been significantly updated in 2016. While our previous Best Mods lists have tended to focus on specific games, this ‘un looks at the specific mods themselves – often considering those which provide extra mileage for some of our favourite games.

Naturally I’ve almost certainly missed your personal favourite, so please feel free to shout your own mods of choice at me in the comments at the foot of this article.

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ModDB’s Mod of the Year awards voting is open

Mods used to be my thing. I worked on mods, made mods, wrote about mods, spent all my time trawling terrible personal websites for more mods. Now my engagement with them extends no further than browsing the occasional Steam Workshop and poking around at ModDB. The latter is now running their annual Mod of the Year awards, in which you can nominate your favourite mod released this year and which will ultimately result in a Top 100 list and a set of prize winners. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Football Manager 2017 mods so far

Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series (once known as Championship Manager) is the Chosen One of sports management games. Rarely does its year-on-year instalment fall from Steam’s top ten most played games list and while the latest edition, Football Manager 2017 [official site], isn’t exactly brimming with new features, it has finely tuned almost all of its existing ones – to the point where this season’s outing is one of the best in the series’ illustrious 14-year career. “I have been impressed; greatly impressed at times,” says Adam in his review.

Similar to the waves of players and personnel who switch employers each year, mods come and go with each passing iteration of FM. The following list gathers the best that are available so far for 2016/17’s incarnation – but we’ll be adding to this list as the season unfolds.

Read the rest of this entry »

CS:GO Mod mod adds lightning, fog and more to Dust2

Counter-Strike has changed very little over the past decade, and aside from new maps and a couple of new modes, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] has mostly stuck to old routines. Thank goodness for modders, then, who add things such as maps which randomly select weather patterns at the start of each round. Read the rest of this entry »

Saints Row 4 launches Steam Workshop for mods

Back in the day, to install mods we needed to trudge through the digital snow — upcyberhill, both ways — and we’d consider ourselves lucky if we only got caned thrice for mistyping DOS commands. The youth of today are spoiled, simply clicking a few buttons in the Steam Workshop to install and play mods. Where’s the graft? I swear, some of these kids playing mods these days haven’t even lost fingers to cyberfrostbite. Fine then, go on, go and play Saints Row 4 [official site] mods easily with its fancy new official Steam Workshop support, see if I care. The game’s on sale now too. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Skyrim Special Edition mods

As I’m sure is the case with many of you, returning to Skyrim years after letting it go has been a strange experience at times. Assuming you applied mods to the original, which I’m sure most of you did, the newly released Special Edition has likely been a touch underwhelming in that much of its stock visual ‘improvements’ present a step down from most modded games. Alec devised a way to transfer old saves to the latest variation, however many older mods remain incompatible – even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid crashes in the process.

SkyUI, for example, hasn’t made the jump yet in the absence of the SKSE (Skryim Script Extender) and while there are other options out there, they’re far less sophisticated and thus feel more like stopgap measures. The mods on this list have made the jump, however, and should help make your transition into New Skyrim easier, prettier and more enjoyable.

Moving forward, support for mods old and new will almost certainly befall Skyrim’s Special Edition – so we’ll be sure to revisit this list at some point down the line. Until then, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »