Mod of the Week: Endless Warfare, for Fallout: New Vegas

Ever since I saw an Imp attack a Zombieman in the original Doom, I've been fascinated with NPCs fighting each other in games. (My recent attempt to review a Doom mod, which devolved into hours spent making Half-Life 2 and Doom entities fight each other , is a good example.) The Endless Warfare mod for Fallout: New Vegas allows you to easily spawn as many monsters and NPCs as your computer can handle, and watch them engage in pitched battles with each other in the Mojave Wasteland. If you feel like joining in, you can also spawn dozens of different companions to help you out. War never changes? Clearly you haven't met my army of loyal prostitutes.

Once installed, Endless Warfare adds two new tools to your Pip-Boy, the Spawn Controller and the Companion Controller. You'll find them in the Aid section of your Pip-Boy's display (at the very bottom of the list). Just click on the one you want to use, exit your Pip-Boy, and you'll be greeted with the menu for the controller.

First things first: I've only got the sullen Boone and a buzzing Eye-Bot as followers, and with the amount of monsters I'm planning to spawn I'll definitely need some new followers to help protect me. I bring up the Companion Controller and flip through the menu, picking anyone who looks interesting. A Securitron robot? I'll take one. Giant Radroach? Sure! A Legion Vexillarius? Semper fi! A supermutant? ME WANT! A Radscorpion? No. Wait, yes! Twelve hookers? I don't see why not!

Of course, suddenly being surrounded by friendly mutants, robots, and prostitutes, it's a little tough trying to walk around indoors without bumping into someone. I'm also a little afraid that once the fighting starts, I'll get confused about who are my allies and who are my enemies, so I decide to cut some of my team from the roster. It's easy to delete companions: simply talk to them, and the option to remove them appears (you can also erase all your companions at once with the Controller.) I get rid of the bots and monsters, and just spawn a crowd of prostitutes. They're pretty easy to recognize.

Now that I've got a deep bench of heavily armed sex-workers willing to go to bat for me, I'm ready to start spawning some monsters. The Spawn Controller works a little differently than the Companion Controller, however. If you spawn a monster, it doesn't just appear behind you like your companions do. Instead, the mod has added a number of new spawn points to the map, and the monsters will spawn there instead of directly at your location.

I figure the best way to find one of the new spawn points (the mod adds 3,000 of them, so I figure it won't take long), is to spawn some NPCs that will automatically fight each other, and then just stand outside and listen for the sound of combat. I spawn a few NCR soldiers, as well as a couple ghouls, then close the menu and wait, my ears perked for any sounds of nearby violence. A few seconds pass, and I hear nothing. Then: the distant popping of gunfire.

By the time I reach the NCR soldiers on a nearby hilltop, they've already won, but at least I know I'm near a spawn point. I bring up the menu again, and choose to spawn a few Legion soldiers, figuring I'll be able to watch the remaining NCR grunts fight them while I take pictures. Some Legion of varying ranks appear a few yards away. A few more appear in another spot, and a few more in another.

See, the mod doesn't just drop the selected entities at a single point, but at all the spawn points in your vicinity, meaning that rather than just one collection of combatants, you get several, hence the title of the mod. I seem to be standing quite close to several spawn points, so I've summoned a large crowd of uptight Legion soldiers all looking for something to kill. Thank goodness I have a dozen armed hookers following me around or I might be in trouble.

Within moments, it's over. The Legion dudes are dead, and my prostitutes stand triumphant. I'm proud of them! They did great, and didn't sustain even a single casualty. I'm a little suspicious, though: I recall Legion solders being pretty tough, and I also recall that depending on the game's difficulty level, companions may never actually die. Well, I'd hate to think I'm cheating the game by leading around a massive army of invulnerable hookers, so I decide to test my prostitutes against something truly deadly: a Deathclaw.

With my army (quickly) wiped out, I decide to eschew companions for a while and just whip up some entertaining fights that won't leave me staring aghast at a pile of dead prostitutes. Back to spawning monsters, robots, and a handful of human factions, which all appear in clumps around the map, take a moment to look around, and then start brutalizing the hell out of each other.

The nice thing about monsters cropping up at multiple spawn points is that even if the battle happening in front of you finishes, you only have to look around for a few moments to find another one taking place elsewhere on the map. Plus, if the spawn points are close together, the fights will bleed into one another.

There are all sorts of options available in your Spawn Controller. You can choose how many entities you'd like to appear, how often you'd like them to respawn, and even let random chance decide who will spawn by adjusting the spawn percentage chance in the settings. With some tinkering, you can fill the empty wasteland with massive constant battles or just pepper it with a few additional random skirmishes.

There's also a setting for allowing spawns to take place inside interior spaces. If, like me, you found Gamorrah's casino a bit dull and underpopulated, now you can really bring the excitement of Vegas to life.

The mod actually works better indoors, I found. Spawning too many baddies outdoors tends to slow the game down quite a bit (and crash it, in one instance), but even when I turned the casino into a warzone, everything chugged along smoothly.

Installation : I didn't see any instructions for a manual install, so it's best to have the Nexus Mod Manager up and running, in which case you only need to download the latest version of Endless Warfare (using the manager option) and activate it in NMM.

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