Mod

Grim Fandango finally a point-and-click adventure game, thanks to modder

Emanuel Maiberg at

Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made—an epic journey through a world that meshes Casablanca with Día de Muertos, as brilliantly imagined by Tim Schafer. First released in 1998, it was just about the peak of storytelling in the genre, but it always had one huge problem: the controls. But a new mod may solve those problems, changing the game's controls from keyboard-based "tank" movements to a point-and-click interface.


Source SDK mod Estranged: Act I now on Steam for free

Omri Petitte at

It's always nice to see a mod progress from humble beginnings to its own Steam product page, and Estranged is fully deserving of the achievement. Alan Edwardes' spooky, puzzle-filled FPS plays and looks like a first-person Alan Wake, and it's an excellent deviation from standard run-and-gun zombie-fragging with its supernatural twists and an atmospheric sense of foreboding. The first act is available on Steam as a free download independent of any Source-based game, so you won't need Half-Life 2 to jump in and start exploring.


Bring glory to Arstotzka in this Civ V Papers, Please mod

Emanuel Maiberg at

This is brilliant. Steam user Snakeeeater337 has created a mod for Sid Meier's Civilization V that adds makes Papers, Please's Arstotzka a playable nation in the game, with its own units, special traits, and even a new map.


Just Cause 2 Multiplayer video: exploring the insanity of Build World

Wes Fenlon at

I didn't think Just Cause 2 Multiplayer could be more ridiculous than it was when it launched in December, but Build World, a custom server created by avid JC2-MP player Jman100, proved me wrong. Any normal JC2-MP server you join will be filled with dozens of people stunt jumping off of jumbo jets or flying boats across the sky. Jman's Build World adds something new: his server, called Jman100's Freeroam Construction Sandbox, includes a separate instance where players can spawn any object that exists in Just Cause 2, from a tree to a Mt. Rushmore-like rock face, and place it as they see fit.

I put together a gallery of Build World's weirdest and funniest sights, which you can find here. But that wasn't enough to convey the silly fun of exploring Build World, so I had Jman100 tour me around his server while I captured video. We inevitably spent most of our time doing backflips in stretch limos, flying boats through the air, and causing havoc with Just Cause's crazy physics. Check it out below.


Just Cause 2 Multiplayer's best server is Build World, and it's full of amazing creations

Wes Fenlon at

On the Just Cause 2 Multiplayer server Jman100's Freeroam Construction Sandbox, players can build cities, obstacle courses, and incredibly creepy statues. Jman100 scripted a custom server instance that he calls Build World. Build World includes an expansive build menu listing hundreds of objects from Just Cause 2. After only a couple weeks, players are building weird and hilarious things. Jman showed us around his server and told us how he built it.

Today we're sharing a gallery of our favorite sights from around Build World and an interview with Jman100. On Friday, we'll be back with video touring some of Build World's most impressive creations and showing off the hilarious physics of Just Cause 2 multiplayer. There will be buses. And stunt jumps.


Portal 2 mod swaps portals with paint in 26 new maps

Omri Petitte at

When billionaire bro Cave Johnson turned his vision away from the exciting world of shower curtains to tossing money at a bunch of science stuff, what if paint guns instead of portals were the result? That's the setting for Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative, a fledgling Portal 2 mod boasting 26 new puzzle floors designed for no portals whatsoever. Instead, we'll sail through that exit door by laying down carpets and dollops of the much-adored red and blue paint for speedy acceleration and longer airtime.


Portal: Alive and Kicking is a free mod that plans to recreate Portal in Portal 2

Tom Senior at

For those, like me, who only need the merest reason to play Portal again, keep an eye on Portal: Alive and Kicking. It's "a full remake and re-imagining" of Portal 1 in Portal 2's fancier iteration of Source. The free mod that's been passed through the latest batch of Greenlight approvals, and has the confident endorsement of Jeep Barnett, Valve designer and co-creator of the proto-Portal student project, Narbacular Drop. "Every tile on every panel has been revisited with loving detail," he writes. "Not only have the visuals been updated to match Portal 2, but the weaker puzzle cues have been improved."


Arma 3 2017 mod video shows broken-down Altis map, new creature prototype

Patrick Carlson at

A video update for the in-progress Arma 3 mod 2017 shows Altis as a misty, decaying world with a dark history. And as a stage for a horror sim, where a player's own mental health has to be taken into account and cared for, the giant map has the potential to serve up some frightening encounters.

But one thing the free mod won't be delivering is a run-in with zombies. As lead artist Luke Hinds outlines in the mod team's latest devblog, the undead don't have a role in 2017's post-apocalyptic world.


The Dark Mod's 2.01 update released, alongside info on new fan-made missions

Phil Savage at

If you haven't yet downloaded The Dark Mod, you should. It's an excellent stealth game, our Mod of the Year for 2013, and a refreshing reminder of Thief's better qualities ahead of what would seem to be a troubling sequel. If you have downloaded The Dark Mod, you should probably do it again (or at least run the game's update application). The standalone spiritual platform for larcenous levels has received a new update, bringing the game to 2.01. It's a minor update, as the one hundredth of an increase suggests, but it releases alongside details of some brand new missions for taffers to anticipate.


STALKER: Lost Alpha mod video shows the promise of an expanded Chernobyl

Phil Savage at

People are never satisfied with what they've got. That's okay, we're an aspirational species. Although, I do question the healthiness of that impulsion when it comes to STALKER: Lost Alpha. It's being created by a group seemingly dissatisfied with GSC's final version of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. As such, they're trying to bring the game back to its 2002-era screenshots, when certain areas were larger, and more open. That's right: this is a group of people who want STALKER to be larger, more overwhelming and, of course, more harrowing.

They've been working on it for a long time, too. We last reported on the mod back in December 2012. Over a year later, and a new video provides a lengthy demo of their progress, and reveals why - despite its expanded bleakness - Lost Alpha is a place you may well want to visit.


Skywind trailer introduces the Skyrim mod's most savage inhabitants

Phil Savage at

Sometimes it's difficult to have a surname that can double as an adjective for uncontrollable, mindless violence. Especially when your job is to report on games, which are exceptionally good at making enemies that are characterised by their uncontrollable, mindless violence. The overuse of the word 'savage' in gaming is a completely unwarranted defamation of my ancestors. After all, they were only responsible for around 28% of maulings in the UK's West Midlands area. Still, the damage is already done, so here's the "Savagery" trailer for Skywind, the excellent looking Skyrim mod that aims to fully recreate Morrowind.


Renegade-X is out next month, new trailer shows Command and Conquer based FPS action

Phil Savage at

I get told off by the community every time I suggest that C&C Renegade wasn't a good game. Let's try this instead: C&C Renegade was a heaping pile of shipped software that was technically unable to match its conceptual ambition, instead providing a shonky singleplayer experience, and a multiplayer mode that, despite being reasonably entertaining, was largely forgettable. There, that should keep people happy.

Before you run over to the comments to call me a blithering idiot, take a peek at this new video for Renegade X, the fan-made C&C shooter that is due to be released next month. Formerly a UT3 mod, it's now a standalone game that will be freely available to anyone seeking a tactical multiplayer fix.


Spelunky custom seed utility lets you generate and repeat your own set of levels

Phil Savage at

Spelunky is brilliant. Part of the reason it's brilliant is the random generation, ensuring that each of your many retries are a chance to explore something new. Even the Daily Challenges - which randomly generate a new level each day, and share that level between every player - are brilliant. Here, then, is a community application that lets you completely bypass those randomised levels by setting your own custom creation seed. Will it still be brilliant? It's Spelunky, so probably.

Skywind mod's development diary shows the difficulty of remaking Morrowind in Skyrim

Phil Savage at

After last month's "Call to East" trailer, I doubt anyone would have dismissed Skywind's aim to port Morrowind into the Skyrim engine as an easy task. Now, though, the Skyrim mod's first official development diary will give you an idea of the epic scope of the project, and the ambition and dedication of its 70+ team of volunteers. And all so you don't have to go back to the third Elder Scroll's angular and low-poly giant mushrooms.


Just Cause 2 gets a deep discount on Steam alongside Multiplayer Mod release

Patrick Carlson at

Like a carnival barker standing in front of a strange-looking circus machine, the wonderfully chaotic Just Cause 2 wants you to take a ride. Syncing up nicely with the official Steam release yesterday of its massive—and free—Multiplayer Mod, JC2 is seeing a steep discount. The 80 percent price drop to $3 on Steam for the standard version of the action game runs through December 19.


Half-Life mod The Core releases first trailer, shows we're still not done with Black Mesa

Phil Savage at

It's taken me a while to realise this, but the Half-Life games must be set in a fictional universe where everyone's a complete badass. I'd always thought Gordon Freeman was the exception, but now I'm not so sure. What about Barney? A security guard for scientists. Not a lot of action in that job, but he still made it through the Blue Shift expansion and then later infiltrated an alien police force. Now look at the protagonist of Half-Life mod The Core. A mild-mannered engineer? Nope. As you can see from this new trailer, he's jumping between crates and gunning down aliens with the best of them.


Saints Row 4 mod adds first-person view

Perry Vandell at

Volition’s still hard at work on a set of Saints Row IV mod tools for all you tinkerers out there, but the delay hasn’t stopped a few prolific modders from allowing you to "serve and protect" the fine citizens of Steelport through the eyes of your character.


Dark Souls mod makes enemy monsters obsessively aggressive

Patrick Carlson at

Boosting the difficulty in a game like Dark Souls is asking for trouble. Already famous for its tough game systems and clever monsters, the RPG now has a mod that bizarrely makes enemies even more aggressive and tough.


Half-Life co-op mod getting revamped, will find a home on Steam

Perry Vandell at

After almost 15 years of making co-op mods for Half-Life and all its various iterations, the Sven Co-op team is creating a standalone version of their Half-Life mod, where it’ll be available on Steam for the unbeatable price of free.


Mod of the Week: Deep Down, for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Christopher Livingston at

Another E3 has come and gone, and with it absolutely no indication that we might ever, ever, ever get another Half-Life game, ever. So, what's a hopeless loyal Half-Life fan to do while we prepare to wait yet another year to hear even a single word about the further adventures of Glasses McWhatsisname and Woman O'Whosherface? (It's been so long I can't remember their names.) Well, I guess we can look to the modders. Deep Down, a mod for Half-Life 2: Episode Two, provides a solid two-hour campaign for Scientist Guy and Shotgun Woman as they descend into an abandoned mine to find and destroy a Combine Advisor. Is it Half-Life 3? No. But pushes enough of the right buttons to serve as a fix.