One of the best memories from my Star Wars gaming holocron is loading up a LAN multiplayer match in Jedi Knight 2 with a low-gravity mutation switched on and a lightsabers-only weapon restriction. It was silly loads of fun, but the Force wasn't with publisher LucasArts' wishes to continue the series, as Disney closed the studio last April. Our only hope lies with the power of JK2's lingering community, where a brave modder is taking on the huge task of uplifting the entirety of the game's graphics in a HD remake mod.
A couple of months ago we wrote about Stalker: Lost Alpha, a mod that aimed to revive an early version of the game teased prior to release, which included more, bigger areas, and other features that didn't make into Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. Yesterday, the Hungarian team behind the mod, Dez0wave announced that some testers leaked a beta build of the mod, and the mod makers are understandably pretty upset about it.
I understand the desire for a lore-bending battle royale between Blizzard's various franchises. I also understand the desire for that all-star showdown to not take the form of a lane-pushing game. While Blizzard aren't about to create a 4X strategy, modders can certainly shoehorn their characters into an existing one. That's what has happened in Blizzard Allstars, which brings multiple of their factions into turn-based empire-'em-up Civilization 5: Gods & Kings.
In a new video for 2017, an upcoming survival-horror mod for Arma 3, the creature prototypes hint at multiplayer enemies with a dark and—and maybe inhuman—past. A good horror story usually has a moment where the hunted get's a glimpse of what's hunting him. It's often a split second of terror where the main character finally realizes just how out-matched he really is. And with its creeper and sadist characters, 2017 is putting its idea of horror on clear display.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.