Confession: I was initially dubious about Square Enix's old-school Thief modding contest. It seemed, at the time, like a somewhat cynical attempt at getting Thief's fan-base on-side. In practice, of course, the reasons are less important than the fact it highlighted some exceptional work from a dedicated community. The Dark Mod is an excellent game that neatly captures the feeling of the original Thief series, and so it's fitting that one of its more recent missions has been named as the competition's winner.
The Dark Mod
We're big fans of The Dark Mod, a fan remake of the original Thief game that won our 2013 mod of the year award. Square Enix, which will soon publish the Thief reboot, is a fan as well. It just announced a partnership with Amazon for a Thief: Gold modding competition, and has directed participants to The Dark Mod if they're looking for helpful modding resources.
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.
This article came together by accident. I was fighting through the backlog of games I had on my PC, when I realised that I'd played three amazing fan remakes in a row. Black Mesa, The Dark Mod, and Pioneer were all lined-up beside some of the year's biggest releases, and I barely even took stock of where they came from or how they came to be. They just seemed like great games and I wanted to play them. They are, and they're not alone: the PC's capacity to enable fans to engage with their favourite games in the most direct way possible has given us piles of amazing games to play, and here are ten of my favourites.
Welcome to the PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2013. For an explanation of how the awards were decided, a round-up of all the awards and the list of judges, check here.
Great mods let us get so much more out of our games, the best mods are games unto themselves, as interesting and worthy as any commercial release. This year we celebrate the mod that revived and reinvigorated a PC gaming classic: The Dark Mod.
Pinch out the flame of a candle to plunge a room into darkness. Pluck a key from the belt of a patrolling guard without him noticing. Thump someone with a blackjack, hoist their body over your shoulder, and lug it out of sight. Pick locks, open chests, and stuff your pants full of loot. It’s the new and improved first-person stealth-em-up The Dark Mod, now a free standalone game with a wealth of missions.
The Dark Mod was originally a total conversion mod for Doom 3, made to recreate the the Thief series precisely, down to infiltration, sneaking, looting, escaping. While we’re waiting for the release of Thief 4 (and perhaps worrying that the series may have strayed from the path a bit too far), there’s the new version of The Dark Mod to tide us over. What’s changed? Most notably, the assets from Doom III have now been entirely replaced with custom content, so there’s no longer a requirement to own anything besides TDM to play TDM. And TDM is free.
The Dark Mod is an excellent Thief-inspired stealth FPS mod from 2009, and so, to an extent, it seems almost inconceivable that any fans of the series won't yet have played it. Of course, that's slightly mitigated by the fact that it was a Thief-inspired stealth FPS mod for Doom 3. It's entirely conceivable that any fans of the series wouldn't have bought that. Running? Gunning? Far too rambunctious. For those shadow-clinging sneaks, there's good news, as version 2.0 of The Dark Mod has been released, turning it into a standalone game.
Choosing the best thing out of a pile of really good things is always a tough decision, but hey, we're used to it. You too can participate in the careful choicemaking by voting for your favorite mod and indie game of the year over at Mod DB and Indie DB, where the top 100 nominations were just plucked from a gargantuan pool of over 9,000 mods and 5,500 indies.
If Dishonored has put you in a stealthy mood, you might want to check out The Dark Mod, the wonderful, ambitious mod that recreates the aging Thief games in the slightly-less-aging Doom 3 engine. As RPS note, the mod - which doesn't so much remake the original Thiefs (Thieves?) as use their mechanics to tell new fan stories - has been updated to version 1.08, which among many other things adds richer audio, AI improvements, and new fan-made mission In the North.