What’s a game without a good mod? That new weapon, that great landscape, the crazy new characters and the more exciting levels — they all make your favourite games so much more exciting. If you’re a gamer and are wondering which of the newest and most exciting mods and map-packs are up for grabs, quit wondering, and let us assist you. Here’s where you’ll find the lowdown on 20 of the most popular additions to the mod-world, guaranteed to amplify the thrills of your gaming life.
Half-Life Operation Nova
Operation Nova is a single-player episode for Half-Life 1 developed by Ben Greenwood. It features a storyline that runs alongside events in the original game, with voice-acting from experienced voice actors. Just released on September 14 2008, Half-Life Operation Nova is basically a single-player episode for Half-Life 1, which occurs during the events already featured in the original Half-Life 1. As a player, you are a character called John Skinner. The military mistake you for Freeman because you wear a suit similar to his.
The aim here is to destroy the surface-to-air missile launcher, which has been brought in to destroy a delivery rocket being launched by Freeman. The episode gets a realistic touch with professional voice actors lending their voices to the characters in the game, while not losing all the great graphics of the original.
Zero Hour Battlefields: Map Pack #1
The Zero Hour Battlefields: Map Pack #1 is a single player map released on June 26th 2008, developed for the famous Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour. This is a map pack with 10 maps, nine single player ones and one multiplayer. The nine single player ones are titled Area 82, Beach Head and Hill, Dangerous Cargo, Feudal Warlords, North Korea, Parking Lot, Russian Front, Sniper’s Haven and Tigris River. The Multiplayer map is titled Dangerous Cargo.
Earth’s Special Forces
Here’s another Half-Life mod brought out by the ESF Developers (who else?) on August 29 and based on the hit animation series Dragonball Z. You can now turn into your favourite anime character, fly around, shoot up stuff and generally immerse yourself in the Dragonball world.
This one is supposed to be tough, so don’t be surprised if you flounder around for a few games. It’s got three game modes: (1) Deathmatch, (2) Team Death-match, and (3) Capture the Dragonballs. Every character is given special characteristics and a different set of powers to take the level of challenge and curiosity to the max.
This one’s an FPS multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2 that is still high in popularity, although it’s been three months since its release. There’s a lot in it to ensure it stays one of the favourites. First of all, you can get along without Episode II. Secondly, there are votable game modes, snazzier graphics and ‘Particle Effects’. Besides, you can now use the Jetpack to fly high, the Freeze Bomb to cool your enemies and a ’MIRV Grenade’ to blow them up.
The monsters are, well, positively monstrous in this one.
Developed by Mod Fidelity — a group supported by Counter-Strike.com, Modular Combat was made for the PC platform. You can find everything you want to know about the project on their wiki page at http://www.modularcombatwiki.com/index.php/Main_Page
This one is a Total Conversion Mod for Battlefield 2142 of the Star Wars game. The basic purpose is to take the player into an almost real environment that is more typically Star Wars than even the original one.
You could fight for the Rebel Alliance or become a warrior of the Galactic Empire and have dozens of different battles in the most stunning locales, using all your typical Star Wars weaponry and more.
An online multiplayer, First Person Shooter game for up to 64 people, First Strike has been created by the First Strike Development Team (official page: Fsmod.com) and is one of those total conversion mods that outshine the original in many respects.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights II
The PVK II is a next generation total conversion of the Half-Life 2 source engine and is one of the more popular multiplayer, first-person-shooter games that definitely ranks among the top twenty mods to have been released last year (the PVKII Beta 2.2 Full came out a few days ago). The PVK II has a great melee combat system, which means that while a participant can join any one of the warring groups, he or she will fight as an individual.
There are basically three teams competing against one another for points, kills and complete domination, and no marks for guessing which these are. Not only have the developers (of the same name as the game) created a general set of strengths and weaknesses that characterise each team, but they’ve even allowed every individual member to possess special abilities which may greatly assist in making your team win. One really unique feature of the game is the addition of ‘Healers’ in each team; Healers basically come forward to heal a dying warrior, giving the players a chance to join their battling compatriots in spite of being injured or almost killed. The game also comes in several different game modes (Team Deathmatch, Booty, Booty Tag, Slay the Dragon, etc.) which give the player a refreshing change from playing in the same environment all the time.
CTDP F1 2005
This one is an rFactor mod that was released in August 2005 and developed by the Cars & Tracks Development Project, an independent modding group for Formula One racing mods. The graphics are more polished and the high resolution textures leave a lot of racing gamers gaping with awe.
The mod adds six different kinds of tyres and ten different engine programmes. New music, realistic sounds of motors and breaks and an updated ‘Heads-up’ display contribute to the optimal Formula One experience in your rFactor game.
A Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars mod, this one was released in February 2008 for PCs by the ‘Thundermods’. The Thundermods modding group is a team of modders currently working on several projects for Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
Anyone who remembers Blizzard’s bonus level addition to Warcraft III is going to love this. Players can now upgrade their towers by four times, even making Tier 2 and Tier 3 towers. Besides, you can re-orient the towers simply with the click and drag action of your mouse.
Zombie Panic: Source
Another Half-Life 2 mod, Zombie Panic is basically a game constructed on the typical horror-movie outbreak of zombies. You can either be a zombie or a human and basically fight each other off to live until the end of the day. The uncanny aspect of the game is figuring out who’s on your side and who’s not, because the human who was your ally a minute ago joins the ranks of the living dead as soon as he is slain.
The game usually begins with just one zombie, depending on the number of players, and humans can run a lot faster than zombies. But these advantages are short-lived because as you start piling up the ammo and weapons, you’ll become a lot slower and the zombies will get to you much easier. Typically, the zombies fast begin to outnumber the humans and their ‘zombie-vision’ gives them an edge over the few survivors that remain. The situation becomes pretty desperate for the last survivors who have no choice to hide as long as they can, and for them, the fear becomes so palpable that they’ll probably be wishing that it was all just a Hollywood movie.
It’s 2047 A.D. and a global military organization (The United Defense Forces) is trying desperately to fight and subdue an army of cyborgs (called the ‘Hammer of Retribution’).
This is Project Timeless, a 3D, multiplayer, Half-Life mod developed by RafaelK, an individual developer in Germany. The game is packed with several exciting features like stealth movement, breathtaking weapons, map-designing options and an integrated MP3 Player.
Star Wars Battlefront Conversion Pack
The original Battlefront II was great, but this one doubles its content. This is a Conversion Pack which adds 25 maps (including the Battlefront I ones which, for some reason, were left out of Battlefront II), five brand new game modes, a new era (with 30 new heroes) and a whole lot of expanded unit content.
You could play — either as the Old Republic or as the Sith Empire — on the stock maps of the original game or the new Conversion Pack maps. Even the original eras have all been tweaked.
Strands Of Destiny: Deception
REDFlame Interactive, a Game Studio founded in January 2008, has developed this cool mod for The Witcher which is basically a role-playing game for the PC based on the book series by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Strands of Destiny: Deception includes a new area (Town of Carreas), new story that allows 4-5 hours of gameplay, new artwork- including new loading screens, cutscenes, etc. — a new feature (knife throwing) and complete voice overs.
This mod was released in August this year. You can check out the details on the official website of the developers: http://www.witchermod.com/.
Star Trek: Sacrifice Of Angels 2
Developed by a single individual, the Star Trek: Sacrifice of Angles 2 is supposed to be a homage to the original Sacrifice of Angels mod for Homeworld.
The factions that you play from are the Federation, Klingons, Romulan, Dominion, Cardassian and Breen. These are the six primary warring groups seen in the Dominion War. Besides, it’s actually possible now to fight battles using hundreds of SoA2 of starships.
Battle Grounds 2
Here’s another Half-Life 2 multiplayer mod and it’s actually a sequel to another mod, which was titled — you guessed it — Battle Grounds 1. It’s been developed for the PC by an individual who would like to be better known as Black Panther (which is, incidentally, a great name for a mod!) and released in October last year. Based on the American Revolution, there are basically two battling factions: the Royal British Army and the Colonial United States Continental Army.
There are plenty of new features, much bigger landscapes and battlefields. The old-time weapons like muskets and bayonets are still there but this time you can sharpen the bayonets and even board ships.
‘FCAM’ basically stands for ‘FarCry Addon Mod’ — which is precisely what it is — an add-on mod for Far Cry, the first-person shooter computer game developed by Crytek Studios from Germany and published by Ubisoft for Windows. If you remember the game, you’ll also remember that it was based in a mysterious archipelago in ‘Micronesia’, where an ex-Special Forces officer named Jack Carver is trying to rescue a female journalist. Besides, it had all the rest of the typical masala such as deformed creatures, genetic engineering threats and a mad scientist named Krieger.
Released about a month ago, this mod has a lot of extra features such as enhanced textures and graphics, 64-bit-like graphics, more models, addition of more than 20 CTF (Capture the Flag) maps, VBot Scripts and some more weapons with the single-shot mode, such as the P90 ( mounted reflex sights), AG36 (a single shot grenade launcher) and the OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon).
Dreamball is a Half-Life 2 mod which is basically a Puzzle Compilation, realistic, single-player game developed for PCs and only just released. It has only one map because, as its developers say, it is still ‘Alpha Stage’; but you can make your own maps, which is good. Since it’s been created using the Orangebox engine, you’ll have to install the Source SDK Base — Orangebox installed from the tools tab in the Steam User Interface. The present version also has preset camera angles, but this will change in the final release.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in the Dreamball mod because there are drastically different puzzles with lots of stages to be completed. The mod uses a unique physics system that helps the marble navigate past different obstacles. You can even change the marble into other sorts of marbles which have their own individual characteristics.
Snowreal is an Unreal Tournament 3 mod for PS3, released on May 24 this year. It’s got two game modes (racing and trick competition), 14 different midair tricks and a mini-map that will tell you where the other players are, the position of the checkpoints and, if you’re racing, then the exact position of the next checkpoint.
You can choose from several different characters and five different board skins. There’s a remote camera which lets you watch yourself play and you can even use it to make movies of your own spins, and other tricks. There are three large maps for downhill boarding and trick jumping. Besides, there are many Bots roaming on the snowboard and onscreen nametags to help you out.
This is a Dual Screen mod for Quake 2 but you’ll need a supported slot-2 flash card with a minimum RAM of 16 MB to fit it into your standard DS. The mod has several advantages built into it. You could, for example, load and play every single level in the single-player mode and can even run this if you only possess the demo of the original. They’ve even provided an on-screen keyboard which can be used along with the console while the game is running.
The mod supports animated model skins and particles but not sprites. With the ARM7 sound effects system and dynamic lighting, this mod’s going to make you feel like a god.
Fed up of shooting and murdering people in the dark and dreary places ? Here’s another one to add to the list. This community-developed modification is basically a mutator for Unreal Tournament with a minor modification: the Redeemer is replaced by a weapon which you can ride and which does not lose any of the Redeemer’s functionality.
Actual sound clips from the Dr. Strangelove movie spice up the game, not to mention the high standard of graphics that you’re so used to in Unreal Tournament.
You never thought it possible but yes, Grand Theft Auto meets Ghostbusters in this incredible mod for GTA: San Andreas.
Released in September 2008, this single player, action adventure mod has Ghostbuster jackets, new ingame art design and a lot of other features planned such as Ecto 1, Proton packs, Ghostbusters suits and missions based on the Ghostbuster storyline. The full Beta 1.0 version is already up for grabs and all set to give you several hours of fun gaming.
Based on the Ghostbusters movie franchise, this mod is an attempt to bring the Ghostbusters experience to GTA: San Andreas. This mod has great potential and can be brought to life with other modders help.
Still hungry for more? Seek, and ye shall find. All of your favourite games are in the process of being ‘modded’ and searching with the magic keyword ‘mod’, oodles of gaming packages will emerge. When it comes to mods and map packs the web is teeming with them and we’d love to add many more. Till the next time, we hope these will suffice.