2013: The Year in Modding
Mods of Note
2013 saw the release and update of some great mods. Here’s what you may have missed.
Thief-inspired Doom 3 mod The Dark Mod received a standalone release.
Warcraft 3 was remade in StarCraft 2, using World of Warcraft assets. Only two of WC3′s four factions are available, however — the Alliance and the Horde.
Deus Ex: Nihilum is a mod for the original Deus Ex that was in development for several years. Featuring over 2,200 lines of dialogue and two hours of original music, this mod’s alternate continuity offers over 10 hours of fresh gameplay.
The massive Morrowind Rebirth mod was updated to version 2.2. Between new content, improved content, and a host of bug fixes and balance tweaks, this mod likely represents what Bethesda would have wanted Morrowind to be at launch.
Brutal Doom is a mod for Doom that glorifies the violence and pacing of the base game while keeping the original feel.
Synergies is a Torchlight 2 total conversion that creates an end game raid event with unique bosses, armor rewards and challenges. The mod adds 108 Elite monsters, 6 Rare dragons, 28 Raid dungeons, 11 unique World Bosses, four Sets of Legendary Armor, 16 new Tier-1 Legendary Weapons, brand new Quest lines, a new World hub for Act 5, and a whole new class: The Necromancer.
The popular Half-Life 2 mod NEOTOKYO° received an update that includes a few new maps, some weapon re-models, and a fix for the infamous “left-lean bug.”
A mod three years in development, Project Brazil is a Fallout: New Vegas near total conversion that adds an all-new story for the player character, an adopted resident of Vault 18 that embarks on a quest to a hidden complex in the ruins of Los Angeles.
Interesting NPCs is a Skyrim mod that integrates NPCs into the game world, with a backstory and an extensive dialogue tree to explore. A team of over 50 voice actors lent their talents to this mod to bring these characters to life.
The award-winning FPS/RTS hybrid mod Empires for Half-Life 2 has recently seen a major update after a long period of development. Empires’ 2.4 update brings the map count up to 20 and adds eight Steam achievements.
Misery is a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat mod that touches on every aspect of the game, including textures, effects, music, weapons, AI, items, weather, difficulty and much more. Greater realism, greater difficulty.
Half-Life mod Earth Special Forces continues to be updated. In development for a decade, this Dragon Ball Z mod lets you take on the role of your favorite characters and fight it out with various powers in different game modes, including deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the dragonballs.
Enderal - The Shards of Order is a total conversion for Skyrim that takes place in its own universe, creating a new world completely unrelated to Skyrim with a complex, dark storyline and thousands of secrets to discover.
Master Quest is a full-length add-on for Legend of Grimrock, a complete re-working of the entire original game with new puzzles, updated dungeon designs, unique story elements, and more.
The impressive Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings 2 received a huge update, adding in two new scenarios.
Operation Black Mesa is a total Source remake of Half Life: Opposing Force. Same great Half-Life 1 content, now in Half-Life 2‘s engine.
Elder Kings is an Elder Scrolls-themed total conversion for Crusader Kings 2 and constitutes one of the biggest gameplay experiences available for a released CK2 mod.
Duke Nukem Forever may have been one of the biggest disappointments in gaming history, but some modders have sought to resolve that via a Duke Nukem 3D mod. Titled Duke Nukem Forever 2013, the mod seeks to be the game that Duke Nukem Forever was meant to be — the game that the 2001 trailer promised.
Skywind is a mod to keep an eye on. Presently in alpha, it merges Morrowind into Skyrim by remaking the classic with the the latter’s engine.
For three years, a group of modders have been working away at a Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod which will allow 600 players to be simultaneously connected to the same game world. The mod is set to release on Dec. 16 2013.
Despite the state of modding in the industry, 2013 saw some triumphs for the community. Will 2014 bring more opportunity for modders? Will the new console generation mean new engines for modders to play with, or will we continue to see a trend of absent mod tools? Time will tell, but one thing is certain: modders will keep modding, even if it means sticking with aging games like Half-Life 2 and Skyrim.