"DEV's Side Mod," by the eponymous Deviss, is a large (era) side mod featuring the Clone Wars. The thrust of the mod is that it adds basically two eras to every stock map - one that uses a global
clone legion (50X legion) and another that uses one of the more recognizable legions (212th, 501st, etc.) It also adds a handful of converted maps (Bespins and Rhen Vars) along with one previously-released map. There is also a hunt mode with Mandalorians versus clones that shows up on a handful of the maps. What the mod does well: I'll touch on this in both categories, but I think the sound that is done right here is done well. Several weapons have new sounds, and I like seeing sound work done (which made it all the more disappointing when I saw it not done). They don't all sound very "Star-Warsy," but it was nice to see new sounds nonetheless. I don't know that I agreed with the choice to use vehicle weapon sounds for some of the hand weapons, but diff'rent strokes. I also thought it was nice to see the era names clearly delineate what was in each map. It's not a necessity, but in the many different rainbow-of-clones mods that we get, it was nice to be able to pick and choose from the instant action screen rather than guess (or simply have to remember). This was sort've a double-edged sword, but I think the positives of this outweighed the negatives - I liked seeing the balance between the two different sides. Units for both the CIS and REP were very similar from team-to-team, and while this means that there wasn't a substantial difference between one team or the other, it did make for some well-balanced battles. What I'd like to see different: The units all pretty much felt the same. Each unit had so many different weapons that the uniqueness of each class was diluted. I think it's best when each of the classes plays differently, but when you start giving six or seven weapons to each unit it is almost an inevitability that you'll have to reuse lots of the same weapons for different classes. Keep it simple and make each class have a distinct feel. The award weapons. Total gamebreakers. If you're playing on an awards profile, most units will have an award shotgun (and a couple others an award sniper rifle). Both of those weapons are absolutely incredibly overpowered. With the sniper rifle, it takes less than ten seconds to destroy a tank, and since the weapons don't overheat or have an ammo clip, you can just mash the button and walk through the maps at your leisure. Zero challenge. It was also strange to see so many units end up with an award shotgun when they didn't have a shotgun to start off with. Visual inconsistency. I hate to compare mods, but I know when I was reviewing the earlier Ultimate Battlefront mod, one of the things I really liked was the consistent set of visuals between different units and legions. The reason I liked it was because it showed that (or at least made it feel like) the mod was the work of a single, coherent author (or team). Here, the units all have different visual styles - one unit will be relatively unscratched, some units will be very scratched, others will be dirty, others will have lots of addons, etc. It makes the mod look like an assets dump, which in my mind is a bad thing (since pretty much anyone can just cherrypick assets from a bunch of places). That's not to say that this is what this mod is, but it looks unprofessional to be so visually inconsistent. The heroes didn't fit. The heroes seemed to all be stock heroes. Heroes should be rewards and they should be significantly more powerful than the infantry units. Since the units were mostly powered up (as with most side mods), the heroes felt like a waste of time to use. Other comments: There were still a couple bugs I found here, despite this mod being in its fifth(+) iteration. There were a couple floating HUD tags (I saw one unit that was completely missing a weapon mesh, too). There were sound errors - some weapons (notably arc caster weapons) were missing sounds, and none of the converted maps had fixed sounds. On the subject of the extra maps, while it's always nice to see some maps added to a side mod, here they felt a little extraneous - they felt like they were added just to have "more." There wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason to the additions (only a couple of the BF1 maps were added, a random map was added, seemingly just because the source was open to the public), and the BF1 conversions were only partly done. I know I speak with a little bit of bias in that regard, having worked on the Conversion Pack, but it eats at me a little whenever I see half-done conversions of the SWBF1 maps after having spent as much time as I did to polish the SWBF1 maps for the Pack. On the other hand, I think the lighting setup for the Cloud City SWBF1 map here was better (or at least more accurate to the original) than the Cloud City with the Conversion Pack, so that's a plus. All in all, it's a well done mod that has a pretty fair amount of content. While it feels like a lot was added just to have more "stuff," I'm sure it'll still be fun to the lots of people that like playing Clone Wars mods, and if you are one of those people, go ahead and give it a download, because I'm sure you'll enjoy it. -Mav
Released: 24th January 2019 7:26pm
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