It is not often that a sequel, in any entertainment category, is able to follow its critically acclaimed predecessor successfully. Yet that is what Half-Life 2 was able to accomplish, and in style. Released in 2004, it was the showpiece for Valve’s new Source engine and has been praised for its story, graphics, physics, and gameplay. However, the Source engine has been around for ten years, and Half-Life 2 is looking dated when compared to today’s graphics.
"I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite mod on the Citadel."
Starbound is massively popular these days, inspiring mods aplenty. Like with many procedurally-generated or sandbox-inspired games lately, it's now rocking a Mass Effect makeover by way of a clever new mod. If you've ever wanted tiny Shepard as a Starbound avatar, things just don't get any better than this.
Top 5 participants will be flown to Taipei, Taiwan for a shot at the grand prize.
Fancy yourself a case modder? Always wanted to be a millionaire? If you answered "yes" to both questions, you should consider entering the ECS Modmen Custom Case Mod Competition. You have until February 28, 2013 to enter and gather up votes, at which time the top 5 vote-getters will be flown to Taipei, Taiwan where a panel of judges will determine the overall winner. Now, about becoming a millionaire...
Hey, Rest of the Gaming Industry, want to know how to support a PC game? Take a page (or a piece of mottled parchment or whatever they use around there) from Bethesda's book. For the low, low price of zero arms, legs, or firstborns (or dollars, we guess), you can now nab Skyrim's official mod toolset, a spiffy high resolution texture pack, and the Valve-created “Fall of the Space Core, Vol. 1” mod. It's an incredibly generous gesture, and one that – in hindsight – makes that ugly horse armor business from back in the day seem like some bizarrely specific bad dream. On that note, we're now off to create our first mod: Everything Armor. Mudcrabs, Silt Striders, children – the works. Also, we're bringing back Silt Striders, because there's no greener form of transportation than a giant horrifying bug creature.
Android modders have hit the ground running in 2012 with a call to arms after discovering that Asus is using an encrypted booloader on its Eee Pad Transformer Prime, effectively preventing users from easily rooting and modifying their swank new slate. It's not an unprecedented move by Asus, but typically manufacturers refrain from locking down Wi-Fi only tablets, reserving the practice primarily for smartphones.
Skyrim may be hogging the headlines, but for many, the mere mention of “Elder Scrolls” conjures up fond memories of Silt Striders, Cliff Racers, and the only Mudcrab capable of suppressing its stupid/suicidal tendencies long enough to take up commerce. Morrowind, though, wasn't much of a looker to begin with, and age spares not even the most beloved of classic RPGs. Fortunately, that's where the Morrowind Overhaul project comes in. It's a mod compilation collectively created by “hundreds of people” that dusts off Morrowind's gigantic landmass and gives it quite the impressive spit 'n' shine. No, the elder Elder Scrolls won't suddenly give Skyrim a run for its money, but this is an impressive project nonetheless. Check out a trailer after the break, and -- if you feel so inclined -- give the mod a download here.
The notion of shoehorning Microsoft's already notoriously, er, prolific motion control contraption into Skyrim -- of all things -- may seem like the worst idea since, well, ever, but an intrepid modder's proof-of-concept video has us reconsidering our stance. Sure, our faithful keyboard-and-mouse combo could probably KO a dragon (and definitely aim a bow) with more finesse, but this setup looks sort of, dare we say it, fun? Unfortunately, the demonstrator doesn't “Fus Ro Dah” any hapless bandits into the sun, but he does briefly break out Ice Form. And come on, we can't be the only ones who occasionally shout -- in real life -- when busting our foes' eardrums (and, you know, faces). Unless, of course we are, in which case... Hey, look! A video!
We can't stop playing Skyrim. Well, except for when it forces us to stop -- for instance, with a show-stopping crash or, er, a physics-defying dragon. Bethesda's already patched its massively single-player RPG opus once (to mixed results), but it's not sheathing its bug-smashing mallet any time soon. That said -- much as we appreciate patch notes like “Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead” -- small tweaks to Bethesda's enormous game are hardly the only things we have to look forward to.
Nothing speaks to the power and flexibility of the PC platform quite like game modding. Dedicated groups of hardcore fans toil for months on end to bring us a massive offering of tweaks, rebalances, texture packs, content packs, and total conversions that improve, expand, and transform the games we love.
Ok, so 90% of mods are still about furries, 3d porn, and sticking Mario's head on Darth Vader's body. But when not about lust or rampant copyright infringement, mods offer some of the most unique and interesting content in gaming. Hit the jump for some of our favorite mods from recent gaming history.
Skyrim's been out for less than a day, but fans have already gone through the .ini files looking for useful tweaks and fixes to the most common crashes and UI annoyances. We've compiled a selection of tweaks below from the Skyrim tweak thread on Reddit, the Skyrim forums and Tweak Guides.
These fixes will let you disable mouse smoothing, customize your field of view, disable Vsync, and correct a problem that causes crashes to desktop from the main menu screen just after you start the game. There are also a few .ini tweaks that make Skyrim look better.