Dear Esther was one of the more interesting mods released in 2009. A quiet, short, contemplative and mostly interpretive combination of ghost story, poetry reading and interactive sightseeing. It divided critics, elicited angry internet cries of ‘pretentious!’ and earned no shortage of fans, but of all the possible mods to be adapted into a more fleshed-out, updated commercial release, it seemed to be one of the least likely. Unlikely, but here we are anyway, with a release-date and a price tag set.
Ludicrous Gibs! If you were a PC gamer through the early 90s, that phrase should put a big dumb grin on your face. It was the text message that popped up to accompany an enemy exploding violently into a cartoonish cloud of meat (often containing 3+ eyeballs per human, oddly) in Apogee Software’s Wolfenstein-esque Rise Of The Triad, and also the first common usage of the term to describe such splatteriffic delights. A couple of months ago, a pair of dedicated fans (El Zee and 5HFifty) released Return of The Triad, a standalone update/remake of the game, based on the ZDoom engine.
We featured this a while back in our Retro FPS Freeware lineup, but sometimes an update is worth featuring, especally one as momentous as this. A great many years ago, a small company called Bungie (heard of them?) made the Marathon trilogy. Three heavily story-driven FPS’s that were years ahead of their time. Some time later, Bungie were kind enough to release both the game content and the engine source-code to their fans. Today, the Aleph One project has finally come to its peak. In conjunction with Freeverse, the folks who updated Marathon 2 into ‘HD’ for Xbox Live Arcade, the trilogy has finally been updated fully to modern spec.
Update: Also includes a link to a mod-for-the-mod that adds a whole new set of weapons.
The Doom shareware episode – Knee Deep In The Dead – is a cornerstone of modern gaming. It was one of the first major game releases to be distributed online, and it set the standard for networked multiplayer, bringing deathmatch to the masses. The layout of those familiar few levels is burnt indelibly into the minds of many. Recently released Doom 1 (yes, you need the original, full game along with the modernized GZDoom engine) mod The Phobos Directive sets out to give you a fresh spin on those familiar environments.
Back in 2007, The Witcher showed up many of the largest, highest-budget RPGs of the time by doing so much more with a comparatively tiny budget and studio. The game wasn’t perfect by any means, but an official ‘directors cut’ update addressed many of the software and presentation issues. One of the most dedicated modders in the community, Flash, produced an enhancement and rebalance mod to address everything else, and it was so good that it got him hired by CD Projekt to work on the sequel. Now the sequel is out, he has returned to his old project, to revive the original Witcher and bring it closer to its successor in terms of quality. The end result is this mod.
Another retro mod spotlight, yes, but this one is special. I’ve been saving this one for a rainy day – this, without a doubt, is one of my favourite mods for any game as of the past few years. What is it? Well, Brutal Doom is a general gameplay overhaul for seminal FPS’s Doom and Doom 2, utilizing all the perks of the modernized GZDoom engine. What does it change? Everything. But specifically, how does chainsaw surgery, Mortal Kombat style finishing moves inspired by the above comic and a ‘Go F*%# Yourself!’ button sound?
There’s no such thing as too many dead Orcs. Don’t believe us? See our review! The folks behind the game agree, as yesterday, Robot Entertainment released the second DLC pack for their defensive action game Orcs Must Die offering another five levels (including Nightmare Mode variants), two new enemy types, a new defensive structure and extended leaderboard support. Hit the jump for the trailer, and news of something potentially even cooler for owners of the PC version.
You might have heard this name on and off over the past few years. That’s because No More Room In Hell started development around the same time Half-Life 2 was released, and was released just a few days ago. A lot has happened since 2004 – we’ve hit Peak Zombie, Left 4 Dead has been, gone and begot a sequel, and co-op Source engine games became ten a penny – so does this mod have what it takes to stand proud amongst the crowds of 2011?
Squeaking in at JUST past the Halloween deadline, but still plenty horrific. It’s the season for the dead to walk, and we’re not just talking zombies. Forgotten games long since buried are clawing their way to the surface, ready to take a bite out of players and offer a gory heap of spooky fun for those willing to think a little more old-school. Today, Death Wish is released, a full length new campaign for classic ’2.5d’ FPS Blood.
Troika never caught a break, did they? The game that killed them – Vampire: The Masequerade – Bloodlines – has been hailed as one of the best first-person RPGs ever made, the best adaptation of the famous pen-and-paper line, one of the most broken videogame launches in memory, and a triumph of dedicated fan-communities over cut-and-run publishers. As the game is currently on sale on Steam for $5 until Halloween itself, the time is right to help prospective bloodsucking creatures of the night on their way.