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The Good, the Bad and the Crazy: PC Game Mods

One of the many benefits of being a PC gamer is the vibrant modding scene; pretty much any game released on PC has some kind of mod available. Whether it’s texture packs, character skins or full-on expansions, the world of PC game modding has something for everyone.

The Good

DayZ – ARMA II

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Developed by former New Zealand Air Force officer and ARMA dev Dean “Rocket” Hall, DayZ is an open world multiplayer survival mod for ARMA II. Set in the fictional state of Chernaus you play as a survivor in a world plagued by an unknown virus that has turned the population into zombies.

The highly successful mod has won several awards since release in 2012 and has quickly outgrown the game it’s based upon, so much so that a full standalone release is currently under development,

Black Mesa

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Remaking a classic like Half Life is no mean feat for anyone, let alone a team of voluntary developers doing it as a labour of love. Black Mesa sees Valve’s classic FPS completely redone using the Source engine.

Originally started after the release of Valve’s own disappointing, Half Life: Source in 2004, the first two chapters finally released in 2012 to critical praise, despite it being incomplete. The mod’s success lead to it being approved for a full release on Steam after it went through the Steam Greenlight process.

DOTA – Warcraft III

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While DOTA 2 is a full on free-to-play release on Steam, the original Defence of the Ancients started out as a multiplayer arena mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III. Originally based on a map from Starcraft, DOTA has gone on to inspire the massively popular League of Legends and still remains hugely popular today, in spite of the release of the DOTA 2.

Counter Strike – Half Life

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Very few mods go on to spawn other games, let alone an entire franchise, but Half Life mod Counter Strike has done just that. The multiplayer team-based FPS is easily the most successful mod of its type and intially proved so popular that Valve hired the modders responsible to release it as a full standalone game in 2000. Despite numerous incarnations since its initial appearance in 1999, the original is still highly popular today.

Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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The Elder Scrolls series are about as deep as you can get in regards to a game’s characters and story, so the fact that German modders SureAI managed to develop a mod for Oblivion that was just as deep is pretty impressive. The total conversion mod drastically alters the original game in almost every way; fast travel is removed in favour of teleportation and a more traditional XP system introduced. In fact, Nehrim is such a departure from the actual game that it’s hard to believe it’s actually a mod, featuring new races, story and lore, all set in a completely new universe.

The Bad

Any nude mod EVER

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Game developers spend countless hours painstakingly creating our favourite game characters, lovingly crafting their every detail and ensuring they look just right. So why is that people on the internet are so obsessed with undressing them again in an attempt to see a bit of pixelated nipple or pubic hair!? If your game has females characters(human: optional), there’s a very good chance that someone out there is going to ruin all your hard work in the perennial quest for TIT-illation.

MobTalker2 – Minecraft

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Initially developed to enable users to create their own visual novel adventure games within Minecraft, MobTalker allows you to turn the in-game creepers into characters that you can interact with. Unfortunately as this is the internet, it meant turning them into scantily clad anime style schoolgirls which is just creepy

Angry Birds – GTA IV

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It’s true, Angry Birds really is everywhere; Rovio’s all conquering iOS title makes its way to Liberty City thanks to the modding community. Quite why anyone would want to play a GTA game as an angry bird is beyond me, but hey, at least they are aren’t completely nude.

Oversized Loads – Euro Truck Simulator 2

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If you’ve ever wanted to know just how tedious it would be to pull a huge trailer across Europe at mind numbingly slow speeds (without being financially compensated), then this is the mod for you. While Euro Truck Sim 2 isn’t the dullest game ever, playing it at snail’s pace doesn’t exactly get the blood pumping.

High resolution pillows – The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim

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To be honest, this whole article could have been about Skyrim mods due to it’s massive, enthusiastic and highly talented mod community. There are some very, very good Skyrim mods available. However, there is also an equal, if not greater, amount of bad ones. While the mod that cleans the virtual mud from all the female characters in the game is pretty damn creepy, our prize for the worst goes to a mod that gives all the pillows in the game smoother, shiny high res textures. WHY?????

The Crazy

Pokemon mods – Various games

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Have you ever played one game, while wishing you were playing a different one? No, me neither. But if you really love Pokemon you can add your favourite pocket monsters to just about everything – from Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim to Wolfenstein 3D. Instead of actually, you know, playing Pokemon.

Multiplayer mod – Just Cause 2

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The Just Cause games are pretty crazy when you play on your own, but imagine being dropped onto the island of Panau with 800 other real players! Just Cause 2 multiplayer is as mental as you’d expect it to be (and possibly a whole lot more). Game sessions quickly descend into chaos, but in a good way and you’ll probably spend as much time laughing your socks off as you do exploding.

The Sith Lords Restored – Knights of the Old Republic 2

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Occasionally mods are released just to fix games that have problems. TSLR however, was released in an effort to complete the game. Thanks to a rushed development cycle KOTOR 2 came out full of bugs and with several pieces of content cut from the final game. Fortunately, a group of die hard fans decided to restore the game to its original vision by fixing a ton of bugs and adding in the lost content. With new areas and missions as well as an extended dialogue system, it’s crazy that it took the dedicated fans to do the work of the developers and bring the game up to scratch.

Ghostbusters – Doom II

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GBDII is a total conversion mod for classic FPS Doom II that allows you to play as your favourite Ghostbuster and tackle some of the films best moments. Featuring all the Ghostbusting tools from the movies, the mod is a full0on 32 levels of busting feeling good.

iCEnhancer – Grand Theft Auto IV

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The GTA games aren’t usually known for their fantastic look but thanks to this graphics mod for GTA IV, you can make Liberty City look better than ever. ICEnhancer vastly enhances the look of the game, bringing almost photo realism to everything from the scenery and buildings to the series legendary vehicles. While it can be a bit of a system hog, this one man project is the only way to play GTA IV on the PC.

Macho Dragons – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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There are plenty of mods where gamers are able to bring their favourite characters from other media into their games. From superheroes to movie stars, you’ll find them all being modded into various games. Macho Dragons takes it one step further, however. Instead of casually placing your chosen subject into the world, the mod turns one of the game’s dragons into legendary wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage, complete with trademark hat and glasses. It even replaces the dragon shouts with Macho Man quotes which makes things even more surreal.


Have you tried any good, bad or crazy mods? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us a line on Twitter & Facebook

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