Have you ever heard anyone say that ‘such-and-such a mod’ is totally under recognized? There are plenty of talented designers out there, but what is really unfortunate is that many of them get completely unnoticed. Whether it be due to a lack of enough media to show, improper advertising, or simply just getting buried in the forums before anyone had a chance to check it out. In order for designers and developers to truly improve their craft, they need enough people to actually play their mods and give them some proper feedback. Let’s try and mend that, shall we?
“In Development…” briefly shines a spotlight on projects currently underway that look to have quite a bit of potential, but could use a few extra page views to really boost the developers’ morale. Or to simply just let you know about some cool mods in the works that you may or may not have heard about if you want to be less dramatic about the subject…and are boring.
Crio-Dead: Memory…hard to find the words for this one.
Non-linear story telling. Teleportation. Varied play styles. Time travel. What does this make you think of? Honestly, what does it make you think of? Because I have no idea. But this mod sure looks like it’s going to take a hell of a shot at putting all of these pieces together! Crio-Dead: Memory is a Half Life 2 mod developed by Russian modder Dark_Alex, who seeks to combine a variety of game mechanics and a complex narrative into one very ambitious project. The exact plot of such a complicated tale is not entirely clear yet, but there’s a fair amount of media to make you do more than just raise an eyebrow at it.
Obviously, more media needs to be released to paint a clearer picture of the project. But there is already just about enough on the author’s Youtube channel and the project’s Mod DB page to give you a general idea. Oh and there’s a Greenlight page for it too. You already know what to do there.
You want a bit of color in your mod library?
Crossroads: Episode I should help with that.
It’s nice to see a Half Life 2 mod that has nothing to do with the Half Life universe, but manages to avoid having the exact same art style or at least something close to it. Especially if it’s using cell shading! Crossroads: Episode I, under development by a group called The Sighted, is a single player mod set in the fictional city of Unicorn (bare with me here) where a “molecular disaster has plunged the city … into darkness.” You are tasked with uncovering the cause of this event and must endure the horror of what has happened to the unfortunate people of this city.
The obvious first impression of this mod is that it is visually fascinating. It uses a diverse, vibrant color palate and vivid textures, yet is set in a dark, daunting environment. Better yet, it manages to pull it off! It’s almost like how your first proper introduction to City 17 is lit with bright, warm sunlight, but it’s a dystopian nightmare. Except, Crossroads appears to be a kind of inversion of that idea while achieving the same end. The gameplay, however, has not been showcased well enough to gauge exactly how it will play out. Other than it takes a few notes out of Half Life’s book, naturally. Go and check out the project’s Mod DB page to catch some more eye candy…I mean, media…and track it for further updates on its progress.
Get Some Closure with a Fan Made Episode Three!
You know things are bad when an unofficial Half-Life 3 made by one man is closer to release than the real thing. Leon Brinkmann is already something of a celebrity among mod fans, having previously worked on both Strider Mountain and Coastline to Atmosphere, two vast epics in their own right. He is now applying his unique level design style to The Closure, a Source mod promising to continue the story of Episode Two as Alyx and Gordon head to the Borealis hidden somewhere in the Arctic. This release looks like it will follow in the same vein as his previous works by providing a long journey across many different locations and maps and putting a twist on standard Half-Life 2 combat.
SPY-maps has recently revealed a lot of new information, including images of the brand new arsenal of weaponry that has been introduced to replace “the by now ‘boring’ original weapons” that remained unchanged across Half-Life 2 and the Episodes. Leon has also revealed screenshots and video of a new level, the nineteenth map from a total of 21 that will be included.
The approach of Leon’s mappacks has always been massively different from that of Valve, so this mod might not be for everyone. But if you’re one of those fans who spends hours trawling the web for news, rumours or half-baked conspiracies about Half-Life, perhaps you can subdue your desperation by checking out The Closure’s ModDB page. Here is the most recent post, giving more information about this latest update as well as a more personal note from the developer. Best of luck to him, and we look forward to playing this interpretation of Episode Three sometime before the rapture!
There are certainly loads more mods out there that deserve a shout out. But if we put all of them here, you’d be reading a web page about a mile long. So we’ll keep you updated with what projects are out there in the future. Until then, give these three a shot and see where they go! If you know a mod that could use a little attention, tell us in the comments below. Or you can email us: modding [at] lambdageneration.com