Blockbuster video games like DOTA, Counter-Strike and DayZ have are all linked by the truth that they began off as whole conversion mods. These are labours of affection created by code-savvy followers who at some point thought ‘What would ARMA be like with zombies?’ or ‘How would Warcraft III play if I managed simply the one hero?’
From these little kernels of inspiration, a phenomena had been born.
However we’re going to place apart these success tales for now, and take a look at the very best whole conversion mods which might be nonetheless fully free. After years of labor and lots of of hours of improvement, these mods are so nicely crafted that when you squint just a bit, it’s possible you’ll simply mistake them for full standalone video games.
The power to fully rework your current recreation into a completely new one utilizing whole conversion mods is but one more reason why gaming on PC is so good. So, as a part of our PC Gaming Week 2018, this is our choose of the very best whole conversion mods you may set up and play proper now without cost.
1. A Sport of Thrones – Crusader Kings II
Launched not lengthy after Crusader Kings 2 itself, A Sport of Thrones isn’t solely an ideal match for the mechanics of Paradox’s feudal grand technique recreation, however fingers down the very best video-game set in George R.R. Martin’s blockbuster fantasy world.
A Sport of Thrones might typically look like all battles and dragons and dangerous language, however actually it’s a saga of political intrigue, scheming and Machiavellian plotting; who ought to be married off to whom, and for what acquire? What would assassinating a sure lord do to your declare on their land? How do you clamber your approach up the feudal ladder to get to the Iron Throne?
Its themes meld completely with Crusader Kings II, and this mod realises George R.R. Martin’s world proper all the way down to the writing and the topographical lay of the land.
And sure, after all there are dragons…
2. Enderal – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Probably the most polished whole conversion mods ever made, Enderal might nearly cross off as its personal triple-A recreation.
German developer SureAI (who additionally made beautiful Oblivion mod Nehrim) pulled out all stops, writing and voicing tens of hours of dialogue (that arguably outdoes Skyrim’s oft-risible script), and painstakingly constructing a gorgeous new world that provides round 100 hours of content material.
Inside Skyrim’s somewhat action-orientated engine, Enderal manages to search out its personal identification, and in some ways harks again to old-school RPGs; it’s robust, with a standard levelling system, no quick journey, and gradual pacing, whereas providing a robust story that always ventures into darker, extra mature territory than Skyrim’s mass-market tackle excessive fantasy.
3. Gekokujo – Mount & Blade: Warband
Mount & Blade: Warband is the quintessential feudal sandbox, letting you create a personality in a central-European kingdom and construct them up right into a roving mercenary, a heroic commander or, in the end, a lord who solutions to nobody. You go about this by means of a messy, pleasant mixture of direct fight, RTS-like strategising, and RPG-like decision-making.
Gekokujo takes all that, and whisks it off to Sengoku-era Japan. The world map spans your entire Land of the Rising Solar, full with main kingdoms, villages, cities, holdings, and lords so that you can saddle up with (earlier than, inevitably, betraying them).
Weapons, armour, clothes and structure are devoted to the setting, and a complete world of dialogue and occasions has been written to convincingly migrate the inimitable Warband components to the Far East.
4. X-COM/UFO: Enemy Unknown – X-Piratez
The unique 1994 turn-based squaddie alien shooter X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown has been stored alive because of the OpenXcom Prolonged open-source venture. Based mostly on this, X-Piratez is an interesting piece of punky fan-fiction set in the identical universe, borrowing concepts and mechanics from the entire gamut of X-COM video games.
Set in a future the place the X-COM resistance was crushed by the alien invaders, X-Piratez casts you as a buccaneering crew of space-pirates, robbing settlers and plundering ships till the intriguing plot inevitably brings you into contact with better threats.
With its distinctive arsenal of makeshift weaponry, contemporary tech tree and lowlife factions, all of it feels refreshingly scrappy in comparison with the high-tech shenanigans of the mainline sequence.
5. Underhell – Half-life 2
From Black Mesa to Garry’s Mod, by means of Pure Choice, Half-life 2 has been the launchpad for a number of profitable mods that went on to turn out to be totally fledged video games. One of many ones that by no means made the bounce, nevertheless, was Underhell.
Following a psychologically-spiraling S.W.A.T. operative who’s struggling to cope with his spouse’s dying, Underhell is an element puzzler, half horror, half bullet-time shooter that’s thick in environment and experimental storytelling.
The motion flows like a fever dream between a dreamworld, spooky residence and harsh motion, making Underhell stand alongside The Stanley Parable as one of many extra suave Half-life 2 mods.
Sadly, solely one of many supposed six episodes of Underhell was ever made, with developer We Create Stuff’s priorities shifting to different initiatives lately.
6. The Darkish Mod (Thief) – Doom 3
The Thief IP, as soon as revered for its revolutionary stealth mechanics and degree design, was run into the bottom with the facile 2014 reboot. Fortunately, The Darkish Mod, a complete conversion mod for Doom 3, is as tremendous a non secular successor to the unique video games as you could possibly ask for.
The Darkish Mod eschews fight and motion in favour of fine old style stealth.
Persist with the rafters, extinguish candles with water arrows, and loot the wealthy and rich of a brooding steampunk metropolis that’s someplace between the worlds of Thief and Dishonored. The bottom mod (now standalone) is simply the tip of the arrow, because it’s bolstered by lots of of fantastic community-made ranges.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age – Medieval II: Complete Struggle
There’s no scarcity of Center-Earth-themed mods on the market, however, like Gandalf at a Hobbiton pipeweed conference, this one stands tall amongst them.
So full and detailed is The Third Age – from Rohirrim defend crests to the town format of Osgiliath – that seven years on, it stays the preferred LoTR mod for Complete Struggle.
It’s spawned a slew of sub-mods too, together with the relatively-recent The Third Age: Reforged, which provides new factions, animations and items.
As a sidenote, when you’re on the Complete Struggle: Warhammer battlewagon, take a look at the recently-released The Lord of the Rings: Rise of Mordor. It’s removed from full but, however seems promising and will but turn out to be the true successor to The Third Age.
8. Fall from Heaven 2 – Civilization IV
Staying on the theme of historic technique video games with a fantasy makeover, Fall from Heaven 2 is a perfectly imagined swords-and-sorcery overhaul of Civilization IV.
It transports the history-spanning components to a lore-rich fantasy world brimming with magic spells, Hero items (full with correctly designed fashions), demonic religions and its personal arcane tech tree.
It’s not all the time straightforward for a complete conversion mod to evoke a robust environment that basically units it aside from its base recreation, however Fall from Heaven 2 pulls it off with aplomb, because of an encyclopaedic quantity of lore, and a soundtrack that immerses you in its faraway world of werewolves and wizards.
9. Fallout 1.5: Resurrection – Fallout 2
This one’s for the retro PC avid gamers for whom Fallout is a recreation of taking turns and isometric cameras – none of this pseudo-FPS nonsense.
Launched in 2016, Fallout 1.5 is a complete conversion mod for Fallout 2 which crams a 25-or-so-hour chapter between the occasions of the primary and second video games, taking you to the post-apocalyptic wastes of Albuquerque, New Mexico (no indicators of a drug-lab camper van out within the scrublands, sadly).
Fallout 1.5 is well-written and old-school relentless, which you’ll study from the off as you’re beset by sizeable mobs of ghouls and rats. True to the spirit of the unique recreation, Fallout 1.5 additionally throws some darkish questlines and morally murky quandaries at you, so be ready to have your Karma sternly examined.
10. The Anonymous Mod – Deus Ex
Another choice for avid gamers of a sure classic, the Anonymous Mod takes Deus Ex’s cyber-noir tone of gravelly voices and shady conspiracies, and amplifies it.
Set in a metropolis that’s a manifestation of tribal web discussion board tradition, it’s a surprisingly apt recreation given the make-up of society in the present day.
Discussion board Metropolis is a spot of lonely neon lights and zeal-maddened characters, weighed down by an air of fixed paranoia that you need to cease from spilling over into self-destruction.
What’s spectacular about The Anonymous Mod is the way it manages to construct on sure areas of the unique Deus Ex; the AI is extra attentive to your actions, and the story can just about break up into two relying in your choices, coming good on that daring promise that ‘Each Alternative Issues’.
- TechRadar’s fourth annual PC Gaming Week is formally right here, celebrating our ardour with in-depth and unique protection of PC gaming from each angle. Go to our PC Gaming Week 2018 web page to see all the protection in a single place.