6 Awesome Hacks That Did Mind-Blowing Things With Old Games
Part of what makes video games unique is that gamers have the ability to mod their own better versions -- you'll never see a version of Die Hard where all the guns shoot dildos. But while we mostly hear about dumb mods that put ponies and Macho Man in Skyrim, it turns out that those are just little distractions from their main commitment, which is taking old games and rebuilding them from the ground up in amazing new ways. Like ...
Grand Theft Auto IV, Now With Marvel Superheroes
Even though superhero movies have made so much money for Hollywood that they needed to invent new numbers, most of the non-Batman games based on those heroes are like the X-Men 3 of gaming. Maybe it's because most movie tie-in games are rushed by inexperienced developers, or maybe movie studios don't want to take risks with their franchises. Whatever the reason, there are almost no good official superhero games out there. "Official" is the key word; unofficially, well ... a picture is worth a thousand words.
None of them printable.
That isn't Photoshop, or an image captured directly from the part of your brain that processes your innermost desires. That's a screenshot from a Grand Theft Auto IV mod. A mod that gives you a complete working set of Tony Stark's armor. Now, we admit that a good guy like Stark isn't the most logical choice for a game based on crime, but as a counterargument, we offer this screenshot of Iron Man drunkenly head-butting the sidewalk:
Or busting out some seriously sick break-dance moves.
Along with granting you the power of flight and the ability to pimp-slap pedestrians across an entire city block if they give you any lip, the mod gives you access to Iron Man's signature arsenal of lasers and missiles, which you can use to blow up half the city in about five minutes. Hell, you can get drunk and throw cars at the Statue of Liberty. Just think of it as Iron Man working out some psychological issues.
But for those of you who just aren't into Iron Man, how do you feel about the Hulk?
"HULK FOUGHT LAW, AND HULK WON."
You can throw cars, wield lampposts like baseball bats, jump high enough to land on helicopters, and even pluck rockets out of the air, all in the most realistic digital version of New York ever made. It's like someone turned the doodles in your elementary school notebook into a game. It even makes sense that the Hulk would be on a mindless rampage, especially after the terrible standalone movies he's had.
"HULK PRETEND YOU ANG LEE."
The Gargantuan Elder Scrolls Mashup
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is one of the greatest RPGs ever made, but it's not without its flaws. The combat is as awkward and frustrating as that time we got really drunk and tried to fight our shadow, and everyone and everything looks like it's been beaten with a +1 Shovel of Ugly.
Nice tits, flatface.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, meanwhile, looks gorgeous and is much easier to play, but it never takes players to Morrowind's Vvardenfell, one of the most fascinating and distinct lands in the series. It would be great if there was some way to combine the two, but the only way to do it would be to spend countless painstaking hours building the world of Morrowind into Oblivion, a task so dauntingly large as to be all but impossible. Naturally, a bunch of modders went ahead and did it anyway.
Morroblivion takes everything from Morrowind -- and we do mean everything -- and plops it into the world of Oblivion. All 9 square miles of Vvardenfell have been loving given a fresh coat of virtual paint. All the hundreds of quests are there for you to complete and then get annoyed by when you get stiffed on a decent reward. Every enemy you fondly remember is present and ready to be stabbed in the face.
"Hey, it's been a while. How's it going? Uh, what are you doing with that sword?"
The mod is fully playable, and they've almost finished modding in Morrowind's two expansions as well. That alone is a staggering accomplishment by a group of talented and passionate people with way, way too much time on their hands. So we all know they didn't stop there.
We've mentioned before that Oblivion gave every single non-playable character a unique and intricate weekly schedule. The Morroblivion team gave all of the 1,210 characters they brought in their own schedules, too, because hey, why not? They're even working on voicing all 51,000+ lines of dialogue from Morrowind, because fuck going outside. If you're curious and can do a good Dark Elf voice, they're still holding auditions.
Who sounds cooler, House Telvanni or House Hlaalu? You decide!
Sadly, even Oblivion is starting to show its age, and next to the gorgeous winter landscapes of the fifth game in the series, Skyrim, it doesn't look like much. That's why the same team is also working on moving Morrowind into Skyrim, because why take on one staggeringly large project when you can take on two? Presumably by the time they're done with Skywind, a sixth game will be out, and the whole thing will start over again.
They're already porting Oblivion to Skyrim, because of course they are.
Thousands of People Causing Utter Chaos in Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is the game you get when you combine every action movie ever made with the rad stunts you used to do with your Hot Wheels. Wikipedia assures us that it has a plot, but we stopped paying attention to it the moment we saw this:
We'll wait while your boner subsides.
That's a player shooting a motorcycle into the sky, jumping on it in midair, and totally nailing the landing. And that's just one of the countless stupidly awesome things you can do in the game. Just check out one of the many montages that feature everything from jet burnouts to speedboat back-flip combos. But even ramping your car off a runway, then climbing out of it and jumping into the cockpit of a jet can get boring when you're always doing it by yourself (it's kind of like masturbating). That's why a group of modders decided to introduce multiplayer to the formerly single-player game. Now, just how many players are we talking here? Two? A dozen? A hundred?
Of course it's not a hundred. That would be silly. No, we're talking thousands. Yes, these guys took a game designed solely to give one person as much freedom to blow shit up as they could and invited 2,500 of their closest friends to join. We'd suggest that it's a meta-commentary on how ridiculously over the top the original game was if we could stop watching the trailer.
Just watching this doubled the size of your biceps.
It's not even a game so much as it's the closest humanity has come to encapsulating the abstract concept of chaos. You can do everything from skydive with a few hundred people who are all shooting at each other ...
An academic study of how gravity affects varied bodies.
... to participating in a violent 74-man limousine race through an airport.
"Gotta get there three hours early just in case, bitches."
It barely qualifies as a game, really -- there are no objectives or rules, and you'll find yourself getting killed constantly. That would ruin other games, but somehow it just makes this mod even more awesome. The frustration of constantly dying is worth it for those moments when you launch a boat off a blimp and crash it into a plane that's about to take off.
Most mods aren't offered any support by game developers, and in some cases the developers even try to shut mods down. The developers of Just Cause 2, however, took one look at a picture of 2,000 people surfing fighter jets into an active volcano and realized that it would be a crime against humanity to stand in their way. So they gave the mod their blessing, which means it got an official release through Steam, where you can buy it for the modest price of free.
A Fallout: New Vegas Mod Lets You Play as the Bad Guys
If you haven't been living inside a self-sufficient underground vault for the last two decades, you've probably heard of the Fallout series. The latest entry of the post-apocalyptic open world RPG franchise, Fallout: New Vegas, sold like radioactive hot cakes and added enough downloadable content to keep even the most hardcore gamer occupied for months. But if you know one thing about the Internet, you know that it's never, ever satisfied.
"Give us more ray guns that melt things, please."
There was one thing Fallout aficionados felt was missing (two if you count the creepy people who modded in digital genitals, but let's not), and that was Fallout's iconic baddies, the Enclave. The Enclave is the remnants of America's government, but eeeeviiiil. They made a cameo appearance, but gamers wanted the whole deal: an evil militia they could take on like they did the last time they visited the wasteland. What they got was so much more.
Including more ray guns that melted things.
"For the Enclave" is a fully functioning campaign that lets you join an Enclave faction in the midst of a civil war. There are also new side quests and random encounters, a new companion to take ray guns to the face for you, and a sizable new area to explore. The Enclave even has its own radio station. And the whole thing is fully voice-acted, complete with the careful synchronization of the characters' lips, which is good, because nothing takes you out of that feeling of immersive reality like an irradiated mutant that talks funny.
"Throg demand proper enunciation!"
Fans of the game will realize just how staggering these features are, but for non-gamers, we'll put it like this: The mod took three years to make. You have to admire the commitment required to spend that much time on a mod for a game that the average gamer will have moved on from years ago. It's clearly a labor of love, or at least as close to "love" as a mod that lets you join the ruthless, evil bad guys can be.
An Entire Unofficial Baldur's Gate Remake
Baldur's Gate is a classic RPG that came out all the way back in 1998. That was a while ago by any standard, but for gamers, it might as well be from the Bronze Age. While the game was highly regarded, time marched on. In 2006, the same developers released Neverwinter Nights 2, and take a look at the difference a few years make:
Ah, how stabbings have evolved!
Neverwinter Nights 2 was a good game, but it just wasn't the same. However, it's hard to go back and play Baldur's Gate these days because, much like your first car, in retrospect it feels pretty clunky. So a small group of modders began the process of remaking the entirety of Baldur's Gate and its expansion in Neverwinter Nights 2. And by the entirety we mean all 150 hours of content, a measurement that assumes you already know exactly where to find everything. We guess it's no surprise that the most dedicated modders are fans of games that require serious dedication, but goddamn. That level of commitment is either admirable or certifiable, and we're still trying to figure out which.
The work started in 2006, and the mod was released in 2013, which for you non-math wizards out there is seven years. Seven years spent on a fan project. They weren't going to sell it for money. They didn't want any accolades. They just really, really love Baldur's Gate. They love it with the same passion that you love your parents. They would make love to it, if they could.
This next mod update will let them do that.
Even if you've never played a game in your life, you're familiar with Doom. It was a gaming phenomenon, a ground-breaking shooter that outsold Windows 95. Doom is also one of the most controversial games of all time -- it was criticized for its graphic violence, especially after it was associated with the Columbine shooters.
The box was made entirely from glued-together '80s metal album covers.
Naturally, one hardcore fan decided that what the game needed was more brutality.
Brutal Doom is what you get when you take the original game, dial it up to 11, and give it a nice big bag of fucks to hand out at its leisure. Did your mother recoil in horror the first time she saw you shoot up a room full of demons? Then for the love of all that is good and holy, don't let her see you shoot a zombie soldier to pieces, give his still breathing corpse the finger, then stomp its head in. She probably wouldn't like that.
And if she does like it, you'd probably rather not know.
If you think that's over the top, we're not even scratching the gore-, pus-, and explosion-stained surface. The mod features a ton of new weapons, all of which are equally powerful, because you should never be forced to use the so-called "best" weapon in your arsenal to slaughter the legions of hell.
Punching them in the demon dick should always be an option.
Along with the new weapons, levels, and enemies (and enough blood and guts for a GWAR concert held in an abattoir), the game also features a slew of new, ridiculously over-the-top animations. For example, if you happen to see severed heads or limbs on the floor (and believe us, you will), you can use your new kick ability to punt them at your enemies, assuming you aren't just roundhousing their heads off.
And, if you somehow find yourself wanting to play the most violent game ever made in stealth mode, you can now sneak up behind your enemies and rip them limb from limb like you've personally been tutored by the entire cast of Mortal Kombat. Hell, this is the first game to ever make us feel sorry for hell's grotesque minions. Especially since, according to the mod's creator, "Some enemies will scream in anguish and try to crawl away when near death." You know, you might be playing as the bad guy.
A bad guy who's great at peeling oranges.
We're told that the weapons and explosions are "loud as fuck," and you can coat the floor, the walls, and the goddamn ceiling in blood. We're not using any hyperbole, because it's hard to exaggerate a game where you can punt a demon's face off.
Possibly the only choice better than going right for the dick.
Watch the trailer and tell us you wouldn't prefer this to half the shooter games on the market today, you sick bastard. Sure, Brutal Doom doesn't have the polish of modern blockbusters, but those games sure as hell don't have, well, this:
Rated M for "Muhuhuhahahahahahaaha!!"
Brandon has a YouTube channel. You can stalk him and learn his dark secrets on Twitter. Karl is the lead writer and researcher over at FactFiend. If you'd like to make fun of his last name, you can do so via Twitter.
Related Reading: Have you seen the Nicholas Cage edition of The Legend of Zelda? It's terrifying. And there's a glitch across the Call of Duty games that can raise the dead. For some hidden mods by game designers that fuck with pirates, click here.