What is a "mod?" A mod is an add-on to a game, usually created by a third party, adjusting the game in some fashion. Sometimes it involves only a small change, such as adding blood to a fighting game, or changing weapons or vehicles in a first-person shooter game.
But sometimes the mods are more encompassing. For example, Counter-Strike was originally a Half-Life mod. It offered completely new weapons, levels, characters, and a completely new goal. It used the Half-Life engine to run a completely separate game, one that millions of gamers enjoyed.
A couple years later, Battlefield 1942 came out, and not too long afterwards, its own mods began to surface. While there were many, many mods, there's no question the strongest performance was by the Desert Combat mod. It integrated flawlessly into the Battlefield 1942 environment, changing weapons and vehicles, and adding its own maps and missions for a completely new gaming experience. I have played Desert Combat for years, and I've always enjoyed it.
But there are so many different mods out there, why would I limit myself to just this one? Sure, it may be the most notorious and best-received mod for Battlefield 1942, but surely these other mods offer another new experience. It's a great way to avoid paying for a new game.
Well, yesterday I downloaded 4 different mods, with the hope that at least one of them would turn out to be a real enjoyable one. To say I was mildly disappointed would be something of an understatement.
Noted as the "Halo mod," I was excited to see what this one had to offer. Sadly, anytime I tried to get into a game using this mod, the game crashed. So while the interface had me feeling optimistic, I never actually saw the game. This would be a problem for most of these mods.
With this one, I was able to get into a game, and the GUI clearly was adjusted to represent the pirates game. However, the actual gameplay, including weapons and vehicles, was exactly the same as the BF 1942 game. I tried to find an online game to see if that might offer the true gameplay, but best I could tell, there were simply no servers running the Pirates mod. So screw it, I said. Uninstalled.
This is it, the Star Wars mod I had heard about for years. I figured, finally, I'll get to see if it's any good. Wrong-o. This was another one that didn't work at all. It's possible that I have a new version of BF 1942 that is incompatible with the older mods, but shit, I don't want to have to roll back my BF 1942 just to check to see if that's the case. So no go.
This was the only one that seemed to at least offer a glimpse of what it's supposed to be. All of the player skins were changed to standard "Joe soldiers" or "Cobra troopers," which is okay, though I had been hoping to take on the cold visage of the opportunistic Destro. But maybe that's too much to ask for in this kind of game. The vehicles and weapons were adjusted to be more like the original G.I.Joe gear, though the vehicles were a little limited. Two jeeps and two helicopters, no heavy vehicles of any kind. Also, on the custom G.I.Joe maps, the AI seemed to be simply missing. The enemy soldiers would just sit there, in their bunkers, waiting for who knows what to happen. In the end, a deleter.
So I'm back where I started. I've got Battlefield 1942 and the elite mod, Desert Combat. I'll have to ride these waves for now. I hear Battlefield 2 has some worthwhile mods, maybe I'll check them out if I ever get that game.
(This post was started in August; I lost direction for a while, and obviously we've got some new information, a la the actual gameplay, ...
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