Blockbuster video games like DOTA, Counter-Strike and DayZ have are all related by the truth that they began off as complete 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 have been born.

However we’re going to place apart these success tales for now, and take a look at one of the best complete conversion mods which can be nonetheless fully free. After years of labor and a whole bunch of hours of improvement, these mods are so effectively crafted that should you squint just a bit, you might simply mistake them for full standalone video games.

The flexibility to fully rework your present recreation into a wholly new one utilizing complete conversion mods is but one more reason why gaming on PC is so good. So, as a part of our PC Gaming Week 2018, here is our decide of one of the best complete conversion mods you may set up and play proper now without cost.

1. A Recreation of Thrones – Crusader Kings II 

Launched not lengthy after Crusader Kings 2 itself, A Game of Thrones just isn’t solely an ideal match for the mechanics of Paradox’s feudal grand technique recreation, however fingers down one of the best video-game set in George R.R. Martin’s blockbuster fantasy world.

A Recreation of Thrones might typically seem like all battles and dragons and dangerous language, however actually it’s a saga of political intrigue, scheming and Machiavellian plotting; who must be married off to whom, and for what achieve? 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 right 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

One of the crucial polished complete conversion mods ever made, Enderal may 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 wonderful new world that provides round 100 hours of content material.

Inside Skyrim’s quite action-orientated engine, Enderal manages to search out its personal id, and in some ways harks again to old-school RPGs; it’s powerful, 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.

three. 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, finally, 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 all the 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 trustworthy to the setting, and a complete world of dialogue and occasions has been written to convincingly migrate the inimitable Warband formulation to the Far East.

four. X-COM/UFO: Enemy Unknown – X-Piratez

The unique 1994 turn-based squaddie alien shooter X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown has been saved alive because of the OpenXcom Extended open-source mission. 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 collection.

5. Underhell – Half-life 2

From Black Mesa to Garry’s Mod, by the use of Pure Choice, Half-life 2 has been the launchpad for a number of profitable mods that went on to develop into absolutely fledged video games. One of many ones that by no means made the leap, nonetheless, 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 ambiance and experimental storytelling. 

The motion flows like a fever dream between a dreamworld, spooky residence and cruel motion, making Underhell stand alongside The Stanley Parable as one of many extra clever 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 tasks lately.

6. The Darkish Mod (Thief) – Doom three

The Thief IP, as soon as revered for its revolutionary stealth mechanics and stage design, was run into the bottom with the facile 2014 reboot. Fortunately, The Dark Mod, a complete conversion mod for Doom 3, is as high quality a religious successor to the unique video games as you possibly can ask for.

The Darkish Mod eschews fight and motion in favour of fine old school stealth.

Follow 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 a whole bunch 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 structure of Osgiliath – that seven years on, it stays the most well-liked LoTR mod for Total War

It’s spawned a slew of sub-mods too, together with the relatively-recent The Third Age: Reforged, which provides new factions, animations and models.

As a sidenote, should you’re on the Total War: 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 to be promising and will but develop into the true successor to The Third Age.

eight. 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 wonderfully imagined swords-and-sorcery overhaul of Civilization IV.

It transports the history-spanning formulation to a lore-rich fantasy world brimming with magic spells, Hero models (full with correctly designed fashions), demonic religions and its personal arcane tech tree.

It’s not at all times straightforward for a complete conversion mod to evoke a robust ambiance that basically units it other than 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 immediately. 

Discussion board Metropolis is a spot of lonely neon lights and zeal-maddened characters, weighed down by an air of fixed paranoia that you have to cease from spilling over into self-destruction.

What’s spectacular about The Nameless Mod is the way it manages to construct on sure areas of the unique Deus Ex; the AI is extra conscious of your actions, and the story can just about cut up into two relying in your choices, coming good on that daring promise that ‘Each Alternative Issues’.

  • TechSwitch’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 the entire protection in a single place. 
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