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‘GoldenEye 007’ fans are creating a full game mod based on ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’

There’s a mod in the works for Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 that turns another James Bond film into a full game. Fans are building a playable version of The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s third, and some would argue best, Bond movie.

As spotted by , YouTuber Graslu00 posted a playthrough video showing 11 levels of The Spy Who Loved Me 64. The mod depicts the key events and locations of the film, taking Bond from the Alps to the pyramids of Egypt and a supertanker in the Atlantic Ocean. It includes Moore’s likeness, as well as characters such as Anya Amasova (aka Agent XXX) and villain Karl Stromberg. It’s possible to run the mod on an emulator in 4K at 60 frames per second, though you can also play it on an N64 console.

It’s a work in progress, as Graslu00 notes. The build of The Spy Who Loved Me 64 that’s available is a demo of the first three levels with a peek at a planned four-player multiplayer mode. It looks like there’s quite a way for the fans working on the game to go, though. The stage select screen shows 20 levels including, curiously, Bond’s childhood home of Skyfall — that seems to be one of the multiplayer maps.

Meanwhile, there’s an official James Bond title in the works. It emerged in late 2020 that Hitman studio IO Interactive is developing a game that delves into the superspy’s origins. It’s expected to be the first official Bond game since 2012’s 007 Legends.

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Game

Super Mario World gets a long-overdue widescreen mod

There is no shortage of attempts to makes games from decades past playable on today’s hardware, but there is at least one aspect that has failed to get adapted so far. These games were made specifically for the display technology of their period, which mostly meant CRTs with 4:3 aspect ratios. Some purists might prefer playing classic retro games that way, but others would prefer not to see black borders all around. Fortunately, a new mod gives the SNES version of Super Mario World a wider viewport, provided you’re willing to go through hoops to get it working.

You can’t really blame developers of the past for not “future-proofing” their games. No one probably imagined TVs and monitors sporting ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratios that some today still find ridiculous. Fortunately, developers can also get pretty creative and ingenious, leading to mods that no one would have thought possible, let alone necessary, years ago.

This newest mod for Super Mario World works by modifying the game’s internal screen from 256×224 to 352×224 to get a 16:9 aspect ratio. Of course, there’s no screen today with that super low-res density, so the other part of the formula requires applying other mods to support HD resolutions. That’s why this particular mod so far works only with the bsnes-hd emulator and nothing else, at least for now.

It isn’t simple as downloading a ROM and playing it on the emulator, though. You have to apply the mod to an existing ROM, which, for legal reasons, you have to get on your own. You also have to make sure to get the SNES version of Super Mario World, no the more recent Game Boy Advance ports or similar. There are other steps detailed in the wide-snes GitHub page, but it should be simple enough for seasoned emulator users to go through.

Some will probably disagree with playing the original Super Mario World in anything other than its original 4:3 format. This mod at least opens the doors for those who want to fully take advantage of modern hardware. It supports 16:9 and 16:10 monitors but support for 2:1 and 21:9 ratios are also in progress. There’s also ongoing interest in developing a more generic “wide-snes” mod that can be applied to any SNES game that has a ROM that exists somewhere on the Web.



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Game

Fallout fans are making a mod that takes the series to post-apocalyptic London

With Bethesda hard at work on Starfield, a new single-player Fallout game is likely years away. But fans of the series have something else they can look forward to in the meantime outside of more Fallout 76 DLC. Just as the curtain was closing on E3 2021, a team of passionate fans released a trailer for Fallout: London, a “DLC-sized mod” of Fallout 4.

An FAQ offers additional details about the project. The mod will take place in 2237, putting it between the events of Fallout and Fallout 2. With an entire ocean between London and the continental US, many elements from the mainline Fallout games won’t prominently feature in the mod. For example, the forced evolutionary virus hasn’t made its way across the pond. That means you won’t face off against enemies like super mutants and deathclaws. “We will have a version of a vault, but it will be entirely different from that of Vault-Tec, except that it is a shelter, beneath the ground,” the Fallout: London team adds.

As you might imagine, the change of locale also opens the door for interesting factions to occupy the game world. The mod’s website currently lists seven, including one called Camelot that draws inspiration from the Knights of the Round Table. You can see them in the trailer fighting mutants with swords and plate armor. How very British of them.

According to the team, the condensed version of London they’ve created is about the size of the Commonwealth in Fallout 4 before Bethesda released DLC to make it bigger. Expect to visit post-apocalyptic versions of famous London boroughs like Hackney and Camden as you go about your adventures.

Fallout: London currently doesn’t have a release, but if you want to help make the project a reality, the team is accepting applications. In the meantime, the mod team says you’ll need the PC version of Fallout 4 and all of the downloadable content Bethesda released for the game to play Fallout: London once it comes out.

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Game

‘Among Us’ will borrow from its mod community to stay relevant

Among Us built its following in part through the sheer number of mods, and Innersloth is clearly hoping that it will keep the excitement up by folding those add-ons into the game. The developer has revealed a roadmap for Among Us that includes more than a few previously mod-only features, including a hide-and-seek mode as well as roles like the sheriff (who can kill impostors) and scientist. These will feel familiar and maybe even slightly behind the curve if you’ve been using mods for months, but it’s still good to see them built into the core game.

There are some other upgrades you’ll appreciate, too. The next major update will include 15-player support in case the usual 10 is too modest. In the long term, you can also expect a fifth map, achievements, multi-platform account linking, visor cosmetics and widened console support that will include PlayStation as well as the previously mentioned Xbox support.

There aren’t any definite timeframes for these additions. Still, this might be welcome if you’re tired of using sometimes-glitchy mods — assuming, of course, you haven’t moved on to other games by the time the updates are ready. Among Us was super-relevant at the height of the pandemic when it helped friends keep in touch, but it may be losing its luster as lockdowns end and games like GTA V‘s role-playing capture more attention.

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Tech News

Armored Brigade is even more fun with this fantastic WWII mod

Matrix Games today announced the launch of a World War II mod for Armored Brigade. I’ve spent a little time checking things out and there’s a lot to be excited about here.

Armored Brigade is my favorite war game. It has a unique playability that both consistently challenges me and makes me feel really smart. But I’m not a huge fan of the Cold War era. For my money, there’s no setting quite like World War II.

Luckily for me, AB 1943, as the mod is called, converts the Armored Brigade experience into a WW2 game set in the Eastern front.

Players can choose from the Red Army, Red Army Guards, and the Wehrmacht where they’ll command hundreds of historically accurate units in clashes representing some of WW2’s greatest battles.

The mod was developed by popular modder “KarlTaco” and, though it’s not an official expansion, Matrix games has supported it by featuring information about it on the company’s website.

I had a chance to check the mod out and, so far, I’m having a blast. There are tweaks all over that make the game feel a bit more “WW2-ish.” These include making infantry a bit faster and squishier and making tanks a little more beastly. I look forward to diving all the way in and seeing what kind of campaigns I can generate from both sides.

I highly recommend this mod for any AB fans out there. It’s free, so if you don’t like it you can just unsubscribe.

If you do like it, however, you’re in luck. It looks like we can expect some updates and expansions to “AB 1943” as time goes on.

Per the mod’s Steam entry by KarlTaco:

From the recapture of Stalingrad in February 1943 until Germany’s surrender in May 1945, the Wehrmacht, Red Army, and Red Army Guards are the current playable factions.

Future updates will aim to expand everything. In the long term I might expand the timeframe to begin earlier, depending on the popularity of the mod.

Immediate goals include refining balance and sprites based on your constructive feedback. As every unit, weapon, formation etc must be researched and a sprite/s created, progress is slower than in my previous mod.

You can get the “AB 1943” mod free on Steam.

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Game

Microsoft Flight Simulator mod blocks Suez Canal with a cargo ship

Depending on who you ask, it’s either art that imitates life or the other way around. When it comes to simulators, however, it’s clearly the former and it probably comes to an almost comical degree with Microsoft’s latest iteration of Flight Simulator. Popular for its almost realistic virtual representation of real-world planes, instrumentation, and locations, one modder has taken that to the extreme and has decided to give the virtual Suez Canal its own version of the notorious EverGreen cargo ship Ever Given that is causing real headaches and financial loses in the real-world.

Microsoft Flight Simulator, which got its latest sequel last year after nearly 14 years of no releases, is a ginormous game. It is both popular and notorious for its bent towards realism, supporting weather and traffic data taken from the real world. The developers have tried to recreate as much of the real world as they could faithfully can but, of course, they can’t really adjust to real-world events that change the course of history or, in this case, transportation.

Thankfully, the game is also open to modders and one, in particular, took great pains to recreate a critical real-world scenario that has countries and businesses scrambling to figure out how to deal with the consequences of a single but gigantic ship blocking one of the world’s most important shipping waterways. That’s EverGreen Line’s now-notorious Golden-class containership Ever Given that has blocked the Suez Canal for five days, also blocking the traffic of cargo in both directions.

“Technical adviser to the CEO of Microsoft” Mat Velloso shared a video clip of the mod in action. The clip tries to recreate an almost realistic pilot’s voice-over, calling passengers’ attention to the Suez Canal before noticing the Ever Given stuck in the middle. The mod can also simulate the traffic jam the incident has caused but only if you have the Global AI Ship Traffic mod installed.

The Ever Given has become an Internet meme in the past few days but, comical as it may look, it has caused no small amount of delays in shipping and businesses around the world. Fortunately, at the time of this writing, the ship has been freed from its prison and has started to float again.

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Cyberpunk 2077 gets official mod tools so now so you can fix the game yourself

By now, most people are aware that Cyberpunk 2077 launched in a rather poor state across all platforms, and though developers and executives at CD Projekt Red have committed to fixing the game, there’s a long road ahead of them. One thing that might help on that front are the mod tools that CD Projekt Red just released for Cyberpunk 2077. While there’s no true replacement for fixes and optimizations from the developer itself, modders have done some truly impressive work fixing otherwise broken games in the past, and they’ll almost certainly do so here as well.

The mod tools can now be found on the official Cyberpunk 2077 website, and the tools include Metadata, ArchiveDump, TweakDump, and TweakDB IDs. CD Projekt Red says that these mod tools will be continuously updated as the game itself is, so modders don’t have to worry about these tools suddenly becoming incompatible with the base game.

Even without these mod tools to help with development, modders wasted little time in creating mods for Cyberpunk 2077. One that’s already received a fair amount of attention is a third-person mod that was released earlier this month. That mod was certainly impressive and it gave a lot of fans a mode they’ve been asking for, so maybe now that these mod tools are officially out, the people behind the third-person mod can use them to soften some of its rough edges.

Longtime PC gamers will likely be very happy to hear that official mod tools are now available for Cyberpunk 2077 because those PC gamers will be familiar with how much modders can do to fix a game. Particularly in big, open-world games like Cyberpunk 2077, modders can make a ton of quality-of-life improvements that make the game in question run better with fewer bugs overall. For instance, with each major Bethesda release, it’s usually only a matter of time before modders release unofficial patches that fix a number of problems with each game.

Here’s hoping modders take the same approach with Cyberpunk 2077, because like the open-world Bethesda games that came before it, Cyberpunk could certainly use a little care and attention. Now that the mod tools are here, expect a deluge of mods to follow in the weeks and months ahead, alongside the patches that CD Projekt Red has already promised to deliver throughout 2021.

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