Ah, late December… tis the season for posting Best Of The Year lists – and today’s comes from the folks at Mod DB, the home for all things modded and fan-created. And while this year was a great one for AAA games that actually allowed you to mess around with them, the community-chosen Mod Of The Year prize (it’s a spanner) goes to a game first launched in 2006.
Edain Mod was released in March for the nearly decade-old strategy Battle for Middle-Earth II: Rise of the Witch King. It’s considered by fans to be more like a sequel than a mere mod, making the game more like the original Battle for Middle-Earth and bringing with it a whole stack of Tolkien lore.
The Edain Mod aims to take you deeper into Middle-Earth than ever before and create a game worthy of Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s movies. In our quest for lore accuracy, visual quality and deeper gameplay, we overhauled every aspect of the original game to craft a new, immersive Lord of the Rings experience. Discover the new factions of Lothlorien and Rohan, field new units and heroes for each of the existing factions, enjoy a visual style closer to the movies and unleash the power of the One Ring with individual Ring heroes for every factions. Light or Shadow, Defender or Conqueror… the choice is yours.
The folks at ModDB tallied up more than 120,000 votes, and report that the top three were pretty close. Following the hobbits is a pair of Command & Conquer fan-creations – Rise of the Reds for Generals: Zero Hour, and Mental Omega for Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge at 2 and 3 respectively.
Describing the Top 10 mods as titles that “morph already amazing games into something different, quirky, better”, fans voted for projects that modified Mount and Blade, Fallout New Vegas, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and even Portal 2 got a look in.
- Edain Mod – 2015 (Battle for Middle-Earth II)
- Rise of the Reds – 2008 (Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour)
- Mental Omega – 2013 (Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge)
- Ultimate Apocalypse Mod – 2015 (Dawn of War: Soulstorm)
- A Clash of Kings – 2012 (Mount and Blade: Warband)
- Warsword Conquest – 2011 (Mount and Blade: Warband)
- Thrawn’s Revenge: Imperial Civil War – 2010 (Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption)
- Fallout: Project Brazil – 2013 (Fallout: New Vegas)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Chernobyl – 2015 (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
- Portal Stories: Mel – 2015 (Portal 2)
It’s interesting to note that Edain Mod didn’t even make it into the Editor’s Choice list – in fact, just four of the fan-voted projects appear on both.
It’s also interesting to see how old some of these mods are. Rise of the Reds first came out in 2008 and the fanbase is still going strong. It’s a pity that the big-name publishers don’t seem to look at things like this when deciding what next game to make, instead continuing to stomp all over the legacy of great games. Who knows – one day, we might get a good Command & Conquer. One day.