I use to be a huge fan of game mods, but since I moved to consoles I don’t really get a chance to play with community work. That’s unfortunate because although a lot of garbage is created, sometimes really great work is done. Team Fortress comes to mind as a major achievement which went on to become a commercial product with Team Fortress 2. Many other great mods, some which just added tweaks brought a whole new experience to a game. Quake 3 had so many mods and maps, and this really added to the longevity of the entire game. I used to create maps for Quake 2, Half Life, and Quake 3, some of which can be found at my Hellfog Mapping Realm site.
Many larger mods, also sometimes called total conversions, have much more ambition and usually involve a team. These usually fall by the wayside due to a lack of desire or motivation. I think a lot of this has to do with the constant flow of new games and game engines always coming out, which make it very hard or maybe even discouraging to continue to work on something that is a few years old and may not be played by many people. That said, every now and then there is an exception to the rule and a team creates something brilliant, and right now, that looks like City 7: Toronto Conflict.
The other day a friend of mine sent me a link to the site. Now I can’t say what the game play is like, because I have Half Life 2 on the Xbox 360 Orange Box disc. That said I may have to try out the PC version just to try this mod. The story line does not diverge from the Half Life Universe at all, but instead focuses on North America, namely Toronto. This is a very unique twist as most mods totally diverge from the original game story.
From the screenshots, all I can say is wow. I live in Toronto and City 7: Toronto Conflict looks great, at least from the screenshots. I especially like the detail in the Eaton’s Centre. If I do get around to trying out this mod I’ll definitely post my impressions. If you live in Toronto and play Half Life 2, you just have to try this out and let me know what it is like.