As always, this year's contest started by rounding out the top 100 through community nominations. Public voting was then held to list to the top five games/mods in each of three categories - indie games, unreleased and released mods. After analyzing and gathering data based on the votes, we are finally ready to present the results. ModDB has approached this year's winners, in advance, in hopes of securing exclusive content for you, the viewer. We've come back with a few goodies that I hope you guys will like. It was a very close race to the number one spot this year. Regardless, every one of the winners showcased in this feature deserve the attention. Without the effort, enthusiasm and dedication behind these projects, 2007 would have been a tough year to try and play something different.
When you're done watching the video showcase below, be sure to check out the write-ups of all the winners in the following pages for full access to all the related media. Exclusive content will be marked as such so you guys will know what to check out first. You can also find the top mods and games on AMD's site. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all those who took part in the 2007 Mod of the Year Awards.
A honorable mention is due to the mod Black Mesa which continues to poll extremely strongly year after year, but misses out on a place in the top 5 because you cannot win a spot in the best unreleased category twice.
5. Operation Black Mesa - Prepare to go back to Black Mesa... again. Operation Black Mesa is an extended re-creation of the popular Half Life add-on, Opposing Force. You'll once again be strapping on the boots of Corporal Adrian Shepard as you make your way through the revamped and albeit highly detailed Black Mesa Research Facility. Additionally, the team plans to add new areas and enemies to the fray so this unofficial redux has more to look forward to than just eye candy. It looks to be a promising effort from team behind Operation Black Mesa, which is why players chose it as there number five spot for unreleased mod of the year.
4. Mechwarrior: Living Legends - Looking at this mod makes one wonder, who doesn't like robots? The MechWarrior: Living Legends team hopes to satisfy your thirst for robotic destruction on wide open environments and look good while doing it. So far, the updates have been fast and furious, showing a number of fancy mechs armed to the teeth. Of most interest are the videos like the one below which show some of the environments where battles will take place. If MechWarrior is sure to take full advantage of all the features the CryEngine 2 has to offer, this mod won't be a disappointment. Players voted MechWarrior: Living Legends number four for unreleased mod of the year.
3. Barney's Tales - Did I say we were done with the Black Mesa Research Facility? Well, we aren't. This time you will be dressed in security apparel as you play the role of the infamous Barney from the Half Life series. Barney's Tales (formerly Blue Shift: Source) is an unofficial remake of the the last expansion pack release for the aging Half Life 1. This remake is expected to focus more on realism, using real-world US Army soldiers as a reference. Drivable vehicles are also planned. Together with other projects being developed out there, it looks like we'll be able to play through the original series all over again in the Source engine sometime in the future. To add to the lavishly detailed media they've already released, the folks over at Barney's Tales have put together an exclusive video sneak peak for us which you can look at below. Barney's Tales comes in at number 3 for unreleased mod of the year.
2. Jurassic Park - Jurassic Park the movie is one that sticks in the minds of many. It set a new standard and brought terrifying monsters to life on the silver screen; creatures that, long ago, actually existed. The Jurassic Park mod team has set out with the aim to capture the same magic that both the movie and book encapsulated and bring it to the CryEngine 2. In the mod, players will be put into the shoes of Dr. Alan Grant, paleontologist extaordinaire, as you make your journey to get off the island. Few games out there have been able to pull off dinosaurs convincingly so the team has their work cut out for them. However, from the concepts and renders provided so far, they have gained a lot of interest and seem to be off to a good start. As a treat, we have a first look at a fully textured Velociraptor for your perusal further down. Fans obviously can't get enough dinos and that's why Jurassic Park is the number two unreleased mod of the year.
1. Zombie Panic: Source - A zombie outbreak has made your town, with the exception of a select few, void of any life. All that remains are the undead and you, along with a few other survivors, have to fight them off with whatever means possible. What do you do? Do you stick together or fan out and search for ammo? The premise behind Zombie Panic is simple: survival. While the mod is available to download now, (it was unreleased before voting had begun, therefore in the unreleased category) it was quite apparent throughout development that this project would be one out of the many zombie survival mods out there to deliver the goods. Stunning visuals, eerie music and top-notch voice work help make the paranoia seem just a little bit too real. The more weaponry you pick up, the more you slow down- making you an easy target to munch on. The further a round progresses, the deeper the feeling of desperation sets in as you run thin on ammunition and the undead grow in numbers. Whether you're running away from the shambling hordes or hunting for players to tear limb from limb Zombie Panic delivers on all fronts. If you want a quick peek at the gameplay, check out the exclusive trailer below. Players hungered for a taste of Zombie Panic, more than any other mod, which is why it was voted as the number one unreleased mod of the year.
A honorable mention is due to the games Infinity and Apocalypse Rising who both polled strongly in this years awards, but miss out on a place in the top 5 due to each game still being in active development and not yet released. Keep up the fine work and all the best for 2008!
5. Tremulous - Tremulous is a free, open source game that blends a team based FPS with elements of an RTS. Players can choose from 2 unique races, aliens and humans. Players on both teams are able to build working structures in-game like an RTS. These structures provide many functions, the most important being spawning. The designated builders must ensure there are spawn structures or other players will not be able to rejoin the game after death. The overall objective behind Tremulous is to eliminate the opposing team. This is achieved by not only killing the opposing players but also removing their ability to respawn by destroying their spawn structures.
4. World of Padman - From the earliest PadMaps came the mod PadWorld, and now from that distinguished provenance comes the next evolution, the World of Padman Standalone. Developed and headed by the professional cartoonist and illustrator ENTE and his team, PadWorld Entertainment proudly present a free multiplayer standalone game for Windows, MacOS, and Linux that's powered by an extended ioQuake3-engine. It is cartoon based, crazy and fun with some innovative game modes thrown in. It's easy to enjoy yourself in PadWorld, and thats how it climbed it's way into the fourth place for best indie of 2007.
3. Warsow - For fast, frenzied action out there in the indie gaming scene today, there's not much better than Warsow. Warsow combines the speed and reflexive-based gameplay similar to that of the Quake series with the style and quirky movement of games like Jet Set Radio Future. The visuals are minimalistic yet engaging and every effort has been put into streamlining the gameplay. Billed as a choice platform for e-sports, Warsow still maintains a low barrier of entry in terms of system requirements for newcomers to the FPS genre. Whether you're a pro gamer or a first time player, this game is sure to keep you busy for hours. Warsow wall-jumps its way into the third spot in Mod DB's top indie games of the year.
2. Red Alert: A Path Beyond - Red Alert: A Path Beyond takes the original's concept of an alternate future, one without Hitler that leaves Stalin to rule with an iron fist, and bring sit into the Westwood 3D/SAGE engine. While the beta has been released just a few months ago, you can expect to see all your favorite units from the original incorporated into the game in the final version. Gameplay is still rough around the edges but makes for decent entertainment with improvements sure to follow. Players like rolling around in massive mammoth tanks and playing with Tesla coils enough to vote A Path Beyond as the second place indie game of the year. Fresh video follows below:
1. BSG: Beyond the Red Line - Fans of Battlestar Galactica rejoice! This standalone product puts you in the pilot seat to explore and partake in the dangerous space voyages of the Battlestar Galactica and company. The demo actually puts you on the Battlestar Pegasus as you obtain your flight wings and head out to engage the cylons while looking for resources. Everything is presented professionally, especially the stellar voice-acting which sounds better than a lot of commercial games put out today. Constant chatter while battling keeps you reeled in and immersed in the universe. Recent media shows the BTRL team is doing an excellent job of pushing the Freespace 2 engine to the maximum. But don't take our word on it, check out the exclusive trailer below for results. Fans can't wait to kick even more Cylon tail, that's why Beyond the Red Line ranks number one amongst the best indie games of the year.
5. Minerva - The latest chapters in Adam Foster's mod represent his honed craft of level design that rivals commercial products out there today. The mod takes place in the Half Life 2 universe where you find yourself dropped on an island occupied by Combine forces. Your only help along the way is the riddles and sordid comments Minerva herself provides you with, likening her to other popular characters the Half Life series is notable for (G-Man, GlaDos). This latest installment has even had some input from some of the staff at Valve during the development phase. It's no wonder why many consider it to be the best single player mod for Source released so far. Minerva comes in at number five for mod of the year. Don't forget to watch the brand new trailer below:
4. Forgotten Hope 2 - Journey back into the days of World War II and relive the african campaigns and battles that took place there. Forgotten Hope 2 is an amped up sequel that is redone on the Battlefield 2 engine and tops the original in every way. The combat is action packed both on the ground and in the air. The dogfights are always entertaining and while on foot or in a vehicle, you'll flinch everytime you hear the deadly whistle of airdropped bombs. Vehicles are widely available in-game and enable gripping mechanized rushes at the beginning of every round. Desert rats around the world like this mod so much they voted it number four for released mod for the year. The Forgotten Hope 2 team provides yet another exclusive trailer below:
3. Empires - Empires sets itself apart from most mods by occupying a hybrid genre. It mixes the resource management of real-time strategy with the fast paced action of a first person shooter. You play as one of two factions that cooperate with their commander to customize the lay of the land as they construct their base and obstacles for their opponents in wide open maps. A full tech tree is available for research which allows players to customize vehicle weaponry, armor and speed. The depth and variety of options in this mod can result in many scenarios on each map which keeps the multiplayer experience fresh. This new and improved version of Empires commands its way into the top five, coming in as the number three mod of the year.
2. Project Reality - As the name suggests, Project Reality's primary focus is combat realism and, where other mods have failed, Project Reality has succeeded. Teamwork and coordination are paramount for players to succeed in the huge maps with numerous objectives. Planning and communication is key and you will find yourself building a good camaradarie with other players as a result. Virtually everything has been updated and added to, including maps, game modes, weapons, sounds and player classes. With its consistent high quality and regular releases, many consider Project Reality to be a bigger, better incarnation of the original Battlefield 2. For its dedicated pursuit of realism, players have voted it the number two mod of the year.
1. Insurgency - Whether guerilla tactics or convential warfare is your style, Insurgency has you covered. This mod has you choose between US Marines or the insurgents as you take part in an all out assault to capture map points in various middle eastern locales. Insurgency brings something new to the frontlines with its unique reinforcement system and economized heads-up display that only displays the most pertinent information. Add detailed environments and wonderfully percussive sound effects to the mix and you have the makings of a winner. It was a close victory this year, but Insurgency battles its way to the top of the pile as the player's choice mod of the year. In celebration of its victory, Insurgency has put together a look back at the life of the mod and all its accomplishments: