With Frictional Games' announcement that it intends to add a “Safe Mode” to the Xbox One release of Soma on December 1 (which will also update the PC version with the new Safe Mode) we’ve decided to look at a long-running trend amongst game mods that all focus on accomplishing a similar goal: removing monsters or enemies from games in order to create a “safe” or less stressful experience.
While many players might think that this is a kind of cheating, and that removing the challenge or threat from a game will ruin the game itself, the purpose of these mods is to explore what happens when enemies are removed. This can often be to make the game more accessible to a wider variety of players, who may not have the skills necessary to progress – or even to create a kind of “virtual tourism” that allows players to explore environments freely and unhindered.
Frictional itself has even stated in an interview with PC Gamer that it was surprised at just how well Soma’s Safe Mode actually works – and that maybe that should have been the game it released in the first place:
"It fits the game far better than I thought it would when we started working on it. To be honest, it even made me question if this was the way the game should have been released in the first place. But I haven’t made my mind up about that yet."
Regardless, we think this initiative highlights one of the best things about mods – providing greater player choice, and creating brand new experiences that you wouldn’t normally find being offered by developers. So without further ado, here are the best No Enemies mods for a variety of games – starting with one for Soma itself, that you can play before the official Safe Mode arrives next month.
While this mod doesn’t specifically remove enemies, it does disable all damage they cause to the player, effectively neutralising them as a threat and allowing players to explore Soma’s deep-sea facility at their own pace.
This mod keeps all enemies in game, but stops them from attacking you! The alien will rarely drop in, and when he does he will show no interest in you. When you come across a Working Joe, although his eyes may be red, he will be friendly even if you attack him. Facehuggers will also ignore you.
This here little mod completely removes all cops/blues/SWAT/snipers/etc from the game, allowing you to play entirely at your own pace. Take screenshots in otherwise really fiddly places! Enjoy the view! Don't get frustrated by shoehorned in and sub-par combat!
Allows you to play your game without ANY enemy interference at all. The same benefit also applies in the MP coop and all level modes from easy to nightmare in SP. Perfect for testing other Mods and has advantages over the typical 'notarget' state. Unlike 'notarget' you may fire your weapon(s) without any provocation. Plus you may travel at will without enemy hindrance by blocking your paths.
It’s almost as if the galaxy is regularly wiped clean of all life by galactic crises or something. At any rate, your species has just found itself in the odd position of being the first life to discover FTL travel. Adds in versions of the vanilla galaxies with no AI empires (as well as a larger 1500 star galaxy). Still allows primitive civilizations to spawn. Please note that when you start the game you will recieve a victory screen for “conquering the galaxy” since there are no other AI empires.
Make monsters can only spawn in completely darkness (lightlevel <= 0) thus surface will be much more peaceful.
The Witcher 3
Kills everything on sight and hides the bodies. Kill radius corresponds to entity spawn radius, i.e. as soon as the game decides you close enough to spawn an entity, it spawns it and then the entity gets killed.
Lets you mosey around peacefully, enjoying the world. Any unfriendly monsters that show up will be killed instantly. Worry not, their death is painless. This is completely ethical.
As Frictional's Thomas Grip espouses in the above PC gamer interview, he doesn't necessarily see mods that remove enemies from games - even his own games - as a critique of the game itself. Rather, he is pleased by mod teams working to create new experiences:
“I’m all for users modding the experience to suit their needs ... I just really like it when people take things into their own hands like this."