Realms Deep, an annual celebration and showcase of retro-inspired indies (some of which are even based upon old-school game engines), is coming up in mid-September. Many original ideas have been pursued in the modding space over the years using the oldies as a foundation, and so here's five mods for some classic retro FPS games that told their own brand-new stories!
Let's jump into a more conventional period in human history than Quake's sci-fi-gothic theming, into the conflict of the Cold War instead. Object N is a total conversion focusing on this tumultuous period of the late 20th century with a set of singleplayer levels to explore full of classical design philosophy and bizarre creatures, and also featuring a multiplayer offering with classes and a variety of interesting objective mods to master.
The modern era of history isn't the only content worth mining for historical total conversions - as REKKR takes a step into Norse and Celtic style, providing pseudo-medieval combat against yet more bizarre critters with a creative arsenal of old-timey weaponry. Storm old bars, valleys, and hills as you wreak carnage as vengeance for the destruction of your home town!
A remake of an older TC for Duke 3D, this mod works on an innovative branch of the Build engine featuring 3D model and higher-res texture support, floating comfortably into that peculiar middle-ground these engine rewrites sometimes create between 2.5D and full 3D. Emphasising modern weaponry against mostly human-adjacent enemies, it's got a very different feel to the earlier entries on this list and provides yet more examples of a retro engine conquered by modders!
Now here's another example of a very interesting and recent phenomenon (relatively speaking anyway) to the DOOM modding scene - standalone games built on forks of the DOOM engine, in particular GZDoom! Age of Hell is such a game, creating whole new assets, code, and gameplay systems that differ wildly from DOOM's basis. You may still be a demon-slayer, this may still be Hell you're storming, but whole new enemies, a different environmental style, and original weapons mean you've got a very different experience in store!
One of the more recent entries on this list is also one of the most remarkable total conversions ever - a totally free expansion built on the GZDoom engine once more, constructing a world very much removed from DOOM channelling a separate atmosphere with an original soundtrack, gorgeous sprite work, and...vehicles?? Ashes won a place in our most recent MOTY, raising the bar even further for mods of this nature going forwards.
Realms Deep is an annual showcase event run by 3D Realms, a noted publisher with a long history of publishing some of the biggest names in gaming. Though the focus is generally on 3D Realms' own upcoming catalogue, they also partner up with some other very notable indie developers pushing the envelope of the retro revival genre - like New Blood, HYPERSTRANGE, and DreadXP. These developers are at the forefront of reviving retro games, developing innovative new shooters and experiences that channel the wild west of 90s style and creativity with the refinement and polish of modern-day game design.
Realms Deep is a celebration of the retro revival genre of games headed primarily by indie developers
Realms Deep kicks off on September 16th, with most reveals taking place on that day. However, additional content will be revealed and discussed on both September 17th and September 18th as well. LAN Gaming events, YouTube vids and streams, and other showcases will feature as well, making this a weekend for new and old gamers alike to enjoy.
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