So you’re a professional programmer, employed by a major gaming software developer and then you’re forced to release a set of tools to let the amateurs improve on what you’ve written. Can’t say I’d be too happy about that but it’s the norm in the gaming world for many leading games.
Call of Duty 4 is no different and once the tools were released the game mods started to appear. Long-standing modders hastily converted the older CoD mods like PAM, AWE, extreme+ and ACE. Many of these allow you to vary all sorts of game options for weapons etc. and provide additional effects and options not included with the original game.
So if gamers are crying out for these options why aren’t they included in the original game ? Good question – go ask the developers ! Given that some of the mods can be unstable maybe developers just opt for safety and go for whatever will be most compatible for players world-wide or maybe they just don’t get too involved once they’ve developed a game and move on to other projects. The Call of Duty community has tended to support the game for many years well past what the developers may have regarded as the shelf life.
Apart from the above wide-ranging mods there are a few that fill a gap for niche players. Given that the aim for CoD 4 was to make a more realistic war simulation, updated with modern weapons and scenarios I always find it rather odd that one of the most popular mods converts players to zombies ! There are several of these zombie mods out now for CoD4 – just be careful not to scare yourself if playing after midnight with the lights off !
As usual, sniper only mods have been popular and these players seem to be a group on their own, liking the “purity” of a small map with not much running around and the gameplay reduced to picking people off. Not for me but, hey, each to their own.
A recent innovation which I’ve not seen for previous CoD versions is a bot mod. Perhaps originally developed to allow the amateurs to test their mods and custom maps with bot players rather than in a live environment, this has now progressed to the PeZBOT mod which allows you to fill your map with computer controlled players. Useful if you can’t find (or haven’t got) any friends to play with
Other mods seek to add to the game realism such as the ever-popular Heat of Battle mod. Out now in beta for CoD4 it seeks to provide new gametypes (capture and hold) and add additional realism. Again, this may be for a purist niche of players and it can be hungry on PC resources too but it hasÂ a growing number of players.
So what else do people like to change ? Common small mods allow for weapon changes, uniforms and sounds. It’s really down to whatever people want and can get to work with the mod tools. Personally I like the better supported mods like AWE. From an admin’s viewpoint it is easier to get support and also to get problems fixed.
What’s your view ? Do you like to stick with the original game or do you prefer a modded version ?
More on Call of Duty 4 in the coming weeks.