As a PC gaming enthusiast, I'm always going on about how modding is one of the greatest advantages of the PC as a gaming platform. For the uninitiated, "modding" is the act of altering an existing game, sometimes extensively. The ability to mod a game gives players the ability to fix flaws, enhance gameplay options, unleash their creativity, and extend the life of a favorite game. What would happen if all games could be modded? We'd get a chance to play with all our games even longer, and the player community would have the power to address problems with games themselves.
In that spirit, here are some of my own examples of mods that could be possible in a truly open game community.
Skippable Tutorials and Cutscenes for Everyone
Some game companies persist in creating unskippable tutorials and cutscenes in their games. Making both of those things skippable (along with the multitudinous logo splash screens that happen on game startup) is usually one of the first things modders do to PC games, and console gamers would surely love the opportunity to have that luxury as well. Imagine being able to replay games without having to slog through the boring tutorial level, or being able to battle that difficult boss without having to watch the preceding cutscene every time. Mods can make it happen.
Fun With Shooters
PC shooter fans know just how much fun modding can provide to a multiplayer FPS. New levels, new weapons, new looks for character models, even complete re-imaginings of games. A strong modding community for a game can keep it fresh for years, which may be exactly why the big publishers are happy to have their games on consoles. Instead of getting new stuff for free from fellow enthusiasts, they'd like you to pay for things like Call of Duty map packs.
Uncharted: Indiana's Revenge
Sure, this is an obvious one, but it'd be fun to see. What if Naughty Dog's homage to Indiana Jones were to actually star Indiana Jones? Modders would gleefully transform Nathan Drake into the likeness of good old Harrison Ford, and would likely transform the bad guys into Nazis as well. Find a way to work Sean Connery into the mix, and we've got a real winner.
Graphical Upgrades for Old Games
There are plenty of great old games that would benefit from being upscaled to HD or perhaps given a complete graphical makeover. If all games could be modded, players would be able to perform these upgrades themselves and distribute them freely to others. Imagine if, when the next generation of consoles comes out, you could experience your current favorite games with super high-resolution textures like PC gamers currently enjoy? Moddability would make that possible.
While the licensed LEGO games are fun, they certainly get samey after a while, and one thing they've never really allowed players to do is actually play with LEGOs. If TT Games were to release its tools and assets to the community, it's likely that an enterprising modder would create just such an environment. Wouldn't it be fun to run races in your own LEGO vehicle, solve puzzles based on creative building rather than platforming, or just build whatever you'd like using virtual blocks? Since nobody who owns the LEGO license seems interested in providing that kind of fun for gamers, it'd be great to see what modders could come up with given the opportunity.
The Actual Legend of Zelda
As one of the few major action-adventure franchises that doesn't use voice acting, The Legend of Zelda is fertile ground for the imaginations of modders. Wouldn't we all love to see Zelda star in her own adventure for a change? That could be possible with a moddable Zelda game. It could involve a simple model change (with Zelda probably wearing a pink or white Link outfit so she could keep his animations) and some text edits, or there could be a total conversion in which Zelda navigates all new dungeons created by an ambitious mod team. It will likely be a cold day in Hyrule before Nintendo willingly allows fans to get their dirty paws on any of its franchises, but it's fun to imagine what we could do with them.
These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibility of modding games. Unfortunately, console creators tend to be hostile towards the idea of allowing players to tinker with their games' systems, but it's a fun idea to play around with.
By Becky Cunningham
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*