It's a mod world
Some video game mods let you do cool things like enhance a game's visual quality and user interface. Others, like this awesome Team Fortress 2 map, add swathes of content to games you've already pumped hundreds of hours into, increasing their already-impressive long-term appeal. And then there are mods that are so ridiculous, so utterly bizarre, so batshit insane that their mere existence paralyzes the mind.
This article is a tribute to those types of mods--the ones that are so out there that it's impossible to look away. Some are funny. Some are creepy. Some are just kind of off. But all of them are downright ridiculous. Ready? Let's get started.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The game: As the Dovahkiin, the last Dragonborn in all of Tamriel, you must run around the frosty lands of Skyrim to thwart the destructive plans of the dragon-god Alduin. In practice, this usually means stuffing your pockets with random junk (mmm, bone meal), running away from--or murdering--town guards after accidentally picking up an item in a shop, and exploring caves full of really, really stupid bandits.
The most ridiculous mod: Oh, where to start. Well, there's the obvious go-to silly mod, which replaces all dragons with a dragon-shaped Macho Man Randy Savage (complete with voice effects). The mod that instantly murders any NPC who utters the words "arrow in the knee" is also pretty slick. And, of course, few things are funnier than transforming the Dovahkiin's dragon shouts into fully animated dragon farts. But nothing--NOTHING--beats this horrific compilation of some of Skyrim's most absurd player-made mods. Have fun sleeping after that.
Left 4 Dead 2
The game: A cooperative zombie survival game in which a team of players must work together to cut through hordes of hungry undead. This is a game in which zombies outnumber bullets, and teamwork is absolutely essential. Alternatively, just hog all the health packs for yourself; let's be real: Your life is the only one that really matters.
The most ridiculous mod: Blood-thirsty Teletubbies. Tanks wearing the skin of the Kool-Aid Man. Legions of murderous cats. You can't go wrong with any mod that changes the appearance of zombies and special infected, turning a gritty co-op shooter into a nonsensical, scared-for-your-life fight for survival. Undead humans are pretty scary--but you'll know true fear once you stare into the cold, dead eyes of a flesh-eating child's character.
The game: Step into the shoes of scientist Gordon Freeman, an intelligent man who, despite his inability to speak, is humanity's only hope of survival against an experiment gone wrong. Unknown to his peers, Freeman is well-versed in military weaponry, and has a black belt in the martial art of hitting-things-with-a-crowbar.
The most ridiculous mod: We've all escaped Black Mesa in the shoes of Gordon Freeman--but thanks to this lovely (though unfortunately incomplete) Cat-Life mod, you can finally do so through the eyes of a kitty. Gormeow Feeline can't use crowbars, but can use his sharp claws to break boxes and climb obstacles. And if you're thinking a cat is ill-equipped for bearing the weight of mankind's survival, think again--cats save the day all the time.
The game: Id's seminal first-person shooter that helped establish and popularize the genre, Wolfenstein 3D was all about killing tons of Nazis. As in the recently released (and quite fantastic) Wolfenstein: The New Order, action takes priority above all else. Simply grab the biggest gun you can find, locate some of the Reich's cruelest followers, and go to town.
The most ridiculous mod: Take your pick, really. Wolfenstein 3D saw plenty of mods, some silly, some not. But one of the more twisted ones available, Pokestein 3D, poses the following question: What if the Nazi regime was composed not of human beings, but hundreds of murderous Pikachus, among other Pokemon? This is the stuff of nightmares.
The game: A series known for its brutal difficulty and tough-but-fair methodology that rewards patient play, Dark Souls (and by extension Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 2) is the perfect antidote for those afflicted with the games-are-too-easy-these-days sickness. It sports a gritty visual style, extremely challenging combat, and enough hidden traps and thin ledges to cause even the most stalwart gamers to smash their controllers into pieces.
The most ridiculous mod: For such a serious game like Dark Souls, some of the funnier mods available are ones that merely tweak textures. Walking into a room only to see every square inch of the floors and walls covered in Tidus's face from Final Fantasy X is a sight to behold, as is equipping a shield emblazoned with the visage of one Gabe Newell. But neither of these hold a candle to the hilarity that is creating a Sonic the Hedgehog armor set, and using said armor set to troll other players during PvP. It's magical.
The game: A fairly decent return to form for Sega's blue mascot, Sonic Generations features a good mix of classic stages and tunes, along with a few new ones thrown in for good measure. It's by no means a revolutionary game, but it is great high-speed, platforming fun that does a good job of celebrating the character's 20th anniversary.
The most ridiculous mod: Erotic Sonic fan-fic taken to the extreme. What you're looking at is a mod that transforms Sonic himself into a walking phallus. Not much else to say about that.
The game: The ultimate warfare simulator circa 2005, Battlefield 2 is--was--a tense multiplayer shooter that mixed infantry and vehicular combat to great effect. Few things were as heart-pumping tense as holding a platoon of enemy players at bay while guarding a capture point, or piloting an aircraft full of allied troops only to bail right before purposely smashing it into the side of a mountain. (Afterwards, you'd cut a really cool highlight reel supplemented by pivotal tracks such as Drowning Pool's "Bodies" or Papa Roach's "Last Resort," then upload it to FilePlanet for mass consumption.)
The most ridiculous mod: Thought mankind was the only bipedal species to engage in warfare? Think again. As evidenced by this outrageous mod, Teletubbies and Carebears have been systematically eradicating each other for years. Fittingly, they don't use actual firearms; rather, they employ the deadly force of paintball guns to kill each other off so that they may die in a glorious display of color.
Grand Theft Auto IV
The game: As Niko Bellic, newcomer to Liberty City, it's up to you to pursue the American Dream any way you can. For the most part, that means taking odd jobs for Russian crime lords, stealing cars, and murdering thousands of innocent people.
The most ridiculous mod: You know that really shitty M Night Shyamalan movie where plants get so tired of people walking on them that they strike back and kill 80-percent of the human population? GTA IV's Carmageddon mod is sort of like that, but with sentient cars bent on revenge. Think of it as payback for all those stale french fries under your seat.
What other hilarious/creepy/ridiculous gaming mods have you heard of? Were there any in this list that you found particularly bizarre? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you're looking for more, check out remarkably different games that were made on the same game engine and 8 times when mature characters invaded kiddy games.