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The 50 best Minecraft maps

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The 50 best Minecraft maps

Update 04/09/14: Almost two years ago we rounded up the 10 best adventure maps in Minecraft. Since then there have been quite a few new ones, and we also realised that adventure maps were not the only incredible map type one could play in Minecraft. So we now present to you the fifty best maps in Minecraft. Enjoy. 

Minecraft: the inventor’s paradise. Of course, it’s also the connoisseur's nightmare, since there are so many user-created maps out there it is almost impossible to find the finest creations on offer. Who has time these days to sift through hundreds of Minecraft maps, devour them with your digital senses, and come to a conclusion on which ones are worth your time?

Well, us actually. We’ve scoured forums, marathoned YouTube videos, and sampled more maps than we can count in order to bring you the definitive list. This is the fifty Minecraft maps that you simply must try before you can claim to have tasted the very finest creations of the community.

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Saints Row IV's first SDK has been released, letting modders make their own loopy weapons

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Saints Row IV's first SDK has been released, letting modders make their own loopy weapons

The SDK for last year’s super-powered Saints Row IV has been released over on the Saints Row mod forums. Well, the first part of the SDK. This means you can replace the game’s already colourful assortment of weapons with monstrous creations of your own.

Saints Row IV mods are nothing new, but until now modders have been restricted to fiddling with the bits and pieces that already exist in the game. That’s allowed them to do some great stuff, like creating a first-person mod.

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Topic of the Week: What are your favourite mods?

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Topic of the Week: What are your favourite mods?

If there is a single element in PC gaming that defines it and separates it from its console cousins, it would have to be mods. Sure, there’s the freedom that comes with being able to build custom rigs, the powerful GPUs, the shift to digital that’s made buying and playing games so much easier - but it’s modding wizardry that gets me most hot under the collar. 

So that’s our Topic of the Week. Mods. Specifically, what are the one’s that have had the greatest impact on you, dear reader. Any game, any mod - we want to know. So tell us, what are your favourite mods? 

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Grand Theft Auto IV gets infected with selfies

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Grand Theft Auto IV gets infected with selfies

The ultimate weapon in any narcissist’s arsenal, the selfie, has made its way over from Grand Theft Auto V’s sunny Los Santos to the fourth game’s Liberty City. The game might be six years old, but continues to see modders put a lot of effort into expanding and improving it.

Now Niko can be a proper tourist, taking photos of his own face with Liberty City’s landmarks behind him, blurry and not quite in frame. 

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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Modder snatches away Thief: Deadly Shadows' loading screens

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Modder snatches away Thief: Deadly Shadows' loading screens

The past is history, my arse. The release of Human Revolution has demoted Invisible War from Deus Ex 2 to footnote curio. And since Eidos Montreal turned Thief into an anti-open world, Ion Storm stablemate Thief: Deadly Shadows has suddenly become essential.

With an unusually good sense of timing for a mod, here comes Thief 3 Gold to remove Deadly Shadows’ most tangible misstep: its loading screens.

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GTA IV iCEnhancer modder driven away by peers "spitting on me, my work, everything"

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GTA IV iCEnhancer modder driven away by peers "spitting on me, my work, everything"

Once you’ve installed the GTA IV mod that turns you into an elephant, iCEnhancer is likely your next port of call. It’s the comprehensive graphics upgrade that leaves Rockstar North’s six-year-old opus looking realer than real.

But yesterday’s iCEnhancer 3.0 release is set to be its last for a while. Technical artist and lead modder Hayssam Keilany has decided to step away from “guys trying to bring me down constantly".

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The nine best Kerbal Space Program mods

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The nine best Kerbal Space Program mods

Kerbal Space Program is rapidly becoming a more expansive and complex rocket simulator. The recent First Contract update added a more fully featured career mode, with currency and science and missions and reputation and explosions. But as well as Squad's own stellar work, there's also an enthusiastic community of modders constantly pumping out their own brand of features and enhancements.

New clouds, better physics, catalogues of new rocket parts. You name it, and within reason, it probably exists somewhere in the Kerbal SpacePort add-on repository. But without a guiding hand it's difficult to know where to begin. So I offer you mine. My guiding hand, that is. Take it, hold tight, and let's fly, like a cosmic Peter Pan, through the magical world of Kerbal Space Program mods.

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Blood for the Blood God: Mount & Blade gets Warhammered

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Blood for the Blood God: Mount & Blade gets Warhammered

It’s been a while since I had the itch to reinstall Mount & Blade: Warband, though it was once an itch that never ceased. It looks like it’s back, because I can’t think of many things I’d rather do than play Warsword Conquest right bloody now. It’s a Warhammer total conversion mod, and that’s why. 

Ride around the world as a skeleton ne’er do well, joining factions on a whim and split when your purse starts to feel a bit light. Or live the adventurous life of a murderous, boar-loving orc and ex-blood bowl player, pillaging and getting up to no good. 

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Gamers are flattening Denmark in Minecraft. GeoData team to consider "rebuilding Copenhagen"

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Gamers are flattening Denmark in Minecraft. GeoData team to consider "rebuilding Copenhagen"

Well that didn’t take very long. The above image is the aftermath of an American invasion of Denmark. In Minecraft. Last week, the Danish GeoData Agency created a 1:1 replica of Denmark in Minecraft. The goal was to show what can be done with free geographical data, in the hopes of educating children. 

It only took a few days for players to level most of the country and build on top of the rubble. American tanks were also spotted in Copenhagen. Evidence of the unwarranted attack was captured by Redditor RandomDKguy

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Rad: STALKER standalone overhaul Lost Alpha launches early

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Rad: STALKER standalone overhaul Lost Alpha launches early

It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a new STALKER, which is a bitter pill to swallow. However, the progenitor, Shadow of Chernobyl is getting some new life thanks to Lost Alpha: a standalone mod designed to put cut content back in the game as well as overhaul other areas. 

The mod, which doesn’t need STALKER to run, was developed using a  2004 build GSC released in 2009, allowing the team to recreate the version of STALKER that never saw the light of day. 

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Armasaurus: Arma 3 dinosaur mod in development

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Armasaurus: Arma 3 dinosaur mod in development

As I write this, my hands are covered in the blood of the countless goats I’ve just sacrificed. Why, you ask? The reason is two-fold. Everyone knows that you sacrifice either goats or virgins when you really want something, and Jurassic Park taught me that dinosaurs like goats a lot. And I really want dinosaurs in Arma 3. 

Super-serious military sim Arma 2 brought us DayZ, but zombies have been done to death. Arma 3 is bringing us bringing us dinosaurs, which could easily eat a zombie, thanks to a mod from McRuppertle. Point your soon to be terrified eyes in the direction of the T-Rex animation test below.

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Hive Keeper is Dungeon Keeper by way of Starcraft. It’s free, too

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Hive Keeper is Dungeon Keeper by way of Starcraft. It’s free, too

You may be feeling a little burned by EA’s recent Dungeon Keeper mobile release. It’s the first new game in the franchise for 15 years and by all accounts it’s a soulless, microtransaction-filled grind. Boo to you, EA. Boo to you.

Happily, in the complete opposite end of the marketing spectrum, Andrea Mauro has made a Dungeon Keeper clone with Starcraft 2’s modding tools. He’s released it through the Arcade so anyone can play it, whether they own Starcraft 2 or not.

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Watch out for the lava: auto-generating Temple Run in Minecraft

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Watch out for the lava: auto-generating Temple Run in Minecraft

These running games are all a bit too athletic for me, getting me all sweaty and hungry for a cigarette. And now someone’s only bloody gone and put Temple Run, or a facsimile of Temple Run, into Minecraft. When will the insidious pro-running lobby stop invading our games?

It is actually rather nifty, though, as you will undoubtedly see when you slap your eyes on the gif below.

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No more freezes, 300+ NPC battles, Skyrim just got a whole lot more interesting

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No more freezes, 300+ NPC battles, Skyrim just got a whole lot more interesting

You never really finish Skyrim. Sure, you might have finished the main quest, ploughed through the DLC, clocked in hundreds of hours faffing around with random mini-quests and installed hundreds of mods, but you're only ever taking a break until the next special something gets put together. 

Today's special something comes courtesy of ENB forum user sheson, who has figured out a way to allow Skyrim to allocate blocks of memory greater than 256MB, potentially allowing for gigantic battles with 300+ NPCs on the screen as well as increase the stability of more memory intensive mods. 

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Mod trekking: The best Starbound mods so far

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Mod trekking: The best Starbound mods so far

In Starbound, you can dig down to a planet’s core, carve out canyons and build mountains, construct vast monolithic alien buildings and traipse around the galaxy in space-age armour you crafted, so it’s safe to say that developer Chucklefish wants you to be creative. And it’s not just the in-game tools you can use to augment your planet-hopping adventure.

Everything is mutable. Don’t like the armour on offer? There are mods for that. Find your spaceship a bit dull? There are mods for that too. Want more races to play around with? Yep, mods. Diligent fiddlers have, even in this beta phase, put together all manner of new content, and I’ve donned my titanium deerstalker to investigate so you don’t have to.

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Maxis wants you to mod SimCity, but only if you play by their draconian rules

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Maxis wants you to mod SimCity, but only if you play by their draconian rules

Maxis apparently really wants people to mod SimCity, according to a recent blog post encouraging the modding community to grow. When I think of SimCity, I rarely think of freedom and creativity, with its weird limitations and restrictions, but that doesn't mean modders have to be so restricted. 

I'm joking, of course, because Maxis has a bunch of caveats for modders, a list of rules, which they hope will ensure "the safety and integrity of the SimCity experience". The sound you're hearing is my head smashing through my desk and sending my mouse, selection of brightly-coloured pens and slighty-too-full ashtray flying across the room. 

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Skywind: Rebuilding Morrowind mushroom by mushroom

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Skywind: Rebuilding Morrowind mushroom by mushroom

Skywind is a lot more than just a Skyrim mod - it's a gargantuan Morrowind remake built using the Skyrim creation kit. We've talked about it before, because the prospect of playing one of the greatest RPGs of all time with modern bells and whistles is a tantalising one, but now the team of 70 modders - all volunteers - have put together a dev diary to show exactly just how crazy this project is.

So bloody crazy.

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Titanfall to drop without modding tools, says Zampella

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Titanfall to drop without modding tools, says Zampella

Titanfall has landed; here's our Titanfall review.

Responding to a question on Twitter, Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella clarified that upcoming mech n' run shooter Titanfall would not be dropping with mod tools when the PC version arrives in March.

"[N]ot at launch for sure," says Zampella when he was asked if there would be modding or mapping tools. "[W]e will have to revaluate after launch". Oh bums.

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Starbound mod support orbits as more beta updates fly in

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Starbound mod support orbits as more beta updates fly in

Starbound isn’t the same game it was a week and a half ago. Five updates have come and gone since the Terraria-alike entered open beta on December 4, and left Change with a capital ‘Chuh’ in their wake. They’ve variously eased entry into the game’s systems, rewritten its levelling system entirely, introduced a mass-scale rebalancing of every item, creature, armour type and weapon, and nerfed birds (they’d previously “follow you forever", which wasn’t nearly so romantic as it sounded).

Yesterday brought what’s destined to be the most far-reaching tweak of all - the first seasonal twinklings of a comprehensive mod management system.

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Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod to grapple 'n' chute its way to Steam before Christmas

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Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod to grapple 'n' chute its way to Steam before Christmas

Since GTA swapped out its absurdist streak for reluctant antiheroes and (admittedly astonishing) recreations of the famous American cities, some of us have adopted a new refrain. No room for a second passenger on the wing of my biplane in GTA V? Just Cause would’ve managed it. No provision for hopping from one chopper to another? Just Cause would’ve okayed it.

Free from commitments to tone or world-building, Just Cause 2 allowed for every YouTube-friendly open-world stunt ever misconceived. Everything but GTA Online-scale multiplayer. But even that’s now been taken care of by a capable community.

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Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
ArcheAge review in progress

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Clockwork Empires Early Access review

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The Sims 4: I trapped a man in a box and forced him to learn to play the piano

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Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

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The 50 best Minecraft maps

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The 100 best Skyrim mods

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The 100 best Skyrim mods

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