I appreciate when a mod knows the idea at its core, and makes just enough effort to realise that vision and release the mod. Too many mods got waylaid in Planet Half-Life screenshot roundup hell by a desire to make everything expansive and professional-grade. So I’m delighted by a mod for 2017’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 which knows its core: it is funny to see dinosaurs do things that dinosaurs shouldn’t be doing. So the JurassicFront replaces character models with dinosaurs, and away you go, shooting dinos around Naboo and the Death Star. That’s the joke.
In the taxomony of mods, this is a model pack. That’s fine. That’s good. That’s all it needs to be. It draws together a number of models made by other people then released until a public copyright license. That’s good. That’s all it needs to do. Because leaning on other sources means creator, ahem, “Juicy James”, could just go, “Wouldn’t it be funny if Star Wars Battlefront 2 was all dinosaurs” and then make that happen. And it is funny. Look at it! That’s Battlefront 2. With dinosaurs.
I like that this is so janky, with jetpack flames roaring out the pteranodon’s bum and guns hovering awkwardly over the dinos. Perfect. It is all it needs to be.
You can download the model pack from Nexus Mods. Or, more likely, you can enjoy looking at the screenshots there and feel content knowing that it exists.
I, probably unfairly, blame Counter-Strike for the period when silly, quick, and easy mods started to become more scarce. So many mods were derailed as they tried to chase the high standards it set for polish and the example it set as a path into the games industry, and ended up with little more to show than screenshots posted on Planet Half-Life. This is not CS’s fault. And it is exciting that one mod inspired so many people to dream bigger, to explore their passion, to hone their craft. And yet, a little lingering blame. This blame is mostly rhetorical, mostly a silly path into talking about a shift in the mod scene. But also a little real blame. Sorry, CS.