If we're talking about records for the longest amount of time spent working on a video game, or part of a video game, then Heroes Unleashed is surely worthy of a mention.
It's a mod for Ghost Recon. That is, the original Ghost Recon which released all the way back in 2001. And not long after Ubisoft and Red Storm launched their tactical shooter, ApexMods began working on making the game more, shall we say, authentic.
"Weapons match their real-life counterparts in accuracy, effectiveness, and handling," the mod page says. "AI displays terrifying levels of tactical acumen in trying to outwit you. Missions take place in realistic open-world environments and are completely nonlinear, with a minimum of scripted events and lots of random elements for infinite replayability."
Heroes Unleashed first became playable to the public back in 2008. It's been in a beta form since then, but in the last few days the game has received what will be the last update before version 1.0, and the latest update in a one-man development cycle that has spanned 15 years.
Here's a list of what Apex has jammed into Heroes Unleashed so far:
- Intensified focus on hardcore tactical realism gameplay
- Enhanced and extended original Ghost Recon trilogy campaign
- Wide choice of 400+ authentic weapons and equipment items
- Huge variety of more than 200 maps and over 100 game types
- New multiplayer units, e.g. SEALs, Delta, SAS, Spetsnaz, KSK
- Countless new high-resolution textures and detailed 3D models
- Boosted audio dynamics and scores of authentic new sounds
- Tons of technical and gameplay fixes, adjustments, fine tuning
- 50+ included add-on mods for personal customisation
If you've got a copy of Ghost Recon sitting around somewhere, or it's sitting in your Good Old Games or Steam account, you can get Heroes Unleashed for free as a 6.26gb download from ModDB. No promises on whether there will be enough local players for a decent game, but it's surely worth a look if you ever enjoyed Ghost Recon back in the day.