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9

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Game review
10

Black Mesa

Mod review

I never played the original Half Life, and when I heard of this mod oh so many years ago I decided this was how I'd play it. With 8 years under its belt, this should not count as a mod.

The environments recreated are simply beautiful. The entirety of the Black Mesa Research Facility feels like it functions and reacts to the events at hand. Where there was once a bottomless pit, there is now a new level of Black Mesa to be imagined; where there was a simply box room there is now a shipping area.

The audio for Black Mesa meets the quality of the looks. With new human voices, impressive sound clips, and a script that pokes fun every once in awhile ("Barney's been sparse lately, those beer tabs must have caught up with him."), Black Mesa has become much more real.

Level design was better than I expected. Fully utilizing the abilities of Source back in '07, Mr. Freeman isn't running around pressing buttons anymore: leading a pack of survivors, Freeman must now reconnect the sparking plug. Rooms now have depth that inspire creative strategies, and I can not leave a wooden crate intact. Ammunition was balanced where too much shooting would run you dry, but searching and thinking before shooting would keep you with enough bullets to survive.
Trailing behind is the small issues I found: there were a couple cases where the only way to proceed was through damaging the player (such having to jump down, or pass through the fish-tank-room grate). Either the safe route was too hard to spot or was simply an oversight. And with Source 2007 comes semi-functional ladders, may I forewarn players now.

Overall, well worth the wait. Valve really should sponsor this mod as official (Black Mesa: Source). Or hire the team. 10/10 and high hopes for -game- of the year.

9

Lambda Wars

Mod review
10

Minecraft

Game review
10

Red Alert 3 Paradox

Mod review
10

Red Faction: Guerrilla

Game review
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