Hi there, and welcome to my project to "uncut" Black Mesa! Black Mesa was a crowning achievement for modding for sure, but it felt like it was lacking a little in some areas, particularly Surface Tension. For those of you that were not aware, Black Mesa's version of Surface Tension cut out a map from the original which was integral to the story's progression. Its replacement felt rushed and poorly implemented. My mod attempts to add that little something back into the game. I took the liberty of re-adding the cut chapters from Surface Tension as I feel their omission strongly harmed the story and really damaged the tone of Forget About Freeman. I've given them the same treatment Black Mesa gave everything else. This mod currently adds 40 - 50 minutes of gameplay and story to Surface Tension, improving the Black Mesa experience and it's overall narrative. It integrates seamlessly with the Black Mesa campaign too, just like it should. Why not give it a whirl?
Having been in the beta period for quite a significant amount of time, and currently being in the Release Candidate stage, I feel the time has come to promote this 95% complete project to the wider public. Welcome to my ModDB page!
Posted by TextFAMGUY1 on Dec 18th, 2012
Surface Tension Uncut has been a project about improving on a masterpiece. No easy feat. Luckily for me, I was able to pick probably the weakest part of the entirety of Black Mesa - the map C2A5G, the final map of Surface Tension. Why was it the weakest? A number of reasons. Firstly, it condensed what was 2 maps from the original Half-Life, down into barely 1. Secondly, it was extremely rushed (as the developer allegedly left halfway through producing this map). Thirdly, as a result of this rushing, it reduced the Gargantua chase, a memorable moment from the original Half-Life, to a buggy, awful joke.
I've undone this to the best of my ability. I've turned what was 2 maps in Half-Life, and 1 in Black Mesa, into 3. I've created a suitable, and dramatic ending for Surface Tension, which draws inspiration from the original, but improves on it in every way possible.
This mod integrates 100% seamlessly and perfectly with the Black Mesa campaign. Install it, and that's literally all you need to do. My maps will link in where they need to (C2A5F) and will go back to standard "official" content where they need to (C3A1A - the start of Forget About Freeman), perfectly and seamlessly. Not only that, but I also took the liberty of making the scene with the Gargantua not crap. Black Mesa's version was a buggy mess, which involved the Gargantua typically and immediately shaking the water tower rather than chasing after you, breaking all believability and ruining the scene. I've improved his entrance (it's now really dramatic, like HL1), fixed his AI so he'll chase you properly, only shake the tower when you're on it, patrol the water's edge when you're swimming in it, and even chase you to Forget About Freeman if you find a way to do it without killing him!
What do you have to lose? It's an extra 40 - 50 minutes of high quality, free content, improving on an already incredible game. Take a look at the videos and screenshots if you're still on the fence, hopefully they'll win you over.
In terms of redesigning principles, one of my major focuses for this mod was to develop on underused elements which were in Black Mesa, the most important of which being the escalating war between the HECU and the Aliens, a crucial story point which was largely glossed over by Black Mesa's narrative, in contrast to Half-Life where it was clearly laid out. As such, my mod features a lot of fighting between these two factions, which gradually ramps up in intensity. You'll see some very dramatic set-pieces combining vehicle action with infantry combat and aerial sequences, illustrating the vast extent of this dreadful war. When the military decide to pull out, the reasoning behind this action has already explained itself to you, unlike in Black Mesa by default where you're left scratching your head slightly.