Run. Think. Shoot. Live. Source. Black Mesa is the Half-Life 2 total conversion of the original Half-Life game. Utilizing the Source engine and its endless array of possibilities and powers, Black Mesa will throw you into the world that started the Half-Life continuum and introduced Gordon Freeman to the world as a gun-toting, bullet-dodging Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics.
Excellent map design, terrific artwork - nothing ever looked amateurish - and combat was refreshingly old-fashioned. However, there were several issues that hurt the overall experience a bit such as grunt behavior (I played on normal and found them much tougher than grunts in HL on hard), numerous crashes to desktop, significant fps drops every now and then (on a computer capable of running Battlefield 3 on high settings), jump mechanics that were slightly different from those in HL and as such contributed to irritation in maps with environmental puzzles (Residual Processing for example), etc. Still, this is an awesome piece of work and I'm glad it's finally out.
I downloaded this mod just because I wished to re-play Half-Life with the Source engine. The game is basically the same, without too many modifications of the original gamplay and enviroments. Then I realized the development team went beyond rebooting... They took the Source engine where even Half-Life 2 could not do, with a majestic use of light effects and dark areas. Even if I know this game so well, I was amazed and thrilled playing this mod, even more than Half-Life 2 itself.
I never had the chance to play HL1... AND IM GLAD!!! This mod is HL1 times 2 plus better graphics and detail. I WOULD HAVE GLADLY PAID FOR THIS GAME, IT IS AWESOME and it does not even feel like a mod! it is truly a stand alone campaine and i definatly recomend it. ANYONE who never had the chance to play the 1st Half Life must gety this mod now!
This is a modernized take on the all-time classic Half-Life 1 which I would give a 9/10 even today. So this, being even better with regards to attention to detail and being even more immersive, clearly deserves a 10/10. The quality is higher than what most full price games offer.
What I wrote after I finished the first public release:
"Ok I have finished the game now and it was amazing! Thank you!
I will give you my feedback:
The beginning was a bit shaky. You didn't get the crowbar a the same time as in original Half-Life so I spent a lot of time running around looking for it. But then I got it somewhat later. So that was a bit confusing.
I only encounter two bugs. Firstly I lost most of my weapons during "Forget about Freeman!". That meant I lost the Gauss Cannon and I never got it again (so I never had any time to try it out). Maybe you should add more of those, for example you could add one just before you enter the teleportation room during "Lambda Core". Because there is one there in the original Half-Life.
The only other bug I encoutered was when I was going to flood the reactor coolant tanks. I flooded tank nr 1 then i flooded tank nr 2. But when I had finished flooding tank nr 2 tank nr 1 all of a sudden wasn't flooded anymore so I had to do it all over. And all the monsters that I had killed and all the creates that I had broken were back.
Other than that the game was fantastic and I'm really looking forward to your interpretation of Xen!"