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 execution of the intro sequence, visuals, and unique heads work great.
+Great dialog with friendly NPCs. Added mini-stories explaining why some scientists stayed behind.
+Decals splatter on viewmodel.
+Good health and HEV charger models.
+OP4 references: Medic soldiers and a few lines.
-Marine combat is mediocre at best. They seem to have a smaller spread cone than you and most shots hit you regardless how fast you're moving. Discourages tactical manuevering, but instead it wants you to sit back behind some obscure staircase and pick with 357.
-Enemy gunshots low SNDLVL, often only hear impacts but not shooting.
-Bad clean voiceovers for marines, should of stayed with radio style/
-Sounds for houndeyes and bullsquids are quiet and dont appear to resemble/improve on hl1.
-Really missed out on bringing the vorts to life, no death screeches or significant chatter.
-Alien grunts lack loud metallic footsteps and good death noises.
-Gibbing sounds are way too subtle.
-357 viewmodel is crooked during ADS and texture is bad on the back of the cartridges.
-Cant ADS with 357 until it completes take out anim.
-Scripting, when you save a guard from a sniper by shooting RPG at him. He dies regardless and the scientist sits frozen crouched.
-Scripting, with helicopter at the canyon, It ZOOMED extremely fast across the map to the scripted crash site.
-Lack of clip brushes, constantly stuck on tiny details that barely stick out of walls and handrails.
-Movement doesn't feel fine tuned. Jump height is bad and too much sliding.
-Zombies throw props that dont collide with you.
-Auto reload sometimes ignores the most recent quicksave.
-Satchel doesn't stay upright or slide.
-Flashlight is obstructed by viewmodel.
-Grenade throw physics suck and bounce badly.
Glock17 stance sucks, MP5 permanently stuck in burst, SPAS12 hint "m2 to fire both barrels" and 40mm pickup model is too small.
- Faithful to its predecessor
- Overall good pace
- Updated graphics and so on.
- Soundtrack and most of the games sound is really good.
- Great voice acting
Good and bad:
- The music. Some songs are really good. But on the other hand, there are a few that are less pleasant and does not belong in half life. "my opinion"
The sound effects are pretty good overall. But some are too indifferent, and many are hard to even understand what they are supposed to be. E.g explosions that often sounds exactly like a shotgun. The original was much better.
- The balance between speech and sound effects are wrong. Often it is difficult to hear what is being said. Many times it's the music's fault.
- Crashes Crashes Crashes! Understandable for first release, But Not ok.
- Unbalanced difficult sections. There are around 5 places where they failed with difficulty level and where it is just too difficult. To bring down the helicopter is more trail and error then anything. It was not like that in the original.
- AI and enemy weapon damage is bad from time to time. The marine guys seem to have near perfect aim even when they are at ridiculous long distances from me! That or the guns do exactly the same amount of damage on all ranges. "This was on hard difficulty so it could be that" Other times they wont even hit me when i'm right at their face.
Had expected a little bit more after such a long time, and the mod still feels unpolished in places. But it is still a really good mod no qustion about that! Should definitely be played, but I do not think that I will play through it again. Oh well only time will tell! :)
A wonderful good-looking mod, but that is all, a mod to look, the gameplay is really repetitive and not-dinamic, most of the weapons are too balanced, pushing you to stick with just one weapon (in my case, the shotgun) to be honest, the mod is more like a chilly ride than a immersive FPS.
The voice acting is faboulous, except for the HECUs, they pushed too hard the acting in that part, making them look like a "Resident evil 1 cameo"
Besides that, I consider this mod as one of the best looking mods on the source engina (head to head with Dear Esther 2, before it was an indie game) and I recommend it as a "must-play".
An eight, -2 for the awkward gameplay gimmick.
I'm waiting for the last chapter, xen.
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.
Recreating HL1 using Source and updated textures was a good idea for sure, since it's a pleasure to revisit these good old places. I never cared that much about a game graphics, but I have to say that in Black Mesa, the graphic improvement really counts, great work. Also, the maps changes from HL1 are mostly good one.
Too bad the devs decided to make the few boring points of HL even more boring, especially in the second half of the game. All the places that were containing a large number of enemies in HL1 now contains twice, thrice more enemies. Vents containing one or two headcrabds in HL1 now contain 4 or 5. Enemies keep attacking you as soon as you fall in a new room, mostly from behind, and so on. Doesn't make the game harder than HL1, you just have to keep on testing/reloading, which is boring.
Voices are nice, but you often can't hear anything.
AI is mostly ok, but I wonder why (in most levels) enemies always know where the player is and guys with machine guns can aim that well at long distance.
Also, there are many annoying nonsense details. Some items that you cannot carry with you for no reason, doors that lock behind you for no reason (you nearly never can go back to a previous level), items that disappear when loading a new level (eg: tentacle pit) and I still wonder why butane bottles never explode.
This is an excellent game, amazing level-design, impressive features (e.g. blood decals on weapon models and hands), pretty long playtime. The most horrible drawback of this game is... this is not Half-Life. This is very very different game. If you've played Black Mesa, don't think you now know what is Half-Life.
Although, I'm not giving to this game only 8, not 10 because of this. Actually, I wanted to give mark 9, but then I've changed my mind, coz they still didn't release Xen (my favourite chapter). And I'm waiting for multiplayer. Because of that I've subtracted one point. Another point was subtracted because BM still has some issues, escpecially I don't like the music. Soundtrack is just horrible... no, terrible! And what they did with Mesa Lady?! I'm hardly hearing, what did she say. In demo-tracks on the official site of BM was a couple good tracks, including Mesa Lady track, and on this track she sounds pretty good, much better than in the game.