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.
A very good mod! It was everything I expected and a bit more.
The level design is arguably the mods best aspect, with voice acting and modelling following closely behind.
I can't express how much I enjoyed seeing how the game has not only been remade, but also brough to life in a way Valve never could have when the original was made. All the small scenes, even the inconsequential ones like the two scientists arguing below when you ride the tram. All these small things bring the mod to life, and I love it for it.
I also really enjoyed how the various locations had been given a purpose and logic that it missed in the original or that the original didn't get through because of the detail level required.
Voice actors were on overall ace. Sure they dropped the ball every now and then, but with the amount of work put into this, it's hard to perform 150 % all the way through. I especially like the work done by the guy who voiced the barneys, he was easily the best voice actor on the crew.
What I didn't like is the approach to the soldiers. It's been stated that they were made into over the top, cliche, B-movie jocks because they didn't want the player to sympathize with them. At the same time they were made cheesy. Cheesy enemies loose respect. Enemies without respect aren't dangerous.
On overall the voice over for the soldiers sound like a parody of the original or of any kind of voice the soldiers should've had. My mind keeps going to the flash artist EgoRaptor when he parodies marines and fanboys from various games.
I'm also not a big fan of the new zombie sounds. It sounds like the voice actor is trying his level best to strangle himself. And that is what I hear, not the zombie.
Lastly, a lot of the more emotional scenes were destroyed by the characters ragdolling. Example; The guard in the beginning reaching for the health station, then instantly ragdolling as he dies. It becomes slapstick.
All in all, awesome mod, with a few minor design faults.
Finally, after nearly half a decade in development, it's finally here.
I'll first congratulate the entire BMS team (Especially Cman2k + Raminator) on collaborating together for so long to produce Black Mesa: Source.
One thing is being a game developer is that you often know how thing's run under the hood of most games nowadays, removing the mystery and wonder of the game; but boy -- starting the mod, I was immediately swept away by the quality and detail put into each and every single map, model, animation and sound. It's as if a perfect musical conductor has tended to every corner of an old melody from years ago and has remastered it into perfection.
Story: Following Half-Life 1's plot to the absolute dot and rim; this mod has literally brought the kind of quality you would see out of Valve, I often times forgot I was playing a mod and not an actual game.
Gameplay: The game was well-balanced with the player capable of getting new weapons and enemies to combat simultaneously, level's didn't feel linear; allowing Gordan to come and deactivate a deadly turret on the path ahead, or find hidden batteries or ammunition in unexpected places. I was drowned in Half-Life Nostalgia.
Npc's were well balanced and surprisingly dynamic (especially allies) and did require more tactics and thought from the player as level's went on. Though playing on Hard, one of the biggest frustrating difficulties I'd run into multiple times were only HECU Grunts and the Helicopter.
Modelling/Art/Animation/Textures: Brilliant, totally brilliant. I did find however that some models and map area's had odd textures/Bump mapping that didn't look quite right when lit and refracted from they're surfaces, but otherwise looked beautiful.
Music/Audio: Voice acting was very well done, Xen creatures audio sounded sublime and matched well. The music wasn't the best honestly and oftentimes didn't fit the mood.
Mapping: Some clipping and a gaping hole once. Valve hire these guys. Kthx.
Really terrificly hi-def mod. I might go as far as saying it surpasses Portal2 for top visual quality in the Source engine.
I throughly approved of all the changes I noticed made to the original Half-life and actually wish they had gone further (nerfing some of the jumping puzzles for example). Mixing up when and where you got certain weapons kept things nicely fresh.
It would have been nice if they could have got some more voice actors involved. All the security guards sounding exactly the same was creeping me out...
I look forward to playing the Xen chapter(s) when they finally get around to releasing it.
Not too long
2006 source engine (bunnyhop possible)
Story wasn't that much changed
Not many bugs (very good!)
Changed the story a bit
Some AI sucks!
No ABH (changed nothing :P)
Not bad at all I liked it! But well not THAT much :P
Half-Life 1 is still better in my opinion.
Have a good day.
Black Mesa is a very good example of what a fan base dedicated to a game can achieve. A fan made Re-creation of Valve Software's 1998 cult classic Half-Life, Black Mesa makes a brilliant attempt at bringing people of today back to a game that helped revolutionize the industry back in the late 90's.
Black Mesa has had a lot of custom content created specifically for it to bring the atmosphere to life, including a custom soundtrack and entirely new models and textures. The voice acting is high quality and with the more modern tech of the Source engine, the characters have been bought to life better than in the original game.
Black Mesa does a good job in connecting Hl2 and HL1 together better by including the characters of Dr Kleiner and Eli Vance from HL2 so as to improve canon between the two games.
Aside from all the good things it does, Black Mesa does contain some negatives.
I for one, feel that the weapon and NPC animations are lacking somewhat, as they feel stiff and not completely natural. A good example of the animation is the Crowbar you get at the start of the game; the animation of it when being used doesn't feel as normal as it does in HL1.
Another thing that I found upsetting was the fact that the chapters Surface Tension and On a Rail were not the size or challenge they were in the original game. Surface Tension has been left half finished and On a Rail has been shortened so much that the challenge it posed in HL1 (Even if it was annoying) is no longer there.
I am also personally, not keen on the repositioning of the Bullsquid's eyes as it does not look like it did in HL1. I've also noticed the Bullsquid uses Vortiguant eye textures for its eyes which I feel is slightly lazy of whomever made the textures for the model
since an earlier alpha/beta version of Black Mesa's Bullsquid resembled the HL1 version much better.
I hope to see the negatives addressed with patches, updates and even fan made mods. Until then, I eagerly await the Xen release.