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.

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medve Author
medve Sep 20 2012, 6:52am says:

yeah, i know im public enemy number one since the "not impressed" comment, but lets look at what valvetime has to say for his fans (who are mainly hl fanboys). i have to admit this was too harsh even for me.

+25 votes   reply to comment
[Tox(sic)] Sep 20 2012, 7:25am replied:

Well it's good that you are giving it an honest rating. I loved the mod, but it is far from perfect. I think the only thing people had issue with was that you didn't give reasons why you gave it a low rati-
Wait, you gave it an 8 and people are complaining you gave it a low rating?
I would say just give a more in-depth review.
And yeah this guy seems full of crap.
1. The reason that the grunts have better aim is because they, unlike Gordon, are TRAINED PROFESSIONALS. I swear every review that bitches about enemies being better at them at something, especially if the enemies are trained with their weapons and the character in actuality shouldn't be, drives me mad.
2. I think the introduction (of the game) was spot on. The pacing was great, and the beginning sequence gave me actual reason to CARE about the people dying. They had conversations, they felt like real people, so the resonance cascade felt that much more horrible.
3. I loved the voice work, personally. It made the people feel alive.
I can't help but feel that he is just upset that someone dares touches HL1.

+37 votes     reply to comment
VGames Sep 20 2012, 9:16am replied:

Just set the difficulty to easy and the soldiers' aiming skills were toned down a bit. There, problem fixed. What a silly review.

+19 votes     reply to comment
LucianoStarKiller Sep 20 2012, 2:50pm replied:

add the fact that in the original it was a pain for someone to folow you properly, it became much easier now that the AI has improved
and rooms that actually make sense, there were some places in HL that i couldnt possible understand what some of them were for

+8 votes     reply to comment
xcv2007 Sep 20 2012, 8:14pm replied:

To me the saddest part was right after the Resonance Cascade started, where you walk through a hall filled with people dead, and sad music playing. It actually made me feel bad for what happened.

+9 votes     reply to comment
yeten12 Sep 21 2012, 6:41pm replied:

sorry i pressed the - button by mistake -_-

+5 votes     reply to comment
Huhmasta Sep 24 2012, 4:20am replied:

My only complaint is the grunt AI....while great for the most part and challenging in the right areas, they are CHEAP.... Have you not even noticed how the grunts can just automatically KNOW where the player is at all times? You literally cannot sneak up on these guys, even when you're a mile away, they KNOW where you are before you even see them.

0 votes     reply to comment
Unit206 Dec 10 2012, 11:09am replied:

its like that with most games, my best guess is that they have a sat com spying on you and are following you from that. (in this case maybe there should be something you could do to kill there recon sat's or scrable the channel or something.)

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Mkilbride Sep 20 2012, 7:22am says:

Poor voice work?

That is when I stopped believing the review.

IT was the most out-standing Voice acting I've heard from a non professional game, beating many, and it sounded at times as if they had the original Voice Actors except Eli. I've played HL1 over 10 times to completion. Sure, there are most likely people who've done plenty more, but I felt Black Mesa is as close as you could get to HL1 in Source.

Low quality sound effects? Huh? They shocked me as I found them to better than I thought they would have been.

Performance is rather bad, yes. I see times where my CPU & GPU at below 50% usage or so.

Also, load time? Huh? It loads faster than HL1 for me. Nearly instantly, I see "loading", then one breath, and loaded.

I think you just have a slow HDD. I have a SSD.

I think you guys just have stupid high standards. No one could do better; not even Valve, and I truly believe that.


Just to be clear; I don't think Black Mesa is like the super best mod evars and it can do no wrong. There are certain parts that obviously just aren't up to the original.

But this review is stupid harsh. It's like because your ValveTime, you felt, to appease the old crowd, such as myself, you had to hate on it or so.

Very odd; that or I don't even know if ValveTime has any old gamers there, or are just new gen gamers who played HL1 in 2007 and base it all off that.

Having played HL1 10 times as I said, I see so many subtle nuances it makes my heart flutter. Little details most people miss, but having played it so much, I notice, and that BMS team captured...just amazing.

+67 votes     reply to comment
kin37ik Sep 20 2012, 7:32am replied:

amen to that, they were way to harsh on this review of the game, i mean, how can it be compared to the original half since, 2 completely different engines, but in saying that, i think the black mesa was absolutely amazing, 10/10 easily, just cant wait for the black mesa deathmatch

+13 votes     reply to comment
The_Builder Sep 20 2012, 11:16pm replied:

It’s funny because I didn't once experience a frame rate drop and my computer isn’t even close to high end (250GT + 930 i7 @ 1080p -- 40-60fps throughout). The only thing I did experience was a random crash in blast pit (when turning on the fan). I agree with you that load times were not nearly as bad as he said (10kRPM HDD). And seriously the review treats a MOD like it was a AAA title when the devs made this entirely in their spare time at practically the quality of a AAA. They have lives and jobs to work too >.>

+6 votes     reply to comment
CaptainLagfail Sep 23 2012, 10:46am replied:

E6600 + GTX460, base clock

Slowdown only at that yellow tram scene and 3 crashes in total over the entire play through.

It is astounding that the game is this stable without massive amounts of beta testing. Most AAA games on mature engines with millions of beta testers crash more than that.

I think ValveTime feel they can't call themselves critics unless they criticise. On occasion, something comes out that requires no criticism. This is one of those times.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Ihminen Sep 20 2012, 7:28am says:

About framerate, yeah it did drop some times (3-5 times) low and anoying but made no significant impact on the game it self. Poor voice acting? Yeap, what did you expect they did it for free, that's something I'd expect. Bugs and crashes, can't say nothing on that cause I had none.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel Sep 20 2012, 7:31am says:

The review posted in YouTube has been bashed and despised by it's viewer. The review was just too harsh. Does anyone here think that ValveTime's spitefulness was simply because they were warned by the dev team for spoiling a part in the mod?

+21 votes     reply to comment
KEEP_IT_UP! Sep 20 2012, 7:34am says:

so many people misinterpret the voice acting which makes me really sad.

it's such a NEAR PERFECT balance between ironical and exaggerated parody ("over the top" soldier's acting, the "gay" scientists) and serious and professional casting as close as possible to the original. beside that to these critics: tell me a name of ANY MOD with better voice acting? even full-price titles these days are worse or at least as amusing BUT without meaning to. ;)

+12 votes     reply to comment
Serathis Sep 20 2012, 10:18am replied:

Nightmare House 2? Id say its on par.

-4 votes     reply to comment
SinisterExaggerator Sep 20 2012, 8:29am says:

The only voice acting i didnt like was the Soldiers.

+9 votes     reply to comment
NikolaiChekhov Sep 20 2012, 8:47am replied:

I did, it kept up with the spirit of Half Life. The soldiers were just as ridiculous in the original as in BM.

+13 votes     reply to comment
HEVcrab Sep 20 2012, 12:37pm replied:

WE! WILL! KICK! YOUR! ***! :)

+6 votes     reply to comment
TheUnbeholden Sep 21 2012, 2:58am replied:

No Black Mesa tuned it up several notches, I would say the grunts voice acting was totally out of place. Like a idiot jock in a MIT class.
The rest of the voice acting though was better than the original HL, more voices, more dailogue so professional and probably the best I've heard out of any mod.

+2 votes     reply to comment
nadarko Sep 23 2012, 12:20am replied:

I thought the duke made a cameo near the missile launch

+5 votes     reply to comment
Digwiid Sep 20 2012, 9:10am says:

Oh, i already saw this more of an butthurt review, and i think that Modinformer was closer to an professional level review, since while pointing out the negatives, they still showed A LOT of positives, while ValveTime just mainly bashed i for all the laws they could find, and just "trying" to stick a few positives so that it wouldn't seem just fully negative review.
My frames dropped a few times,but that might be because my computer is old as ****, and i used flashlight at open areas it didn't need to be used,hence the fps drops.
I only had 2 crashes during the whole game, and i blame myself, because i would play the game non-stop for closer to 4h,so i would say that it didn't matter,since all of us need a break at some point.
Loading taking too long? I'm calling BS on that,the only time i experienced it was when i got out of that facility with the awesome music. (Questionable Ethics 1) And that's it.
Overall, i would personally give it a 8.5-9.0/10
Mainly just because it's so near perfection, that giving it full 10/10 might seem a bit too fanboyism. Loved every second of Black Mesa and i can't wait till Xen and Deathmatch. KEEP ROCKING!

+8 votes     reply to comment
BlackHand27 Sep 20 2012, 9:14am says:

Valvetime's review is pretty stupid. They tried to be like IGN. Results? 0 ******** of trolling.

+17 votes     reply to comment
BlackHand27 Sep 20 2012, 9:26am replied:

Not 0 % 100 sorry.

+11 votes     reply to comment
SingleMom Sep 20 2012, 9:14am buried:


Honestly, this review is spot on on how I feel about the game. Although I didn't have any frame rate drops or crashes.

-28 votes     reply to comment
SG1Shadow Sep 20 2012, 9:22am says:

Voice work was great for so many lines. You even got the stress on the "test chamberrrrr"

+9 votes     reply to comment
--Atlas-- Sep 20 2012, 2:31pm replied:

In original Half-life, The many npcs were speaking like in hurry, not like in real life. It was so hard to understand but it is better now.

+5 votes     reply to comment
DarkShift Sep 20 2012, 9:30am says:

I've only one thing to say :

+9 votes     reply to comment
hogsy Sep 20 2012, 9:33am buried:


I personally thought this review was pretty fair despite seeming harsh. I really feel like something is missing with Black Mesa... It's an amazing mod but I can't say I'd feel like paying for it.

-9 votes     reply to comment
shekdog Sep 20 2012, 9:55am says:

This is sooooo biased. No-weapons sequence = "turning Gordon into spectator"? Please, you spend half of the first chapter in HL2 getting chased by CP, caughting bullets and hopping over rooftops, that made you felt you're a mere spectator?

+14 votes     reply to comment
Serathis Sep 20 2012, 10:20am replied:

Yes. And it was *awesome*.

+4 votes     reply to comment
rlxorsla Sep 20 2012, 10:50am says:

Well, the development team of the mod did pretty impressive job here. Of course the graphics and voice acting were amazing, but I focused on the mod's design and relationship with the source material; HL1. As I following through the course of the game, I have to admit I was pretty surprised. While following the basic ways of how the game played in the original game(well, since it's a remake, this maybe pretty obvious), they took some freedom, and rearranged things, changed some puzzles, etc to make it meet today's standard, and they did it right. The mod tells the story better to its players than the game it based on. To me, Black Mesa is a fine Source engine adaptation of good old Half-Life 1.

+5 votes     reply to comment
SMGJohn Sep 20 2012, 11:17am says:

It's a mod, it's free. What did they expect? Something divine or?

No, this mod is very good, it's so good it made me cry of happiness when it came out and I must say, it's the highest quality mod for Source ever.

Everything isn't perfect that's normal for a mod but it isn't normal for a mod to be this good, this is on the level of professional game developers

+13 votes     reply to comment
Noma Sep 20 2012, 11:45am says:

I think this game was definitley worth the wait

+10 votes     reply to comment
Mattey Sep 20 2012, 12:11pm says:

Why would tou even post this?
This is the stupidest critic ever...
It's not a review, it's a "hate" video.

I know they I right in some things they say, but this is not the way to say it at all.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Tommygunn96 Sep 20 2012, 12:19pm says:

This is what i call a "******** review"

+7 votes     reply to comment
Arkanium Sep 20 2012, 1:12pm says:

It seems the reviewer has not played HL1 for a while.

I found that the weapons, especially the mp5, felt better to use since they were more accurate than the originals. Human grunts went down far easier in Black Mesa than in HL1 due to my increased accuracy. I found myself using the pistol or mp5 in situations that in HL1 would have called for the ubiquitous revolver.

The Hivehand was also more useful due to its faster ammo regeneration. Snarks weren't great because there weren't so many opportunities to use them.

The scientists and security guards made up 70-80% of the voice acting, so I don't see why it gets an overall bad review. The grunts kept the HL1 feel with their voices, but could have benefited from a wider variety of lines.

The pacing was indeed a little off in the initial sections, but it was nowhere near as bad as I have seen in some AAA games.

In terms of puzzles I think Black Mesa generally remained faithful to the original game while trying to change things a little. This was a good idea but was possibly rushed and took the challenge out of a couple of sections (firing the laser, airstrikes in the tunnel).

Black Mesa did suffer slightly for some of the more minor omissions (An airstrike does nothing to most of the things on the map? No grunt throwing a satchel charge into your pipe?). There were some good moments of interaction with scientists at the start; that level of detail should have been maintained throughout.

Overall it was an excellent mod that had great music, even if it wasn't always quite as spot-on for the atmosphere as in HL1.

Finally, I had one Crash-to-Desktop in the whole mod, and didn't experience any bugs except one level where you can get trapped between a truck and a ledge. Loading times were short, and I had no visible slowdown in framerate the whole time.

+7 votes     reply to comment
TheUnbeholden Sep 21 2012, 3:01am replied:

grenades also fly faster which is a blessing..

+5 votes     reply to comment
DeV-xC Sep 20 2012, 1:16pm says:

It's sad but I have to agree ... don't care about the score though

+3 votes     reply to comment
mckool Sep 20 2012, 1:17pm says:

While I wouldn't call this a "hate video" per se, it definitely seems off the mark. I'm an old guy who played the original at least 10+ times over the years. They managed to make me excited again by changing things just enough to seem fresh yet keep the basic feel and gameplay of the original. I have been completely unproductive with my mod (Shameless plug: The Mutant Factor: Awakening for Crysis 2) because I have been playing Black Mesa whenever I sit down at my PC.
It is not perfect but it does feel professional to me. Some of their criticisms seemed ludicrous to me: 1. Crashes (I had none) their system may be at fault there 2. The opening sequence with the flares? I loved it! 3. Cannot find the button because the room is too detailed? I guess the BIG RED BLINKING LIGHT was not obvious enough for them. 4. AI too tough? SERIOUSLY? I am not the best player and I almost never died! In fact they feel easier to me!

Anyway, it's sad when developers work that hard on something, that long, and for free, and people dis their work!

+8 votes     reply to comment
SILENTrampancy Sep 20 2012, 3:07pm replied:

Thats my main sticking point. Regardless of the validity of either sides opinions, These guys worked for 8 years, poured their hearts and souls into this work for NOTHING.

Personally, i love it. But thats not the point. The point is this guy is a jerk. These people deserve our heartfelt appreciation simply because they aren't asking us for a dime. The game is COMPLETELY free, since the 2007 source SDK comes with Alien Swarm/to any sod who wants it.

Unlike when most gamers get upset when they pay for something and it turns out less than they expected (No refunds, amiright?) This is childish, infantile and immature on a level that puts even entitled trust fund babies to shame.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Lorenzo_games Sep 20 2012, 5:43pm replied:

yes, i feel it easier, especially on the tentacle! Agree with you, it's free, they don't want donations, and some people says the mod is **** or some kind of that.. The mod it's like a Valve's work; or even more good.

+3 votes     reply to comment
MachoMan89 Sep 20 2012, 2:04pm buried:


This review was way too kind, it nailed Black Mesa Source on the head but it was still way to nice. Though the game never had graphics or framerate issues for me.

-6 votes     reply to comment
--Atlas-- Sep 20 2012, 2:39pm says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Jok3r098 Sep 20 2012, 4:29pm says:

My only real complaint is that one of the ladders on blast pit is kinda sticky and hard to climb up, but it did that with half life 1 original too as i remember :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
X-LAyer2 Sep 20 2012, 4:37pm says:

Why would you even post this on here. It's the most bull**** review of any game I've ever heard that wasn't trying to troll.

+4 votes     reply to comment
MedicOnDuty Sep 20 2012, 5:08pm says:

Poor voice acting... You're going to knock points off a mod that was designed by VOLUNTEERS because of bad voice acting? At least it actually tries to improve on the original instead of just recycling the audio lines.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Lorenzo_games Sep 20 2012, 5:31pm says:

lol, this is one of the best source mods i've played, voice acting was awesome, almost everything was awesome. Of course, it's not perfect, but this is not a review, is a hateview....

+8 votes     reply to comment
jkruse05 Sep 20 2012, 7:42pm says:

I'm pretty sure this review was done wearing a pair of nostalgia goggles, especially the 'narrative' section. Either he hasn't played Half Life for years, or wasn't paying much attention to Black Mesa as he played.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Amez Sep 22 2012, 10:49am replied:

He explicitly stated in the review that he was going to base his score on the original Half-Life.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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