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|OT| |OT| Black Mesa |OT| [3rd party Half Life 1 REMAKE done right]

Elektro Demon

Shits and Giggles
Nov 9, 2019

Black Mesa is a remake of Half Life 1. Developed by Crowbar Collective, originally it started it's life as a mod but turned into a commercial product. Approved by Valve.
It's finally out of early access and it's a complete game now.
GAME: Black Mesa
RELEASE DATE: Full release in March 2020
ENGINE: Source engine
DEVELOPER: Crowbar Collective
PLATFORM: PC, Windows and Linux
    • OS: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista or Greater
    • Processor: 2.6 Dual Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    • OS: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit) or Greater
    • Processor: 3.2 Quad Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 4 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 20 GB available space

You are Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist at the Black Mesa Research Facility. When a routine experiment goes horribly wrong, you must fight your way through an interdimensional alien invasion, and a bloodthirsty military clean-up crew in order to save the science team... and the world!

  • Nineteen chapters of fighting through top-secret labs, running atop harsh desert landscapes, sneaking into abandoned railways, and leaping across dimensions
  • Mind-Blowing graphics and effects, never before seen on the Source Engine
  • Face off against an army of classic enemies, updated with new features and engaging AI
  • Wield an arsenal of military hardware, scientific prototypes, and the iconic crowbar through incredibly detailed environments
  • The all-new soundtrack and voice acting create a more immersive experience than ever before

Black Mesa is a first-person shooter that requires the player to perform combat tasks and solve various puzzles to advance through the game. From a design standpoint, the core gameplay remains largely unchanged from the original base Half-Life game; the player can carry a number of weapons that they find through the course of the game, though they must also locate and monitor ammunition for most weapons. The player's character is protected by a hazard suit that monitors the player's health and can be charged as a shield, absorbing a limited amount of damage. Health and battery packs can be found scattered through the game, as well as stations that can recharge either health or suit charge.

However, unlike Half-Life: Source, which merely featured the original game's assets and geometry ported to the Source engine, Black Mesa has been purpose-built from the ground up to take full advantage of the newest versions of Source, not just for its graphical capabilities, but for its myriad updates to the game's physics engine, puzzle complexity, and platforming capability. The artificial intelligence of the enemy characters has also been improved over Half-Life to provide more of a challenge, with some of the combat spaces redefined to provide more options to the player. In addition, several narrative and design changes have been made to account for the numerous story threads presented via Retcon in Half-Life 2. While most of the general design and progress through the game levels remains the same as Half-Life, the largest change in Black Mesa is the reworking of the game's final chapter, Xen, which was generally considered the weakest part of the original game.

Black Mesa also includes support for the individual and team deathmatch multiplayer modes from Half-Life on similarly-updated maps.

METACRITIC 84 https://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/black-mesa
PC GAMER 84 https://www.pcgamer.com/black-mesa-review/
EUROGAMER - Essential https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...masterful-remake-that-improves-upon-a-classic
If you want a written and fully detailed review, check post below.
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Elektro Demon

Shits and Giggles
Nov 9, 2019
Black mesa originally started it's life as a mod but the developer, Crowbar Collective, got a green light from Valve to make it a full standalone game. Black mesa is a remake of the original half life but in the source engine. And I gotta say, it's impressive. I didn't want to play it until it was fully complete, and it's finally out of early access and the content is full. I believe I'm the perfect man to review this game? Why? Because, shamefully, I never played the original half life. I've finished all of valve's games including half life 2 and it's expansions but never played the original half life. And thanks to Crowbar Collective, I finally played it.

The story is familiar, half life series is an extremely popular game series, so it's unlikely you don't know what's it about. But I'll go over the story very briefly. You play as Gordon Freeman, a scientist in the Black Mesa facility lab, and you're tasked to insert a material into this machine. And by doing this, things go horribly wrong and you open an interdimensional rift to an alien world called Xen.
This event also causes to Black Mesa facility to ruination. Alien creatures invade the facility and you're trying to escape. Later on you find out that the government sent out troops to the facility to cleanse anyone left. By cleanse I mean kill, basically. Alien or human. That's the most basic premise I'm willing to tell you in this review without treading into spoiler territory.

So how is the gameplay? Well it's a first person mixed in with puzzle elements and environmental platforming. I like how you can carry all of your weapons at once although it gets a bit tough to switch them on the go with your mouse wheel. You could key for each gun I suppose, but I'm not that hardcore. There's an interesting roster of guns, the first one you're gonna get is the iconic crowbar. Then pistol, shotgun, machine gun, magnum, rocket launcher, crossbow, some energy gun, alien gun and more. All have a purpose and some even have some alt fire mode. Shotgun for instance, normal is firing one shot and the alt is firing two shells at once. Very useful for alien creatures later on in the game. You got your suit and later on in the game you get a suit upgrade which allows you to double jump basically and traverse longer distances. Let's talk about the enemies. I like all the alien creatures. They range from small ones to bigger stronger ones. The only annoying enemy is that small bug thing that jumps at you. He's not a strong enemy, 2 pistol shots will kill the little bugger or a crowbar hit, but it's small and sometimes hard to hit. There are even human enemies in the game. Soldiers sent to clear out Black Mesa. The best weapon for them is the automatic rifle. Because most often, it's a gun that they use as well, meaning you'll have plenty of ammo after you kill them. The Black Mesa facility is like 70 percent of the game. That is where you'll be spending most of your time. It can get a bit boring because it's all indoors. You do get an occasional trek outside the facility but mostly it's just indoors. And there's even some moody horror vibes I got from certain parts of the game. I like it. There are puzzles in this game, like I mentioned. They're pretty easy, and also interesting for the most part. The environmental platforming is crap, I gotta say. It's clunky and sometimes very imprecise. There's also an old first person shooter problem in this game. It's climbing the stairs. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'd prefer just pressing a button to enter climbing stairs mode. That's a far better and less clunky solution that the old sticky stairs solution that Black Mesa uses. In the latter half of the game, you will travel to the alien planet Xen. It's gorgeous. Arstyle is just sublime. There are a few chapters here on Xen and they're ok. I liked black mesa facility more. It's okay but it's just a bit dragged out. It's full of weird puzzles, alien structures and convoluted pathways. When you get to Xen, there's about 6 hours of gameplay till the end. Xen is fine and somewhat interesting, but I just think Black Mesa facility section is much, much better in terms of design. Overall, the whole game is about 15 hours long. And I feel this is the perfect length. It's paced well, you always get something new, a gun or a suit upgrade or face a new enemy, so it's not gonna feel tedious.

This is a game made in the Source engine. It's a complete remake of half life 1 with some changes added. It changes a lot of things but also it's true to the original. This is actually on par with Valve's work. Clearly, Crowbar Collective is a very talented developer. And it's difficuilt to remake something without pissing off the fans. My friend, who's played the original half life also played this. And I asked him did anything felt out of place. He said no. Like I said, very impressive work. In terms of graphics, everything looks good. Especially the Xen part, the art there is just sublime. But this is an older engine and it's definitely starting to show it's age. It still looks good but don't expect Metro Exodus levels of graphical fidelity here. Sometimes the music kicks in when you start a new chapter or something happens and I love this. Most of the time, there is no music in this game. That's what makes these moments when the music kicks in so memorable.

At the time of writing this review, this game is around 18 Euros or 20 bucks on steam, and for the amount of content here, it's really worth the price. This is a brilliant tribute game that makes enough changes to the formula to appeal to modern gamers but at the same time it still feels very faithful to the original game. If I had to give a score to this game, I'd give it 8,7 outta 10

And if you're too lazy to read, you can watch the review. My own in 4k.
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We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
Leeds, UK
Oh, they finally finished Xen? Cool. I finished the rest of the levels so long ago now that it's actually worth replaying again.
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May 16, 2018
Currently replaying it for the third time (at "Apprehension" at the moment). First time was with the free version back in 2012, then in 2016 with the Early Access version and now with the full release. I still love how they trimmed down "On A Rail" and cut out all of the useless shit so the pacing is WAY better. Game is still damn good.
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Nov 9, 2006
Does this have Controller Support?

I just launched the game to try it, my pc xbox 360 controller doesn't work with this game.
It says on the steam that there is partial controller support. I don't know what that means.

Partial Controller support generally means you need to use the Steam Input Api to manually create a controller profile for the game and then map your keys:

Works better for some games than others but worth a try.
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Apr 27, 2011
I've been playing as we speak. I've just reached Xen.

It's not hard to create something better looking than the original Half Life! But still they did a fantastic job with the updates, taking liberties with the transition to make the whole place more realistic and livable. I also love how they added more character models and we don't see every job being taken by a union of twin brothers, but I still see a ton of duplicates! The source engine still holds up after all these years!

I like how they implemented the physics engine of HL2, but they could have used it a little more often, as every time I reached some puzzle that needed it, I had forgotten It even existed as an option.
The rest of the stuff work well with one exception! The enemy Soldiers! THEY ARE A CHORE TO FIGHT! In the old game, they never fired while moving and they started limping away if their health got low. Also the MP5, while less accurate, had a bigger clip, and here, unless you are aiming for the head, these enemies are ridiculously bullet-spongy, often don't die after unloading a clip on them. They also don't have the recent AI trends of missing once in a while! They never miss or reload, they are ready to fire the instant you pick your head out of cover, don't flinch when they take damage and you survive mostly by face-tanking their bullets! The end result is that all cases of fighting these guys where a chore and felt 5 times harder than every other enemy in the game. Their AI could use a lot of improvement!

It's as classic as it gets. Gordon Freeman is a Theoretical Physicist in Black Mesa secret base/facility, and as an experiment goes wrong, Nightmarish creatures from another dimension start materializing into the facility. The one bad aspect that consisted in the original game was that the game could use some familiar faces. Every helpful character you meet is introduced on location you find him in, doesn't give you his name and you never see again until you meet your new best friend somewhere else.

The game has some bugs. More than once the game slowed down to a crawl until I restarted the application (in Residue Processing's conveyor belt area and in Lamda Core's Portal area), and a couple of times I had to reload a save because the game got stucked (jumping to the portal to enter Xen).

It's otherwise an excellent remake worthy of replacing the original, should they fix the AI of the enemy soldiers. The original also had a lot of Expansions, that are of various importance to the story, but given how long it took them to release this one, I can't see them doing them any time soon. IMO the only one of those you should bother with is the Co-op campaign Half Life: Decay that was PS2 exclusive, as it has enough game-play innovation to justify the extra hours.
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