Black Mesa

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Black Mesa
Black Mesa.jpg
Protagonist: Gordon Freeman
Genre: First-person shooter
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Release Date: September 14, 2012 (mod)
May 5, 2015 (Steam, part 1)
December 7, 2019 (Steam, complete beta)
March 6, 2020 (Steam, full release)
Developer: Crowbar Collective
Publisher: Crowbar Collective
Franchise: Half-Life

Black Mesa is a community-made Half-Life remake to the Source engine, partly as a result of the badly ported and almost unchanged Half-Life: Source not living up to the fans' expectations. It was originally released as a Half-Life 2 mod on September 14th, 2012, and was later made available as a standalone game via Steam on May 5th, 2015. It contains the entirety of the Half-Life storyline ("Black Mesa Inbound" to "Endgame").

Why It Rocks

  1. Unlike Half-Life: Source, it is almost a complete remake of the critically acclaimed Half-Life, with impressive visuals and sounds, totally redesigned maps, new models, and dialogue recorded from scratch.
    • Unique character models were created for Eli Vance and Isaac Kleiner, characters who were portrayed with Generic Scientist models in HL later retconned in HL2.
  2. Nicely challenging gameplay.
  3. Outstanding soundtrack by Joel Nielsen.
  4. It features a Deathmatch multiplayer mode, like the original game.
  5. Many qualities weapon-wise, mostly not present in the official games, such as:
    • Unique sprinting animations while holding weapons in first-person view
    • Different reloading animations for some firearms depending on whether the magazine is empty or not
    • The player character's gloves and weapons can be dirtied by enemies' blood in close quarters combat.
  6. Various elements were corrected to match their real-life counterparts. For example, the U.S. Marines now use the appropriate LAV-25 vehicle, as opposed to the Bradley IFV seen in the original Half-Life (which is used by the U.S. Army in reality).
  7. The Marines in the current release sound much more human (similarly to HL's expansion pack Opposing Force) compared to the original Half-Life (as well as the 2012 release of Black Mesa), where they sounded sinister with radio effects on their whole dialogue.
  8. The part set in the outer world Xen is an incredible improvement in comparison to the original Half-Life.

Bad Qualities

  1. It initially lacked the Xen part, which has been delayed multiple times; it was eventually released in 2020, seven years after the original Black Mesa release.
  2. Due to the Source engine not having been updated since 2013, the Steam release has a few noticeable glitches.
  3. It lags in some areas on certain chapters, including the major update on Surface Tension’s expanded area; some players had frustration in trying to get the gameplay moving.





9 months ago
Score 0
I hope the original game's expansions, Blue Shift and Opposing Force, recieve the Black Mesa treatment, maybe as free patches.

Xavior 0.10

9 months ago
Score 0
Operation: Black Mesa and Guard Duty exist, even though they're still in development


5 months ago
Score 2
The best remake ever. Actually this game is feel really different than Half-Life.

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