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Black Mesa

Developer / Publisher: Crowbar Collective
06 March 2020
Black Mesa - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.95 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
974 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#263 All-time
#11 for 2020
Newly hired physicist, Gordon Freeman, must escape disaster at Black Mesa in this fan remake of the classic 1998 video game Half-Life.
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As if Half-life 1 wasn't already a masterpiece, we get a lovingly crafted remake by devoted fans that stays as true to the original in all the places that matter, and dramatically improves on the areas that haven't aged quite well. I wouldn't say its necessarily a blanket improvement over the original, but while i'm usually the kind of person to say people should play the originals and ignore the remakes, i'd never question someone playing only Black Mesa and not the original.

The only aspect of the game i'm not 100% on is the Vortigaunt village sequence near the end, since it seems like a weirdly heavy handed way to try to bridge hl1 and 2, but its still a very well done sequence gameplay wise, and overall I prefer it more than the original Xen.
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Pinks 2021-09-20T03:27:46Z
2021-09-20T03:27:46Z
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A relic of another era
A confusing mix of immersive narrative experience on the one hand and decidedly un-immersive boomer shooter / first person platformer on the other. The former definitely has potential, with an intriguing premise, a generally well-drawn and atmospheric setting, and, most interestingly, thoughtful use of design to ground the player in the setting, the role of Gordon Freeman, and the events of the narrative. The opening section in which you tour the Black Mesa facility and then gradually prepare yourself for the impending disaster epitomises this approach.

Unfortunately, however, more moderately-paced immersive sections like the one described above rarely take centre stage beyond the opening and a smattering of short-lived sections later on (e.g. the first time you enter a vortigaunt village in the Interloper chapter). Instead, the bulk of the game plays like a standard boomer shooter / retro platformer. As is typical of a shooter, these sections are filled with affectless, hyperactive violence divorced from any narrative context, which gets mind-numbing quickly (at least for me) and undermines the player's sense of grounding in the fictional world. Platforming and environmental puzzle-solving similarly lacks groundedness, and suffers from imprecise and bouncy first-person movement. And, perhaps most frustratingly, it's all far, far too long. Almost every chapter feels at least twice the length it needed to be, and the second half of each almost always drags, with the same basic elements being remixed to the point of tedium. The gameplay just isn't well-tuned enough to sustain this bloated length, with the result that I was virtually begging for the game to be over once I hit the final couple of Xen chapters.

Even when focusing attention solely on the game's more immersive moments, it's still fair to say that they have very minimal narrative content by modern standards, with little detail being added beyond the basic premise. There are no written sources to discover, for example. NPC interactions can be engaging, but there's much less acerbic wit and interesting lore here than you'd find in Portal, for example, despite this game having a very similar feel tonally.

Overall, despite being billed as a remake, Black Mesa still feels too much like a relic of another era, conceptually and mechanically. It has a fresh coat of graphical paint, and it's easier to get through due to an updated combat system, but the core hasn't really changed much in any meaningful way, nor has it aged well in my view. If you're a fan of vintage FPSs or retro games in general, or if you grew up with the original, you might enjoy this more than I did. But, for me, there just isn't anything here that stands out as being worthy of attention in the modern day, save the immersive design that's most present in the first ten minutes of the game's runtime.
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Mysteron5 2024-04-10T23:10:11Z
2024-04-10T23:10:11Z
2.5
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Alice in Lambdaland
Must play if you're a fan of narrative based fps. It's level design and flow is excellent and satisfying.
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Azek 2024-02-04T05:17:46Z
2024-02-04T05:17:46Z
4.5
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If you've read my review on the original Half-Life, then you'll know that while I enjoy that game, I feel there was significant room for improvement with its filler as well as when you arrive on Xen. Suffice to say, this fan made remake of that game addresses these issues and delivers a game with beautiful landscapes and little to no filler content that adds to the franchise by incorporating elements from the sequel and its expansion pack that weren't thought of during the first games development. You can check out my review of the original game for more info on what I love about these games, but suffice to say, this is the definitive version you should play.
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Foxylover92 2021-06-23T00:23:09Z
2021-06-23T00:23:09Z
5.0
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La est├ętica y la banda sonora son el fuerte de este maravilloso juego, es diferente a la del original pero igual de buena, la banda sonora es muy epica y contribuye a los climax del juego, el original tenia muy pocos momentos asi pero black mesa tiene mas lo cual es bueno por que esos momentos son geniales, no son repetitivos y ayudan a mantener el ritmo.
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fabrizzio234 2024-02-22T18:52:32Z
2024-02-22T18:52:32Z
4.5
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i really, really dont see how this doesnt improve upon the rating of hl1.
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AwesomeItself 2023-06-20T03:25:38Z
2023-06-20T03:25:38Z
4.5
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Catalog

karrilho Black Mesa 2024-05-15T20:49:56Z
2024-05-15T20:49:56Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Josh783 Black Mesa 2024-05-11T23:30:49Z
2024-05-11T23:30:49Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bel3 Black Mesa 2024-05-10T10:24:36Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-05-10T10:24:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dAlexx Black Mesa 2024-05-06T17:36:34Z
2024-05-06T17:36:34Z
4
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MoyMoy Black Mesa 2024-05-04T20:04:50Z
2024-05-04T20:04:50Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
keyinlock Black Mesa 2024-05-04T17:49:36Z
2024-05-04T17:49:36Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Fvck Black Mesa 2024-05-01T17:47:58Z
2024-05-01T17:47:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sureskeptic Black Mesa 2024-04-28T15:47:57Z
2024-04-28T15:47:57Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
trebv Black Mesa 2024-04-27T20:34:29Z
2024-04-27T20:34:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Manygodsnomasters Black Mesa 2024-04-25T23:02:08Z
2024-04-25T23:02:08Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thereitis Black Mesa 2024-04-25T21:21:42Z
2024-04-25T21:21:42Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Azekahh Black Mesa 2024-04-25T16:36:49Z
2024-04-25T16:36:49Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Early access date
05 may 2015
Media
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Multiplayer options
Online

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  • Previous comments (36) Loading...
  • RyanTheDrummer1 2023-12-30 03:56:50.557045+00
    Xen drags on too long but other than that it's a great remake
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  • FreddyFedora 2024-01-13 23:33:04.17098+00
    incredible how one of the main reasons this game was made was to fix xen and they managed to make it as bad if not worse than the original.
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  • wargrl 2024-01-16 13:58:29.47815+00
    I HATE XEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORSE THAN HL1 ITSNOTFUN TU&Jhbrgbnm its so BALLS
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  • candycanefish 2024-02-26 20:59:26.723042+00
    I HATE XEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORSE THAN HL1 ITSNOTFUN TU&Jhbrgbnm its so BALLS [2]
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  • JammyKeyboard37 2024-03-25 14:42:13.318165+00
    new xen puzzles were literally the worst part of this entire game. why did they think that was better. ballsack headcrab hd fight was great though.
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  • kalts 2024-04-10 13:51:40.032125+00
    xen is sooooo long jesus
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  • warioman 2024-05-17 21:00:55.232075+00
    Every single comment on this Half Life game is complaining about Xen. Some things never change
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