Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | AND | IOS | PC | PS4 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | All

Need something to fill the void until Half-Life 3? Try Black Mesa!

If Valve waits long enough, fans may end up making their own sequel.

Black Mesa is a scene for scene remake of the original Half-Life in the Source Engine. If that wasn't enough, the entire game was re-voice acted, re-modeled, and re-coded in order to provide the most up-to-date version of Half-Life possible.

You can see a whole bunch of screenshots over at the Source SDK community on Steam and you can download the mod for Source: here.

For a comparison of the two, check these out:
original source remake

According to the black mesa wiki, "This total conversion will not require Half-Life: Source to play - only a copy of any Source Engine game installed on Steam." The cheapest of these is 4.99 and can be purchased on Steam: here.



Putty's avatar
Staff article by Nick LaLone (September 15, 2012)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this news article, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

Recent News Articles

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Half-Life article, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
Suskie posted September 15, 2012:

Whoa, this is out?! Okay, so those things I had lined up to do tomorrow? I am no longer going to do those things.
board icon
zippdementia posted September 16, 2012:

Hey, it's done, huh? Or is it just done up to a point? I heard about this years ago and then nothing for ages. Last I'd heard was that they were releasing it in batches, chapter by chapter, but that news was already three years old. I certainly hadn't heard about the re-voice acted!
board icon
Suskie posted September 16, 2012:

Actually, the redone voice work is one of the things that's been worrying me and plenty of other fans. This clip was released a while back, and... well, listen to it. It's awful. The team released a statement later saying that the dialog was made intentionally cheesy to dehumanize the enemies. Wow, you know a better way to do that? By making them faceless goons that don't have goofy-sounding conversations. Y'know, like Valve originally did.

Just comes to show: No one does Valve like Valve. A visual update is one thing, but the Black Mesa team evidently taking artistic liberties with the game concerns me. (And I'm actually gonna hold off on playing it for the time being since I was out all day today and Borderlands 2 comes out this week.)
board icon
zippdementia posted September 16, 2012:

I remember there being cheesy dialog in the original, too, actually, though I will agree: Valve does Valve best. I do like the music redesign; the music was one thing that was seriously lacking in the original. Except for a couple pumped up rushes, of course. You all know what I'm talking about.

After checking out the website, it's what I thought: they never actually finished this project. You just play up to Lambda. That's a lot of gameplay, still. I don't remember if it's before or after all the soldiers have to pull out...?

EDIT: Or wait, no, I do remember. Lambda is the last level before Xen. So they got pretty far, then!
board icon
Suskie posted September 16, 2012:

So, in other words, they finished all of the good parts.

I love how the Black Mesa launch trailer ends with a Surface Tension tease, since they know that's the chapter we're most looking forward to revisiting.
board icon
Putty posted September 16, 2012:

I imagine they didn't want to get in trouble by ripping the audio from the game. Then it gets tricky and in to piracy land.

So I have a confession. I have never played Half-Life 1 or the 2's. I played too much Team Fortress and Team Fortress 2 to really ever find time to play through it all.

If I was hesitant to play Half Life 2, what would you say to convince me to play it?
board icon
zippdementia posted September 16, 2012:

First I would say that Half Life 2, despite its age and the numerous times I've played, is still a game I can plug and it feels like a game that came out this year. And I still enjoy myself. Actually, all week I've been thinking about starting it up again.

Then I would say this, or something very much like it.
board icon
zippdementia posted September 16, 2012:

By the way, I totally agree, Suskie. Even as a kid, when there truly wasn't anything else like Half Life, I remember feeling that Xen was a piece of shit way to end the game. All the mood and ambience just dissipated. It was also glitchy as hell. I had to use no-clip just to make it past several unresponsive scripts.

Xen was made a little more interesting in Opposing Forces and Blue Shift but it's still an incredibly boring world. I don't know what I would do to fix it except, well... I think it would have been interesting to make it look more earthly. Like if there were sign of a fallen civilization (definitely could have belonged to the vortigaunts) and maybe some warfare. Something that we, as human players, could relate to and carry on the ambient mood the game was so good at crafting up until that point.

That's another place Half Life 2 wins, Putty. It's an incredibly ambient game, which puts you right into the shoes of Dr. Freemen without any player resistance and builds a world around you using almost no dialog and mostly visual clues. It's an incredible accomplishment.
board icon
Suskie posted September 16, 2012:

Putty, Half-Life 2 is dated in a lot of ways that any eight-year-old game will be, but it's still a masterclass of pacing, constantly defying genre expectations, introducing new mechanics that don't feel like new mechanics, raising the stakes without going over the top, etc. The reason HL2 is so much longer than most shooters is because it never runs out of ways to keep you interested.
board icon
zippdementia posted September 17, 2012:

It's true; to demonstrate that, Half-Life 2 has a much better end game than the first one.
board icon
Putty posted September 17, 2012:

So if I was going to play the game and played this, would I be missing out on anything?
board icon
zippdementia posted September 17, 2012:

Wait, are you asking whether you would be missing out by playing Black Mesa or Half Life 2? In either case, the answer is no. You do not need to play Half Life 1 to play either Black Mesa or Half Life 2. That said, Black Mesa will be particularly awesome for fans of the first game, while Half Life 2 will always stand on its own.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this article.

Policies/Ethics | Contact | Advertise | Sponsor Site | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2018 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Half-Life is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Half-Life, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.