Black Mesa is a game that I was very interested in checking out. It actually has a very interesting development history as it started out as some fans of Half-Life with a dream to make that game even better. Well, it has been worked on for what seems like forever and as I write this in 2020, it actually just got a pretty substantial update in 2019.
If you have played the original Half-Life you will know what to expect here. What I think they did really right with Black Mesa was greatly improve the game's visual thanks to the change in engine. They have added a few things here and there, but for the most part, this is the same Half-Life that you played and most probably loved. It does run a lot better though and while not game-changing. I do feel that the updates they have made are positive ones.
Close The Portal
The story in Black Mesa is great as it is pretty much the same story that was told in Half-Life! Some may see this as a negative and I do think it would have been cool if they had gone even more in-depth with the lore as there is so much about this strange dimension that you want to know! Gordon Freeman is at a secret facility when an accident causes another dimension to cross over, which includes a bunch of strange creatures. Closing the portal is the only way to save everyone, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
While Half-Life as a series has always made me ask as many questions as I get answers, as frustrating as that can be. I must admit there is something cool about it. It kind of reminds me of TV shows like The X-Files and Lost which is neat. The most recent update that added in the Xen chapters (well some of them) is really cool and actually something that is way better than it was in the original.
A Thinking First Person!
You may think that you have a first person shooter, but Half-Life, well Black Mesa in this case. It is more than that. Yes, you will have to fight, but there are puzzles and other such things that you need to deal with as well. It moves the game at a more methodical pace and that is something I like about it. One thing I will fully admit to is that as good as this is, I do find it a tad hard to go back here after playing Half-Life 2.
If you liked Half-Life you will like this and get a kick out of the changes that have been made, especially the Xen sections which as I write this are still not finished. I would still say that I much prefer Half-Life 2 over this, but this is still well worth playing through.
Final Score: 8/10
- The added Xen chapters I feel have been worth the wait
- Gordon Freeman is the ultimate silent protagonist
- The game has a great story/lore
- The gameplay feels great
- It does look better than the original
- The Xen chapters are still not 100 percent finished
- Not a ton of changes in terms of the story
Download Black Mesa
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP