And now I've finished it. I'd been holding off on getting Half Life, even though I've played 2, because it's a dated game, and now I'm glad I did. This game definitely show Half Life would must have felt like when it first came out, because it is spectacular.
In almost supreme irony, Zero Punctuation reviewed the original a month before BM was released, and a lot of his criticisms and praises are still true. I'd like to see his reaction to BM.
The game isn't completely perfect, such as the crouch jumping mechanic and horrendously overcompensated Marine AI, but the community has actually provided scripts and tweaks for both of those that mitigate the problems and help the game flow better.
Looking back at some videos of the original, it's absolutely amazing what the BM has done to recreate and revamp the old environments. The changes to On a Rail are fine, even if it is smaller and has less aliens, since it holds up well enough on its own. Though I wish they had kept an area where lots of containers are moving on a rail above you (no gameplay reason, just because that would look really cool).
Everyone's already mentioned the changes to Surface Tension, and I agree, but the only real problem is that content between the vent shoot-out and Gargantua. The team didn't intended to cut it, and hopefully they'll go back and add a couple of those areas in. Seeing Marines getting tossed through concrete walls would give a much better sense of why they are bailing out.
Still amazing, I'll probably be replaying a few times because it's so good, and looking forward to Xen.