Reviews: Black Mesa

Hmm, well...

NOTE: This is for the Steam version.

Having played both Half-Life and its sequel Half-Life 2, this game as it stands is a generally worthy successor and licensee to Half Life, but not without its overall niggles in my eyes.

First, the good parts.

The graphics are suitably updated and are how I wish Half Life: Source was. In many places, it's flat out eye candy.

It's also not too bright and not too dark, having a very good balance, and generally quite suitably lighted in many areas.

The style combined with the upgrade is quite suitable, and helps portray its generally darker tone in contrast to the original Half Life, so I commend Crowbar Collective for that.

There are also with it a few map changes, and two of the maps changed the most are On A Rail and Power Up. They've cut down the length of both, but they generally feel less tiring as a result. The map changes as a whole are quite welcome to me, but some aren't so well done, but more on that later.

Another lesser good part is how so many foes you meet are more challenging. Marines in particular tend to be more challenging, but aren't loathsome. They're engaging without being too much of a wall in the way.

There are though some negatives which must be said.

Firstly, some puzzles are frustrating and can take too long: One of the worst is one puzzle which requires you to get a part of the scenery and use it. Quite annoying when I realised what needed to be done, and could have been done better.

Another is how they've tried to change parts of it and make sure you don't rely on old memories, but some aren't different enough to stop it. Forget about Freeman particularly suffers for this, because it's similar enough in some areas to drag me down, but this isn't universal there or in any level.

Crowbar have at least tried, and the issue of my memories of those levels will likely go soon enough.

Overall though, it's a worthy successor and one I'd recommend trying. It's well done, had lots of effort put in, and lives up to what might be expected, to me. Try it for a new mix on something old.

P.S: This also has more character because of things like marine chatter, and various objects which litter the world which amused me. Crowbar Collective seem like Freeman's Mind fans, especially if you throw stuff at the guards.