Black Mesa, Review: A Repetition Of Half-Life

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We analyze Black Mesa, a remake of one of the best and most influential video games in history, The Half Life inadvertently.

1998 year. A year full of incredible launches within the video game sector, with one of the top candidates on the best year in the history of the medium. In those 12 months of unparalleled joy for the pastime, we have received endless releases of immense quality. Capcom we are surprised by Resident Evil 2 which was a great bombshell, just like his recent remake. Sega he gave us one last jewel for his death Saturn with that surprise of the RPG that was Panzer Wizards Saga, a true masterpiece. Blizzard has completely turned one of the genres that hit PC’s strongest real-time strategy, by launching the monster Starcraft, which would also give an insight into many of the cornerstones of the existence of electronic sports. Master Hideo Kojima shook the foundations of the sector with Solid Metal Gear, and LucasArts a majestic swan song offered us a graphic adventure with Fangango grim. Nintendo he fulfilled our dream by raising the video game as high as possible Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of the Weather. The lucky PC gamers got titles from the draft Fallout 2 and Baldur’s Gate, smell the best role with a very different stage, or the excellent Thief: The Dark Project, with the names of the weights Ken levine or Spector Warren behind. And along with these and other titans, we got a lot of big titles that we have to ignore, for space reasons, in a majestic year for the video game sector. The video game sector certainly did not stand out that year due to the shortage of quality …

That 1998 also left us with indelible memory start from an almost unknown developer, who founded a few years just two years earlier former Microsoft employees, Mike harrington and certain Gabe newell. How could the opposite be done in a time when the most popular genre of computer video games, the first game of Valve, which would be the name of the company of these good gentlemen, a game of first-person shooter which would be in the classic truth of the go as mentioned Serve or Quake. Precisely, an id-licensed version of the latter engine would be used, and Valve ad nauseam was customized to adapt it to its precautions to model its creature. In addition to the named influences, its creators cite the novel with Stephen King “The Fog”, or a chapter in the series “Beyond the Limit” entitled “The Borderland”. After struggling to find a distributor to launch his game, Mr. Newell’s company owned for himself nothing more and nothing less than the giant. Saw. Six November 19, 1998, Valve released Half Life, and the world of video games would never be the same again.

My name is Gordon Freeman

Half Life came to completely revolutionized the story within the genre of first-person shooters games in particular, and the average in general. Valve title fully cinematic or pre-recorded scenes tell us their story, always giving us control of our avatar so we can fully experience this invincible sci-fi epic through his eyes. It is true that there were a few minutes encrypted, but Valve ‘s title knew how to masterfully camouflage it to immerse us in his life and make us realize that our actions had a real impact on him in a way that no previous title had.

Oh iconic introductory sequence on board a monorail we immerse ourselves in the facilities of the scientific research complex Black Mesa, fully in the game and with complete control of our character, we knew we were before a new step in the way video games have told stories. Not only did Valve’s masterpiece stay there, it completely revolutionized the way he introduced puzzles into development, making it a completely organic way as part of the game’s environment and the advanced physics system that used the title. Unlike other titles of the genre, where to go you had to search the stage for colored keys, here we had to learn how to cut out that cable that made a deadly underwater area, reactor operate nuclear or find the right way Complex installations have taken the art of level design in a video game to another level. Amidst that invasion of “Serve-like games” that we discussed earlier, Half Life undoubtedly demonstrated the possibilities of the genre of storytelling in a different way and bringing dozens of versions and series into the gameplay rather than hitting. It is impossible to understand the future that the video game sector has taken since 1998 without the capital impact entitled Valve.

Black Mesa, Review: a repetition of Half-Life

We’re not here today to talk about Half Life, but we thought it important to remember the importance of this title for this Review of Black Mesa. And luck is the title we hold today remake of the classic Valve, with the peculiarity being first developed by a team of amateur modders, who received the official support from Valve see the enormous quality of their work, allowing them to market it in their store. The seed for this issue dates back to 2004, when Valve was released Half Life Source, update your game using the half – life of 2 engines. The results of this update did not satisfy the community of fans, who had hoped for much more since that launch.

Black Mesa was born from a merger of two amateur teams that began working separately on the version of Half Life using the Source engine they thought Valve should have released. Realizing that their efforts were heading in the same direction, they decided to go together, creating a team of 13 people to try and complete their project. Because you were not a professional company, and not working together at the same meeting point, the project was delayed. The would September 14, 2012 when the first version of the game saw the light, so completely free as a mod for Half Life 2. This version was a remake of Half Life, except for the last 4 chapters that took place on the alien planet Xen.

The unbeatable to improve

Given the quality of the results achieved, Valve itself gives its full support to the project, making it an official product. Before you went through the popular voting system to publish titles on the company’s platform, the system was obsolete Steam Greenlight, Black Mesa officially goes on sale on that platform in the form of early access or “Early Access” in May 2015, still not to mention the Xen levels, but with a promise that these would be part of the final product when launched. This launch was originally scheduled for summer 2017, but has been postponed several times until last March 5, when we can enjoy the final commercial version of this dominant review of one of the best titles and most influential in video game history.

Black Mesa, Review: a repetition of Half-Life

So here we have Black Mesa, which ended up being much more than a simple visual update to the classic. And we appreciate this, because before we start listing the many benefits of this title and what we liked and enjoyed, we’re going to make something clear: Black Mesa graphically a title that looked bigger 6 years ago than something current. It is understandable to think that it was born an amateur project and a small group of enthusiasts, also born in 2012 and with its first commercial version since 2015. When it is complete, the good news comes , and there are many. Black Mesa is not a fresh coat of paint, it is full-blown reimagining, very respectful and loyal to the source material, but in turn broad sections, edit areas for improvement, correct things, adds new dubbing work and a great new dynamic soundtrack, as well as tons of tidbits here and there.

And we will save the best last, because of the good ones Crowbar Joint Committee the controversial weakness of the classic turned into something new and amazing, broadening the experience to make it perfectly right where it influenced the original. In short, we are facing an update to conquered us and enjoyed it a colossal sci-fi epic full of exploration, shooting and puzzles and that leaves us with many indelible moments to remember.

The epic recitation begins in Black Mesa as we engage with the doctor Gordon Freeman for his work in the scientific complex which gives the title its name. Mr. Freeman, a man who has few words to use euphemism, is late for work, and after wearing his high-powered protective suit, he goes to his lab to run a complex experiment with strange material of mysterious origin. During the experiment, something goes wrong, and throughout the complex begin to appear a series of transitional thresholds through which some terrible hostile beings of foreign origin. As if that wasn’t enough, the government, always with strange ideas, sends the army not only to keep the invasion there, but also has a mission to “silence” the scientists of the complex, beginning to killing without discrimination. Thus, we find that we are trapped between two fires in a titanic epic to avoid a catastrophe of greater consequences.

As we have already mentioned, we have the ability to immersion education is full title. It was revolutionary in its original form at the time, and retains all its pile even today and is enhanced in this remake. And all this without cutting back on the action or control of our main characters, weaving an atmosphere fully into the events we see on screen. With a great rhythm, and a set of very good camouflage punctual scripts that don’t look like them, it always gives us the feeling that we are the main characters, and that our actions shape the world in which we move.

Black Mesa, Review: a repetition of Half-Life

The IS various cases Another of the strengths of the classic was the one that preceded them, and again here it is present and enhanced. From the beginning to flirt with him horror of survival in the first person, we go to parts of it exploration and some masterful puzzles, completely organic using the environment in which we move and the physics engine of the game. Once the implacable forces of government appear, we will move on to that frenetic shooting divisions, where we must take advantage of all the advantages that the case offers us, as well as various and effective arsenals that we must use wisely to get rid of some tough shootings and where strategy plays an important role. Stealth and infiltration will play a small role in the development of the title. All these mechanics are intertwined, so that the game is always fresh and varied, taking our interest completely.

Xen, from hell to paradise

We have already mentioned that Black Mesa so much more than a Half Life relaunch. The said face change is right, rather than the final big surprise, right but it doesn’t measure up to what today’s big titles offer. What’s more, it sometimes seems like a title from the previous generation. The years and its amateur origins are noteworthy, nonetheless, it shows a love, respect and knowledge of the source material to be commended. Black Mesa is the real winner a colossal work of reimagining the classic, creating this remake from scratch fully respecting everything that is Half Life. As we have already said, there are several others enlarged, improved and polished parts, and despite the graphic part not being far from the forefront, Black Mesa has never appeared before and exudes much more life than the original. If you played Half Life at the time, everything will look familiar, but it will rise to the ninth power.

Black Mesa, Review: a repetition of Half-Life

The redesign of a certain level is more than is evident in chapters such as the eighth, “Sobre Raíles” (“Ar Iarnród”), it was originally a small toothache, and here it is something more linear that flows much more naturally and pleases more. The experience of the classic is not simplified by any means, on the contrary, it was enlarged and given more depth. The length of the chapters has increased, the puzzles work better and new puzzles have been introduced, and everything feels more cohesive and natural. Ultimately, they are on the same levels, but have been redeemed from the beginning, augmented and improved.

At the control level, we have sensations that are very similar to the ones we felt in 98 at the controls of that awful benchmark, but at the same time they were a bit retouched and with certain additions that bring a little closer to current standards. The handling of the weapons is right, their hobbies have their proper focus and it is very enjoyable and effective. Complex fps maneuvers were very popular in the 90s, and Half Life made generous use of the crouch jumping mechanics (“Crouch jump”). To avoid unnecessary headaches, Black Mesa enables an option that makes it automatic. The use of the Source engine is a great improvement in terms of physics and control, which makes us feel like the ones seen in Half Life 2, which is why the Black Mesa complex has never felt so alive. and “reactive” in our actions and does it here.

Black Mesa, Review: a repetition of Half-Life

In the audio part we also have a lot of improvement work. The dialogue was re-recorded and many new lines were added, reinforcing those feelings that Black Mesa has more life than ever. The soundtrack deserves a full stop. There are certain moments when it looks so extensive and exotic that it really ends up with our hair. On the other hand, other times he knows how to be incredibly emotional and engaging, like any good soundtrack with a huge work of science fiction like this. The Spanish dubbing we had at the time was lost here, though all texts are translated into Cervantes language.

Without a doubt, the last four chapters were the worst part of Half Life happened in the alien world Xen. In fact, they were a downturn and weren’t even close to the level of the rest of the game, being a kind of floating island with degrading textures in which you had to bring a set of annoying jerseys that weren’t pleasant and made the test more most on the test. that would be our patience. Valve seemed to have expired or the budget had gone out of hand (or both), but in any case, those 4 infamous memory levels should have worsened compared to the overall experience. After not appearing in the free initial version or in the early access of Black Mesa, the development of those 4 levels caused the huge delay of more than 3 years in the launch of the title. Blessed is the wait, because of this the rehabilitation by the Crowbar Collective team is simple and glorious, and provides us 4 great levels, which just becomes the best part of the game. We really doubt whether Valve himself would have done better if he had undertaken the task of repeating his original work of debate to these levels.

“The right man in the wrong place can change the course of the world. Wake up, Mr. Freeman. Wake up and look around ”

Mysterious Man in Half Life 2.



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