Black Mesa PC

User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 543 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 543

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  1. Nov 5, 2012
    6
    It is the same game that it was when it was released a hundred years ago, but this time with shiny new graphics and better audio. It was a fun game in the original and while my memories of the original were very fond, it is like watching a movie you originally watched on VHS, on BlueRay. Looks better but feels the same. Good work on the mod, but it is essentially the same as it always was.
  2. Sep 30, 2012
    5
    This game leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand its quite polished and is well defined and faithful to Half-life. It free and easy to install so that is nice. The voice acting is really great and gives NPCs far more to say and feels more human.

    However it has too many annoying quirks. Such as the annoying "jump-crouch" being the solution to everything and the assumption that
    This game leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand its quite polished and is well defined and faithful to Half-life. It free and easy to install so that is nice. The voice acting is really great and gives NPCs far more to say and feels more human.

    However it has too many annoying quirks. Such as the annoying "jump-crouch" being the solution to everything and the assumption that the player has played the original and remembers all the old solutions to events.

    If you haven't played the original game you will find this a frustrating affair. Movement is another issue as it feels blocky and old fashioned.
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  3. Jun 3, 2013
    6
    I have the same problem with Black Mesa that I did with the original Half-Life. The first few chapters are an amazing horror experience where you make your way through a destroyed facility, just trying to get out alive, and if you play it on Hard, it's a challenging and rewarding experience. However, once the soldiers enter the mix, all the atmosphere disappears (it does come back later)I have the same problem with Black Mesa that I did with the original Half-Life. The first few chapters are an amazing horror experience where you make your way through a destroyed facility, just trying to get out alive, and if you play it on Hard, it's a challenging and rewarding experience. However, once the soldiers enter the mix, all the atmosphere disappears (it does come back later) and the game becomes a fairly boring shooter with frustratingly precise enemies. I'm not a shooter fan so the whole "shoot some guys, take some damage, find some health, repeat" thing wasn't all that interesting. Still, it's free, it's a classic, and you really owe it to yourself to check it out. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2012
    5
    What to say, its simply a free verion of half life source with changed name. Outdated graphics, and the story is the same as hl1. The reason i gave it a 5 was that the game was actually fun.
  5. May 15, 2013
    0
    Black Mesa is a total Source conversion of the original critical acclaimed game Half-Life.

    For a mod, it does everything very well. The level design looks both similar to the original game, with Hi-Res props, much improved physics new animations and improved scripted events. The gameplay however feels even more linear, by unfortunately cutting a lot from On a Rail chapter, which
    Black Mesa is a total Source conversion of the original critical acclaimed game Half-Life.

    For a mod, it does everything very well.

    The level design looks both similar to the original game, with Hi-Res props, much improved physics new animations and improved scripted events.

    The gameplay however feels even more linear, by unfortunately cutting a lot from On a Rail chapter, which in the original game it was far bigger, and more like a maze, now just activate this, enable this, and keep going. In original game the chapter took a lot to be completed, even after many times playing.

    However, the gameplay certainly feels a lot more intense, the new sounds, enemy design an AI makes everything feel both intense and realistic, but also more brutal sometimes. For instance, now when you kill a HECU soldier you get an exaggerated blood around him.

    In gameplay terms the mod brings some things not seen in any Half-Life game, the Gibing System. Basically it seems to have certain models, and works for certain kills, like when killing enemies with explosive barrels, grenades, RPGs, mines, and even headshots, which is a welcome and great addition.

    About the animations, both for weapons and NPCs is nice, with very good lip syncing and detail. Unfortunately, the dying animation in certain situations look ridiculous. For instance, the dying scientist in the beginning of Blast Pit has an exaggerated death animation, being too convulsive.

    Also the mods features another new system, which adds blood/acid and others on player's hand, which is a lot more realistic, but could've been better, on some guns, the blood doesn't go in a precise mode, like on the Glock, when a half of the hands have blood on certain parts, and on the other one on other parts, which isn't realistic and very good.

    The levels like said before, are very similar, but some are different, such as On a Rail which is a lot shorter, which is a bit disappointing, but it eventually fits better.

    The weapons, compared to original game are well made, sound realistic, look HD and behave realistic, but some of them, if carefully watched, behave weird, for instance the Magnum sounds very powerful, but if not shot in the head, it can even take to up to 3 hits to kill an enemy.

    The shotgun also feels very light but it really powerful in fact.

    The voice acting is great, but not for everyone. Eli's voice doesn't really fit, sound like a child with a sore throat, rather than an adult.

    The addition of the female scientist is also a good thing, and their voices fits perfectly.

    This is mod's quality in gameplay terms, now let's see the graphics and the performance.

    The graphics can't be described very detailed, there are dynamic lights, very sweet particle effects and realistic physics, with some demos right after the Test Chamber explosion at the beginning, and also in Apprehension, right after Gordon is caught by the HECUs and placed in a room to be squished.

    The performance however isn't really good. After playing aprox. 1-2hours you might get the ,,Failed to allocate the required Memory,, error.

    Also the mod has a severe lack of optimization in some areas which really don't look to be so hardware demanding, such as the Resonance Cascade scene, the beginning of apprehension, when a part of the Hydro Electric Dam in Surface Tension, some areas in Office Complex, Blast Pit, and the fighting scene before jumping into the portal at the end of Lambda Core, which is quite disappointing for a game that was in development for more than 8 years, but this is how's happening when a game if not fully ready, the mod is missing the Xen chapters, but even so, it provides a great experience until then, and you can't be very curious to see the revamped Xen, which has the biggest potential to be vast with great graphics, effects, physics, and other great stuff.

    The mod has as well several bugs, such as non-matching textures, like Scientists and Zombie Scientist, Barney and Barney Gibs, and Sniper Bullet, which wasn't replaced at all, being exactly the same from Half-Life 2. Another not super great thing is that the portal to Xen looks very similar to City 17's Citadel Core, but even so, again, it fits well.

    The soundtrack is a brand new addition, instead of re-used songs from the original one, but is very well made, gives suspense, fits with the action and environment, especially with the combat.

    The brand new achievements are well made, but could've been a bit better, like, well... ,,Drown in he Lambda Core Coolant,,?

    So, final verdict. Black Mesa is a masterpiece for a mod, which is also absolutely FREE which is a very great thing, as it's a mod. And it's stopped from being rated with a 10/10 ONLY because of the few bugs and glitches, some exaggerated death animations, and the lack of optimization in some chapters, and some unbalanced weapons.

    But overall, it certainly deserves the Mod of The Year award and can't wait to see what will bring Xen and BM:DM.
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Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Nov 6, 2012
    90
    We should applaud an excellent work made for free by fans of the original game.
  2. CD-Action
    Oct 24, 2012
    85
    A free game that lets you relive Half-Life without having to stomach outdated visuals. Essential to every gamer. [12/2012, p.69]
  3. Games Master UK
    Oct 24, 2012
    93
    A superlative remake of one of the most important games ever made. [Dec 2012, p.89]