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Generally favorable reviews- based on 448 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 448

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  1. Sep 21, 2012
    Black Mesa has the polish synonymous with a Valve property, and has surpassed all expectations in light of the sheer difficulty of the project. The amount of dedication, passion, and love the developers put into this game is immediately apparent as you explore the depths of Black Mesa, and uncover the secrets of this research facility.

    Black Mesa transcends the level of 'modification' -
    they didn't modify anything. They created this game (save for a few sound bites, etc) from the ground up - in an impressive feat not many could accomplish. Having played Half-Life 1, this game left me without a single gripe or complaint regarding it's faithfulness to the original. The additions (of which there are a few) utilize the source engine's physics and graphics in ways that remind you of Half-Life 2. These are not modders, they're developers - and have made a shining masterpiece which raises the bar on third-party game development in the source engine. It's faithful to the original, and yet creates this bizarre sense of deja vu with Half-Life 2 - making them feel like one contiguous game, no longer separated by 6 years or different engines. They have truly done the impossible. This is a must-play. Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2012
    I've been waiting for this mod since the very beginning. Half Life is just one of the greatest PC Games ever made and walking Black Mesa again with these all new graphics it feels like coming home...well...home is nicer though :-)
    I have found no bugs so far. Everything has been rebuilt very accurately. No wonder this mod took about 8 years and it was worth every second. Hope the mod team
    will come up with the last part of the Half Life on Zen very soon!! Expand
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    Ok where to start. Black Mesa is a complete remake of Half-life. Now to sum it up would be "a masterpiece".The graphics have been totally revamped, characters (scientists, guards, etc.) have totally remade models and are now different from one another not the same guard over and over, the textures and other props have been replaced with higher quality ones. Some levels are slightly different but I found them very fluid and I believe they were worked to make the story more cohesive. Enemies are more intelligent and look amazing. Guns totally remade. This game is certainly on par with the original quality of story wise. The quality of work is of the highest I have seen in a mod and it is a "Valve" level of quality product. I find little else to say as this mod is so amazing I am lost for words trying to explain how highly I respect this remake and the dev team behind it was done such an amazing job. Expand
  4. Oct 29, 2012
    Black Mesa is one of the best and most polished mods i have ever played in my life. The mod is a perfect replica of half-life while still adding some new and interesting things such as the npc interaction and the improved ai. This game is DEFINITELY worth playing seeing as the original is still and always will be my favorite single player game of all time. If you haven't played this i would be hesitant to call you a gamer, especially if you're my age... Expand
  5. Sep 30, 2012
    Just finished this game, very good, like the original game. I'm very happy that it's free for people that has Source games, because Source games are my life, i almost play nothing else. I am taking off 10% for minor things, it was a pain in the ass to get the mod, and the second, the clothes of the figures should be improved more. Very good game, especially that only 40 volunteers made it, that is the best thing. Expand
  6. Nov 5, 2012
    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.
  7. Jan 20, 2013
    Firstly it's free! Anyone caught whining needs to be shot in the face. It is a update to a classic from passionate and dedicated fans, who happily gave up their time to give a facelift to one of histories best FPS games. It feels as good as it did all those years ago, the improved graphics help it feel modern. If you haven't already played the original (or wanna get back into the boots of Gordon) do yourself a favour and download it now. It's not trying to be a totally original game so expect it to be, don't be an idiot complaining that it's the same story etc. Expand
  8. Sep 22, 2012
    Truly amazing re-work. It turned out to be a lot better than I expected to. I'm also glad that Valve approved Greenlight for this mod, we need more worthy mods on Steam than crap like Revelations 2012 which is an Alpha stage non-free mod...
  9. sLm
    Sep 29, 2012
    I can't tell fairly enough how awesome is this game, and I say game not mod, because this game surpass its original by lightyears. Perfect. .
  10. Sep 22, 2012
    I own the complete Half-Life series and I am a huge fan and I must say that I am impressed with what the team did with this re-make. Awesome Mod !! I would recommend this Mod to anyone. This Mod has my 10 out of 10.
  11. Oct 29, 2012
    It's quite good, especially for a fan made mod. Seeing the whole BM facility rebuilt really presses the right buttons. Now it looks a lot less like a game level and more like an actual place where people work. I only found 3 things I didn't like about this mod: they changed the ammo carrying capacity to HL2 standards (ie: too low), the enemy soldiers have godly accuracy and perfect reflexes, and they changed the sound and firemode of the SMG. Other than that I loved every second of it. Expand
  12. Sep 23, 2012
    There are some things in life that are not really recognised for how important they really are until perhaps years after they actually happen. Black Mesa fits in to that category. For a group of fans to create something so professional, so polished, and so good is truly an extraordinary thing in itself. But the sheer scale, scope and length of time devoted to Black Mesa demonstrates what fans can actually achieve when they work together. The developers managed to create a game that can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with the titles you go out and buy, but they did it for free, which i think is a beautiful and quite remarkable thing. Black mesa, like half life itself, is the new yard stick to compare fan created games, and will be for years to come. Expand
  13. Sep 29, 2012
    When I first heard about Black Mesa, I was excited. When it came out, I was not disappointed at all. A few moments of the game have been changed from the original. And almost all the time, it has improved on the original. In Half Life, I found On A Rail really annoying. Black Mesa completely redid the chapter and it was a major improvement. That's basically how I would sum up Black Mesa, a major improvement on Half Life. It brings Half Life up to, and possibly beyond, the quality levels of Half Life 2. Definitely worth the long wait. Can't wait to see the Xen chapters Expand
  14. Dec 31, 2012
    Good god what an incredible game. It was also VERY time consuming spanning about 10 hours long it felt endless yet still enjoyable. It was bland and boring at the start with an extremely creepy atmosphere and gradually switches genres completely becoming something else. Yes that may be describing Half Life, but this redo of the game was incredible. I was stunned at the graphics comparison to the previous and it blows it out of the water. I usually have trouble playing dated games, and this really helped out. Expand
  15. Sep 30, 2012
    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.
  16. Sep 23, 2012
    When I first played the Half Life games, I thought to myself, these games can't get any better than they already are. Shows you what I know. This game is perfect. No doubt about it. A ten all the way. In every aspect that Half Life was perfect in, Black Mesa perfected the perfection. The graphics are great for this game are much better than the first Half Life, (it did come out in 1998, great graphics for then) the plot is almost the same so far, (some levels are different) and it is easy to tell how much these developers really love the game. They put all there passion into it. I am glad that now not every scientist is identical. I would say this game gets 98 out of 100 or above. Now, about Half Life 3... Expand
  17. Sep 23, 2012
    I've been looking forward to this for the whole of this year. Half life introduced me to awesome first person shooters by Valve. Then once I heard of Black Mesa I expected the best thing ever. It did not fail my expectations. Flawless design. Everything has been rebuilt very accurately with extra additions of perfection to top it off. There's been no bugs at all and I just can't seem to point out anything wrong. This is a mod of Gods! Expand
  18. Oct 30, 2012
    Like most people, I too have been waiting a long time for this mod and its amazing, enjoyable to both people who have and haven't played Half Life, the level design is fantastic, all the areas are essentially the same with some minor differences and some areas changed almost completely, its playable so far up to Lambda Core and Xen hasn't been released yet, they are working on it. The soundtrack is amazing and voice acting is brilliant, some nice subtle references to half life and their own mod in the game which I found amusing, the only flaw I found was jumping which felt a little clunky but it didn't affect much, its on Source engine not GoldSrc so your gonna expect a different feel to the motion, it was the same with CS 1.6 and CS:S. The game is still as hardcore as Half Life, the marines are hard which I find good, there is a bug however with the helicopter on Surface Tension but that seems to be the only one I've found. I would recommend this mod to anyone, it feels like a commercial Valve game and plays like one and I enjoyed every single moment of it. So much work has gone into this and you can tell 10/10 Expand
  19. Jan 3, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is remake is more amazing than the original Half-Life, with enhanced levels, better AI, more challenging gameplay, Half-Life 2 styled puzzles, but be warned, but it's not for people who want a 1-1 remake with only the textures and models changed like Halo Anniversary, EVERYTHING is changed and improved. Although some areas in the game were cut, such as a portion of On a Rail and a portion of Surface Tension, I still think it is amazing and takes on a "Valve quality" design. Black Mesa also has some new areas as well, such as more test labs and experiments in Questionable Ethics, and an amazing ambush from the HECU at the end of the chapter. Overall it was amazing and I give it a 10/10 Expand
  20. Sep 30, 2012
    This game is fantastic. Perfect remake made by gamers for gamers with passion and devotion to the finest details. I could not have asked for more then this.

  21. Nov 6, 2012
    An amazing game that gives half-life fans more to get excited over it's funny how it's been over ten years since the original has been released yet the gameplay still remains nearly completely unchanged and it still manages to be fun and fluid, there are some aspects of the game that could have been improved, but as a fan project it's a solid ten, I doubt i'd ever be able to make anything like this even with my passion in gaming Expand
  22. oso
    Oct 1, 2012
    Incredible Remake! Can't believe this is for free, i'd even pay a Full Price for this Masterpiece. There is absolutely nothing they could have done better. By far the best fps i've played in a dam' long time.
  23. Oct 8, 2012
    If a mod actually receives reviews from critics then you know its going to be good. This mod truly brings Half life 1 back in the best way possible.
    Best mod ever!
  24. Sep 24, 2012
    black mesa is probably the best halflife 1 remake possible. there's clearly been a lot of attention to details, and the atmosphere is very similar to the original - in my eyes an important trait for a remake of any game. i was expecting much from black mesa, after all these years of waiting, but it delivered, at least for me!
  25. Jan 8, 2013
    Best mod ever made. It's not just a mod. It's a different game. I recommend playing HL1 first because this one does not tell the story as good as the first one did. Nostalgia is so big part of this game.
  26. Sep 23, 2012
    So much waiting, and now after 8 long years im completly overwhelmed by Black Mesa. It's really stupid to call this masterpiece a "modification" for HL2. It's f***** more than that! Its deserves to be an absolutely great remake of legendary Half Life. Many thanks for creators of this new,fine version, whoever u are!
  27. Sep 25, 2012
    the black mesa production team has done a wonderful job of revisiting Half-Life into the Half Life 2 engine in not only the source engine but also of the time and effort they took to remodeling all the NPCs, improving the dialogue quality while providing new voice actors, and providing much more attention to detail with the environment of the black mesa research facility. I was glad that they did get rid of parts of the game that seemed to go on for decades (going through ventilation shafts for an eternity, that is), and they also put more complexity and more realism to the facility area, like the crate smashing room (in Half Life it almost seemed like they deliberately made it for you to jump that way). Also, I was quite surprised at how they added a new feature to the game: gore on your weapons. It's a nice emphatic touch to the ventures that Freeman must go through to reach to the Lambda core. The AI also has been improved as well, especially with the soldiers (although, sometimes the enemies will just stand there if they can't reach you from range, and this is frequent with the Slaves, e.g. vortigaunts). Also, there are some subtly hilarious parts in the game that you will encounter (like when you acquire the hive-hand, and Freeman reluctantly sticks his hand into what appears to be it's ass, or when the scientists foolishly go inside a ventilation shaft filled with monsters and the scientist who tries to get him out brakes his neck from falling from under the ladder). Everything that made the first half-life great can still be found in the effortless commitment that the black mesa production team had put into revamping the game, and seriously, all of this for free? You can't get a better deal than that! If you've been painfully impatient about the release of half life 3 (or episode 3), this game will give you the same feeling of nostalgia from both Half Life releases for a very long time! Expand
  28. Oct 2, 2012
    Wow. The amount of memories that come flooding back to me was incredible. This project puts a lot of professional projects to shame. From a technical perspective the voice acting is a bit strange but the atmosphere that's obviously been a labor of love for the devs - smashes any negativity. Surprising, tense and thrilling are some of the feelings you will get if you play this for the first time. A sincere feeling of nostalgia is what you will get if you played the original like me. For free this is 100% worth your time. Expand
  29. Sep 29, 2012
    This is a great addition to the HL community, HOWEVER, I did not read into how far the game had been converted and was thoroughly disappointed where it ended. For those who have played the original, be prepared for it to end "a bit short." For those who have never played the original HL have fun!
  30. Mar 10, 2013
    This is one of the best re texturing and full modding of any pc game I have ever played. The sound is awesome and plays well with most modern gpus. The game has a few glitches here and there but the fact that it is free I can look past it. With the game set to hard you will have a great experience. This game is one of the holy trinity of first person shooters that set the game industry standards. Wolfenstien, Doom, Half Life. Expand

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
    We should applaud an excellent work made for free by fans of the original game.
  2. Oct 24, 2012
    A free game that lets you relive Half-Life without having to stomach outdated visuals. Essential to every gamer. [12/2012, p.69]
  3. Oct 24, 2012
    A superlative remake of one of the most important games ever made. [Dec 2012, p.89]