Black Mesa PC

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86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 491 Ratings

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  • Summary: Black Mesa is a re-envisioning of Valve Software's seminal game Half-Life. You will re-visit the inaugural role of Gordon Freeman and his memorable journey through the Black Mesa Research Facility. Expect detailed environments to explore, a huge cast of characters and experimental weaponry.Black Mesa is a re-envisioning of Valve Software's seminal game Half-Life. You will re-visit the inaugural role of Gordon Freeman and his memorable journey through the Black Mesa Research Facility. Expect detailed environments to explore, a huge cast of characters and experimental weaponry. All-new music, voice acting, choreography and added dialogue give way to a more expansive and immersive experience than ever before. [Valve] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Oct 24, 2012
    93
    A superlative remake of one of the most important games ever made. [Dec 2012, p.89]
  2. Oct 13, 2012
    91
    A faithful and extremely professional remake of one of the great classics of the FPS genre. Despite slight niggles, like the marines' aimbot-like behavior, it actually manages to achieve the impossible: Black Mesa is Half-Life, only better. [Oct 2012]
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    90
    We should applaud an excellent work made for free by fans of the original game.
  4. Sep 20, 2012
    85
    The result, though still a bit 'sour for some graphic glitch and not bug-free, fully convinces and the new features do nothing but add prestige and longevity to a project worthy of praise from all points of view.
  5. 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    A free game that lets you relive Half-Life without having to stomach outdated visuals.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]
  6. Sep 20, 2012
    85
    Black Mesa is a lot of things. It's one of the best mods ever made and a package that offers every Half-Life fan what they want. It's also a chance for newcomers to get to know a game that has been put on a pedestal over the years, in a relatively modern way. But more importantly, it's a very special and entertaining look into the history of shooters.
  7. Sep 20, 2012
    80
    A fantastic labour of love that genuinely manages to improve on the ground-breaking original – if only by missing out some of the worst parts.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 83
  2. Negative: 3 out of 83
  1. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    Black Mesa has the polish synonymous with a Valve property, and has surpassed all expectations in light of the sheer difficulty of theBlack 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.
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  2. May 15, 2013
    10
    Black Mesa is a total Source conversion of the original critical acclaimed game Half-Life.

    For a mod, it does everything very well. The
    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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  3. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    Simply one of the best tributes to anything ever... This is the Half Life: Source we should have gotten. Great graphics for a 10 year oldSimply one of the best tributes to anything ever... This is the Half Life: Source we should have gotten. Great graphics for a 10 year old engine, fantastic gameplay, great story. And just near perfect all round in my opinion, I hope Valve hires these people to make Half Life 3, that is how good they did in my opinion. Expand
  4. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    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
  5. Nov 17, 2013
    9
    Black Mesa is a great, very polished and totally free remake of the classic Half Life. What ask for more? If you loved the original, you MUSTBlack Mesa is a great, very polished and totally free remake of the classic Half Life. What ask for more? If you loved the original, you MUST play this game. VIRTUALINN.IT Expand
  6. Apr 1, 2013
    9
    How to make a better game out of a game that was already great. Well, just play Black Mesa an see for yourself how that can be possible. It'sHow to make a better game out of a game that was already great. Well, just play Black Mesa an see for yourself how that can be possible. It's an improvment in every way. Expand
  7. Mar 5, 2014
    1
    Sorry, but this game has bugs that makes this game unplayable. Somehow in the middle of the game all of my weapons disappeared except crowbarSorry, but this game has bugs that makes this game unplayable. Somehow in the middle of the game all of my weapons disappeared except crowbar and my pistol. After dying everything was gone. If you figure to get a weapon however; while shooting the game will close itself. Expand

See all 83 User Reviews