Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Games Master UK
    Oct 24, 2012
    A superlative remake of one of the most important games ever made. [Dec 2012, p.89]
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 13, 2012
    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. Mar 22, 2020
    This Half Life remake not only gives a more modern and pleasant look to a timeless masterpiece, but makes it even more magnificent without ruining its magic. If you don't know who Gordon Freeman is or if you want to relive once again one of the most incredible single player experiences in the history of video games, you simply cannot miss it.
  4. Mar 18, 2020
    Black Mesa will probably go down in history as one of the most ambitious, successful, eye-catching and exciting fan-made projects. Its value as a remake is very high: it elevates in every respect the original Half-Life by Valve and even adds a lot of content. It is definitely the best way to enjoy this story.
  5. Mar 11, 2020
    An incredible journey for a group of amateurs, a proper celebration of a master piece and a remake that manages to improve over the weakest aspects of the Valve classic. It took a long time, but you won't see us complaining.
  6. 90
    Black Mesa may show its age in some areas, but that doesn't detract from what is an otherwise stunning achievement. It's not only Half Life at its best - it's one of the finest shooters available today.
  7. Nov 6, 2012
    We should applaud an excellent work made for free by fans of the original game.
  8. Oct 15, 2012
    And the reason it's so easy to ignore the faults – so easy to shrug off falling off a ladder again – is because there's joy in taking on an entire platoon of troops as a goatee-sporting nerd. There's joy in taking on situations and knowing they aren't scripted half to death. There's joy in scamming your way through a puzzle by pretty much breaking the game.
  9. Mar 6, 2020
    Black Mesa is the perfect way to enter in the Half-Life saga and it's one of the best remakes ever made.
  10. Mar 23, 2020
    Quotation forthcoming.
  11. Mar 18, 2020
    What started as a mod, ended up being the best way to enjoy Half-Life, not only with its visual upgrades, but also with new features and tweaks to make it better than ever.
  12. CD-Action
    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]
  13. Sep 20, 2012
    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.
  14. Sep 20, 2012
    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.
  15. Mar 5, 2020
    A quality remake that broadens the scope of the original and massively improves its final chapters.
  16. Mar 31, 2020
    Those with a taste for retro-gaming or lighthearted sci-fi shooters, take note: few games with a foot in the nineties hold up this well.
  17. Mar 18, 2020
    From our point of view, we do not believe that Black Mesa can be an integral substitute of the original Half-Life (still very enjoyable), as much as an adventure that accompanies it with respect and dignity. And walking tall with a legend can be considered a success in itself.
  18. Mar 17, 2020
    It started as an homage, and it became the best version of the game. Black Mesa is fantastic remake of Half-Life, that never betrays the source material and gives it what is needed to be appreciated by a modern player on a modern PC - even if Source Engine is definitely very old. Just keep in mind it's a well refined but not triple A game, and you'll be just fine with it.
  19. Mar 12, 2020
    Black Mesa is the best way to play the classic original 1998 Half-Life today, but it's a remake that already feels old enough that it would benefit from a remake itself.
  20. Mar 11, 2020
    This is no excellent shooter – by a long run. But regardless this is a decently modernised classic and a well executed journey through time.
  21. Mar 9, 2020
    Black Mesa is more than a plain remake, is the passionate love letter from a team of amateur developers that grew to become the licensed creators of a great game, that actually lives up to the legend that is Half-Life.
  22. Mar 6, 2020
    Black Mesa is dated in several ways and the new Xen levels have some issues, but this is an excellent experience that old fans of Half-Life and people who may have never played it before should absolutely check out.
  23. Sep 24, 2012
    It's a brilliant tribute to one of the greatest videogames ever made, and it's also a good game in its own right.
  24. Sep 20, 2012
    One of the best remakes ever, not because of its loving recreation of the original Half-Life but because it dares to change and improve it.
  25. Mar 12, 2020
    Quotation forthcoming.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Mar 5, 2020
    Finally complete after fourteen years, Crowbar Collective's remake is more than faithful to Valve's masterpiece. [Eurogamer Essential]
  2. As it is, it’s the best way to play Valve’s original design if you haven’t done so before, and it’s a brilliant way to retread those old ventilation shafts, if you have.
  3. Mar 11, 2020
    In kinda-sorta finished form, Black Mesa still ranks as my favorite way to play any Half-Life game. It’s a project that exudes professionalism, not to mention passion for its source material and a desire to bring it to a wider audience. If you’re yet to delve into the Half-Life universe, I strongly recommend you start with this.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 894 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 894
  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 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.
    Full Review »
  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 againI'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!!
    Full Review »
  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 totallyOk 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. Full Review »