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

User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 623 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
  • Developer: Black Mesa Modification Team
  • Genre(s): Action, Shooter, Shooter, First-Person, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, Arcade
  • # of players: Online Multiplayer
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Games Master UK
    Oct 24, 2012
    93
    A superlative remake of one of the most important games ever made. [Dec 2012, p.89]
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    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. 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    A free game that lets you relive Half-Life without having to stomach outdated visuals.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]
  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: 95 out of 104
  2. Negative: 3 out of 104
  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. Oct 2, 2012
    10
    Wow. The amount of memories that come flooding back to me was incredible. This project puts a lot of professional projects to shame. From aWow. 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
  3. Feb 19, 2013
    10
    I have to say right out that this is the best mod ever created. Really smooth gameplay with the Source engine, level design is really complex,I have to say right out that this is the best mod ever created. Really smooth gameplay with the Source engine, level design is really complex, enemies in the game are worth the challenge, great AI with humans, HECU soldiers and aliens. Again, there's lots of freedom you can have in the maps, even though some of them may be linear, it leaves a great space of open field, so we won't care about linearity at all. Amazing re-recorded monologues and dialogues and even the new ones. Everything else is also very awesome. The graphics at high and very high levels are stunningly beautiful in everything. At that preset when I turned around after fleeing from the Tentacles when I watched them, the framerate dropped down to 40 on my GTX660Ti. The soundtrack is also really good and it's a mix of atmospheric and action tracks. As i played it in almost 5-6 days and completed the game I feel satisfied and amazed about the game. It's free, it's a mod, you do need Source SDK Base 2007 to run it, but by all words, this is an immersion. Expand
  4. Dec 6, 2012
    10
    I always wished for another Half-life installment. Half-life is one of the most legendary games I have ever played. I confess that wasI always wished for another Half-life installment. Half-life is one of the most legendary games I have ever played. I confess that was disappointed that this game didn't continue the story, but I was incredibly happy when I found out that this game hadn't altered any Half-life gameplay. Thank you, Valve. You have made yet another masterpiece. Expand
  5. Dec 6, 2014
    9
    A free mod worth more than many triple-A games. Half Life is my favorite game of all times, and Black Mesa puts on a superb job recreating theA free mod worth more than many triple-A games. Half Life is my favorite game of all times, and Black Mesa puts on a superb job recreating the atmosphere. The Source engine is really showing its age, but the level design, the pacing and the fast gunplay, trademarks of the Half Life series, are all here. A modern take on a classic that does not disappoint. Actually, if you never played the original, go ahead and play Black Mesa. It is THAT good. The bugs and the enemy AI can be frustrating, but it is a superb experience. And Valve is involved with the project now, and they are planning a retail release, with everything fixed, better visuals and an input from Valve. Can't wait for it to come out! Expand
  6. Oct 29, 2012
    9
    Fantastic remake of one of the greatest games of all time. It's not perfect; graphics look like 2007/2008 vintage, the crouch jumping isFantastic remake of one of the greatest games of all time. It's not perfect; graphics look like 2007/2008 vintage, the crouch jumping is annoying, and the framerate takes some hits here and there. But the polish and attention to detail, and the classic nostalgic gameplay, make this one of my favorite games of 2012. Must play. Expand
  7. May 13, 2016
    0
    They really molested the original with this one.

    Half Life was a sci-fi puzzle thriller and they somehow managed to strip out all of those
    They really molested the original with this one.

    Half Life was a sci-fi puzzle thriller and they somehow managed to strip out all of those elements to turn it into Call of Duty LXXXVIII: Alien Ops. Way too much attention was paid to the graphics and shooter aspect and not enough to the design and gameplay. ABSOLUTELY NO CREATIVITY. There are stretches of the game that are just laughably easy or where nothing happens at all. The character has to walk for an extended period of time, I assume looking around and gasping at the graphical mastery. On that note, the graphics are not even that great. There are obvious glitches, such as the scientist's ties that flop around everywhere before disappearing. Then, when you finally get to SOMETHING that happens, it's multiple obstacles all at once: 20 soldiers to kill, 10 headcrabs, and an annoying jumping trap. So you end up doing nothing, with not much of the background to interact with and no items to collect, and then dying 50 times in order to get to the next part where nothing happens.

    In terms of the FPS gameplay, it is sadly lacking as well. For some reason, they couldn't figure out how to evenly distribute the health and ammo throughout the levels, so there are times when you're desperate for bullets and run into two clusterf*cks in a row and other times where there's items everywhere but you don't need them and can't take them with you. The logic behind the damage makes no sense either. You can shoot soldiers in the face with a laser gun, A LASER GUN, and it takes three hits to kill them. Yet, somehow their stray bullets from miles away end up directly in your head. And the soundtrack if abysmal, as the music comes in at completely random times with wailing guitar solos designed to make high schoolers spray slim jim particles and mountain dew from their mouths in awe, all over their Metallica t-shirts.

    The original Half Life was a clever, nuanced game that was as much about exploring as it was about click and shoot. It's a tragedy for that type of gameplay to be steamrolled and replaced with boring, trite, overdone, mindless shooting to pander to gamer drones. Thank god the legacy is actually left to Valve with people employed that can come up more creative things like Portal.
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See all 104 User Reviews