Friday, March 22, 2013
BLACK MESA / HALF LIFE
Truth is I never finished Half Life. I played it but I found it boring half way through, and abandoned it. Or maybe it was one of those puzzles which forces you to go back and forth, and internet walkthroughs weren´t that popular at that time... Can´t remember.
Thing is, I never finished the game. But I´ve played Half Life 2 like three times, so it was about time. And Black Mesa was released. It´s a mod which rebuilds HL on the latest Source engine, so it´s prettier (although I generally don´t care much about graphics) and free! I downloaded it and played along some months, until this week I finished it.
It´s a great game. It pioneered the concept of ingame cinematics, and has a superb implementation of scaling the mechanics. Some of them worked just fine (team mates, puzzles involving running around through the whole complex, a weird jump control) but others are simply great (enemies, pacing, storytelling, crescendo events, multiple systems all reasonably well implemented, scenario variations...)
So I recommend to give it a try. I think it has been nominated to a number of 'Mod of the year' awards and it´s really entertaining if you are a little pacience. I will never forget the initial interactive cutscene. And I´ll send a donation to the guys who built it, they totally deserve it.