Perhaps a fitting way to start out my blog is to talk about my favourite game of all time: Half Life. With the release of the Source mod Black Mesa, I, along with thousands of other HL fans have been able to revisit the Black Mesa facility, albeit this time in glorious HD.
Of course, what first strikes you is the wonderful new textures, the lighting, the special effects and all that fancy stuff. It all looks great. Although a bit long it the tooth, I still think the Source engine holds its own here. Faces look particularly lifelike and expressive. I am also impressed with all the new gauges, meters, health and HEV stations. With the recent axing of all health kits in modern FPS games, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to ‘fuel’ up again like I always used to rather than waiting to regenerate a la Modern Warfare style.
I also like how the team has updated the game to include cultural references that a whole new generation of gamers will understand. For example, I laughed aloud when I overheard two scientists talking about their woes when it comes to TPS Reports. Genius – I love Office Space. There was also a funny comment made by one scientist about how he forgot his cell phone – you probably wouldn’t have heard that back in 1998!
Special mention also goes to the fantastic soundtrack that accompanies the action sequences of the game. To me, Half-Life always had great music, but I think this may be even better. I have actually downloaded it from the Black Mesa site and I have been listening to it at work constantly! Check it out and maybe even donate if you think it is worth it.
I guess there really isn’t a whole lot more to say about this classic reboot except that you should download and play it RIGHT NOW. Playing Black Mesa is like revisiting an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time – a friend that has recently had a makeover. The time to visit that friend is now.