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Black Mesa - legendary vaporware Half-Life remake finally out

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by racofer, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Lemming42 Arcane

    Lemming42
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    Other than On a Rail, the game is like a one-for-one remake up until Xen. I don't get the majority of these criticisms.

    Not sure what you mean here. Doesn't it just have HL2's jumping mechanics? Maybe it changed since the 2012 mod release.

    It looks great to me. The visual design is easily the strongest thing about the game. Again, it's pretty much an exact remake (discounting On a Rail, which is sadly gutted) and all they've done is flesh out rooms in a totally logical way. Blast Pit has a few extra 1950s/1960s-era computer machines and a control room overlooking the pump station, Office Complex has a couple of extra office props like shelves in some rooms, Residue Processing has a couple of control rooms where people would logically be overseeing the waste treatment machinery, etc. They preserve Half-Life's direction for the most part but make minor changes to make the facility feel more plausibly realistic. What should they have done instead?

    The only major change I can instantly think of is to the dam in Surface Tension, where they add an extra stretch of road between the first Marine encounter and the dam. It's a big change but I think it works, since it follows a Half-Life-ish model of encounter design, where you basically design combat around using the environment. There's the explosive barrels trap to trigger on the marine squad on the road, then a sniping position to take out the marines in the car park. Works pretty well and leads to a reasonably fun combat encounter IMO, as well as giving you a chance to test out the long range capabilities of your relatively newly aquired crossbow, which you don't really get to do in Half-Life.

    Oh, there's also the scripted sequence where you sneak out with the guard towards the end of Surface Tension to get to the control booth. That part does suck absolute shit.

    Most of the new dialogue does suck ass but it's pretty limited. Most of the script is just the same as the original game. After Unforseen Consequences the only new dialogue I can even remember is the scene you get if you save everyone in Office Complex, and the speech the scientists give at the end of Questionable Ethics (I liked this scene). All guards and scientists still have basically the same voice and almost the same personalities.

    Agreed. It's decent music but it almost never fits what's happening on screen. I'm waiting for someone to just mod the original soundtrack back in because it's pretty much unbeatable.

    They've changed the combat a lot since the 2012 release. The Marines act a little more like Half-Life marines now, where they run over, shoot at you, then run off screaming "AGH MEDIC" before walking into their own grenades. Combat still blows but it's necessarily going to blow on the source engine and it wasn't good on GoldSrc. Like with Half-Life, the encounter design is solid enough to cover for the shit combat. There's a lot of fair criticisms to make about Black Mesa combat, but not many that don't also apply to Half-Life. The only problems I have are the reduced Marine AI capabilities and the weapons feeling weaker in that HL2-esque way.
     
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  2. HansDampf Prophet

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    I've played the free mod from 2012, and everything he said is true (except about the graphics). Jumping felt like Gordon doubled in weight. And marines loved to snipe you with their MP5 from across the map.
     
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  3. Jenkem Magister Patron

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    ITT: people crying about an unfinished game in open beta as if it is finished even though the devs have clearly stated they are waiting for feedback to do gameplay/balance passes..
    also some of the people that complained about the original levels that were in beta a month ago are now saying they were improved and are better now.
     
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  4. Rinslin Merwind Savant

    Rinslin Merwind
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    Played whole Black Mesa recently and must say that majority of criticism here subjective at best and idiocy at worst. Although there indeed exist one retarded place in Xen where game spawns at you thousands of Alien Controllers and you somehow should dodge all amount of crap that these shitheads throw at you and cheese your way with gluon cannon( all this was on tiny lift with no cover, whoever did this should burn in hell). In general however, I liked Xen in Black Mesa more than in original, I remember original Xen as brown ugly floating pieces of shit with lots of parkour. In Black Mesa Xen still has fair amount of jumping around, but at least not as ugly. "Muh voices and black void" - is just nitpicking at this point, moment was so unmemorable in first game, I completely forgot about it.
    Music and sound is subjective, I liked music in original HL and in Black Mesa it was ok, not as horrible as retards here claim.
    Overall I liked original HL and like Black Mesa, "critics" here act like devs fucked their mother/sister/wife/husband and forced them to play their game.
    Go cut your veins and make world better place, you bunch of emo whiners.

    Edit: I remembered what I also found disturbing in game - in some places enemies was too eager to rush me. Although they wasn't intelligent in original too, that for sure.
     
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  5. Rinslin Merwind Savant

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    Perhaps I was too harsh to people for voicing their edgy opinions, but I just finished game and after that people reactions here was so in dissonance with what I was experienced, just holy shit.
    Like some people deliberately trying shit on game for very corrupt and hideous reason. Shills to big companies upset by success of indie studio? Competitors in modding business (lol)? Sounds crazy, but who knows, reactions a bit unnatural.
     
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  6. Dexter Arcane

    Dexter
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    I dno about any of that, I just know I bought this last Sale and I AM going to play it instead of Half Life proper before HL: Alyx comes out, hopefully they're also out of Beta by then. The only memory of the first Half Life I have is trying the Demo back when it came out and even back then thinking the 3D graphics and animations are utterly cancerous. I did finish Half Life 2 though, even though I originally bought the Orange Box for Counter Strike: Source.
     
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  7. Dayyālu Arcane

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    Black Mesa isn't bad per se. It simply shows a lot of problems typical of modder development, and most of the "serious" critics I've seen here (I don't count LOL SUCKZ BALLZ as a critique) point out that as a shooter contextualized in the Half Life 2 era (so, 00ies style PC shooters) Black Mesa shows some serious problems in design, mostly combat and encounter design. I can't deny that it's visually impressive and its reimagining of Xen even more so (I am one of the few that never found Xen that bad, merely an obvious hack job done with limited time, quite typical of the genre though), but it isn't that fun to play.

    The question to me is, would you play Black Mesa or replay the original Half Life, plus expansions? For me, there's no choice: if we evaluate it as a shooter, HL and Opposing Force give you a far more cohesive and well-designed experience. Bar maybe boss fights. BM for me is puzzling: HL did not need a remake, and it's here because for some weird reason some fans truly wanted it and managed to push through everything. It's a magnificent effort, but if I can, a bit of a wasted effort.
     
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  8. Lemming42 Arcane

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    The one non-gameplay related thing I really wish they'd do is put all the VOX announcements back in, including the ones that were cut from Half-Life.

    GORDON. FREEMAN. REPORT. TO. MILITARY. PERSONNEL. FOR. IMMEDIATE. SECURITY. CHECK.

    MILITARY. PERSONNEL. AUTHORISED. TO. PROSECUTE. GORDON. FREEMAN. WITH. EXTREME. FORCE.

    GORDON. ALL. SCIENCE. PERSONNEL. WILL. BE. TERMINATED. UNTIL. YOU. SURRENDER.

    ALERT. REMAINING. CONTAINMENT. FORCE. FREEMAN. MAY. HAVE. EXPERIMENTAL. WEAPON.
     
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  9. Rinslin Merwind Savant

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    Imho If effort managed to satisfy around more than 19000 (if reviews on steam can be indicator of something ofc) it isn't completely wasteful effort. It even less wasteful effort if we consider amount of experience received by devs in gaming development and they will kill themselves from depression and alcoholism perhaps they will put this experience in good use (fabulously optimistic, but still).
    And talking about problems with combat in game - majority of problems can be safely applied to original HL and HL 2.Perhaps I can be wrong, but majority of shooters in general has same problems.
    I rarely replay linear games, because my brain tends to memorize a lot of useless crap, like places where enemies spawn and this makes walkthrough a lot less interesting. Maybe several years later.
    Btw, I never played Decay, mostly because it was console exclusive, it's really worth playing?
     
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  10. Dayyālu Arcane

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    Replayed it last year during a HL binge. It's more for people that want to play EVERYTHING, completionist-like, it's kinda clunky in its PC incarnation and not on the level of the original game.

    It's a thing.
     
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  11. Jenkem Magister Patron

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    People are hyperbolic as shit acting like this game is similar to the Star Wars special editions that are meant to replace the original Half-Life and its expansions when it's simply a fan remake that plays differently and can sit alongside the series. It's not published by Valve, Gabe Newell didn't remove HL1, Blue Shift and Opposing Force from Steam and make a blogpost saying "BLACK MESA IS CANON NOW!"
     
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  12. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    Most people are much bigger graphics whore than they want to admit, or whores for modern "quality of life" improvements. It's why every time a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout game comes out a bunch of people start jacking off to the idea of their favorite older game being remade in that engine. I'd guess many of these people don't even care if the gameplay takes multiple steps back due to being designed by amateurs, as long as the "immersive experience" is better.
     
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  13. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Thing is, to truly improve the gameplay of Black Mesa (and thus, of Half Life 2) you should take some extreme measures. I was watching the review of some 'tard



    (yes, sue me, the guy is a fucktard but Youtube got it recommended)

    and he started complaining how he would have liked more useful grenade throws, maybe linking it to a single button press, and of course more engaging hand to hand combat. In short, this guy wants to have F.E.A.R. combat. Amusingly enough, I do amit that getting the F.E.A.R. combat engine (weapon feedback, HtH combat, grenade variety) with Half Life's detail and enemy variety (if FEAR has problems, it's the retarded setting and limited enemies) would make for some sort of ultimate second generation shooter experience. But that would have been a tad too far for the modders, I guess, and improving graphics and putting weirdo puzzles is easier.
     
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  14. Icewater Artisanal Shitposting™ Patron

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    Half-Life with F.E.A.R. combat...

    :shredder:
     
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  15. Lemming42 Arcane

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    Brutal Half-Life is worth a try for anyone wondering how Half-Life combat could be changed. Don't be put off by the stupidly unfitting gore, the mod totally reshapes combat to be a lot more responsive. You can kick and punch too, sometimes knocking enemies to the ground.
     
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  16. JDR13 Prophet

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    The nostalgia is strong in this thread. Half-Life was great for its time, but it hasn't aged well. Also, the original Xen was AWFUL, so let's stop pretending that it was good and that the Black Mesa team somehow fucked it up.
     
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  17. Wunderbar Arcane

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    Original Half Life aged well and still plays fine, and Xen's shittines is way overblown.

    Black Mesa is alright too.
     
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  18. Jenkem Magister Patron

    Jenkem
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    Original Xen is shit. Period. Even Gabe Newell thinks it is shit and looks anguished whenever he talks about it.
     
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  19. Dayyālu Arcane

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    Gabe Newell's understanding about shooters nowadays is probably lower than the stock poster in this thread. It's the same man who was jubilant about moss growing in real time, if you don't remember. He's simply repeating memery.

    Regarding how "bad" Xen is, well, the only bad things in it are a couple of jumping puzzles, for the obvious reason that first person jumping puzzles are shit. And it doesn't help that Boss fights in Half Life have always been mediocre (the Tentacles barely count because they're more of a enviromental hazard standard level), but both Gonarch and the Nihilant are .... well, "good enough" at best. Valve never got good boss fights in, remember that HL2's final fight is an elevator and two gunships that you immediately blow up.

    By itself, the Xen levels are at worst rushed. There's still signs of the typical Valve care in level design (you can take alternate routes avoiding sentries in the Vortigaunt village, the Gargantua can be stealthed, some creative secrets, Vortigaunts not being hostile in Interloper) but the thing is that the union of poor visual design and those few shitty puzzles draw all the attention. Most of Xen is fine, the problem is that it looks drab and you have those shitty jumps, souring all the experience for the less patient player.

    Then show how Half Life hasn't "aged well". Even amongst his contemporaries, Half Life keeps and edge, consider that probably its most direct opponent was Sin, a fun but deeply flawed game (I like Sin and its original approach, but it's undeniable that something went wrong at some point in its development, too many ideas and not enough refinement). Shogo: MAD? Blood 2? QUAKE II? Unreal's SP section is fun, but it's lacking compared to HL. Of course, you can compare HL to its own follow-ups like the 00ies PC shooters like.... HL2, FEAR, Doom3. I'd argue that FEAR has a better gunplay, but again, very few things can compare to FEAR's gunplay, and HL2's combat is a tad inferior to HL1. We should consider console shooters? They're all mostly trivial in design due to engine limitations (I'd freely admit that some levels in Combat Evolved are fun, tho). CoD-likes? Theme park rides, not shooters. Even the "retro" shooters craze of today fails to produce better examples.
     
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  20. Lemming42 Arcane

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    The original Xen is alright up until Alien Factory, which sucks balls purely because of the enemy spam.

    No matter what anyone says, Half-Life is a game where the gameplay is secondary. The visuals, the story and the big dramatic scripted/linear sequences are the reason for the game's success (fight me on this). The original Xen fit into that perfectly - genuinely alien environment, a stark contrast to everything that came before. The action slows down a little as well (until the shitty factory), which works really well, since the action in Half-Life builds and builds on itself constantly and then suddenly comes to a near-total halt when you get to Xen.

    It's reminiscent of the ending of games like Daggerfall (Aetherius) and Shenmue 2 (that weird rural area).

    As long as we're talking about Xen, Gonarch would be absolutely fine if it wasn't for the completely fucking inexplicable choice to make it so you can only damage her when she's stood on specific areas. Conceptually, the fight is fine, the change to three different arenas keeps things moving well, the baby headcrabs swarms are an interesting new attack, etc.

    Nihilanth was always a decent boss fight, as good as any other FPS final boss. Destroy the healing crystals and then deal as much damage as you can before you get whisked away to somewhere scary by the teleports.
     
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  21. Rinslin Merwind Savant

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    Not sure about his understanding of shooters today, but he said this shit back in time when Valve was actually making games and not procrastinating on steam money (I remember reading about it in some magazine).
    Just listen to yourself, man. You claim that you "know more" that the very developer of game that you love so much and ready to bang your head at wall of misunderstanding from other Internet users. You free to disagree with Gaben as long as you like (hell I myself was once banned on Steam for edgy protest), but "know jack shit" is simply too arrogant to say about the very man that created game, which you so zealously defending ( although you a bit more intelligent than majority of fanatics that started screech in this thread, or at least can hold your butthurt to a reasonable degree) in first place. It's okay if someone thinks that Xen was bad, it doesn't mean that this person shitting on entire game. Just chill.

    I remember being subscribed to his channel for short time, after I discovered that he rated Doom 3 as good Doom sequel and unsubscribed.
    Although sometimes he makes videos with points that I agree, he also sometimes spreading heresy all around. Watching this guy it's like fucking gamble with cannon loaded with dices from table top RPG. In this particular video, he is mostly right though.

    Interestingly enough, there is bind in options called "fast frag" that allow you to chose frag grenade quickly, I wonder now if this a bug and this button should also allow to throw grenade at enemies.
    Don't be salty to devs for their inability to marry Half-Life and FEAR, because taking best things and combining it isn't so easy as it looks. I thing many people want best elements from their beloved games combined, but unfortunately dreams staying dreams.
    In this particular case though, reason more prosaic - if one should change combat, he also should redesign locations and it will take not only another decade for Crowbar team, but there will be much more butthurt fanatics who will mourn "that one desk in offices" like a tragedy.
    Just look at idiots in this thread and their fanbase, who in their maddening idiocy invented reason to hate game out of fart.



    About whole "aging" thing - people would be right to say "it did not aged well" if majority of games that came out during all these years was actually better at Half-Life's strong points. But unfortunately only few games has reached bar and situation in general getting worse every year.
    So, Half-Life still aged ok.


    Imho situation when I can't damage boss, because this thing has script armor, is a little immersion breaking. If I was designer I would let people defeat this abomination on first arena.
     
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  22. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Ah, don't think I am exceedingly angry, it's merely Codexian posting style. While I do not doubt that Gabe back in 1998 had great know-how, but games are a team effort (we have the proof of Big Names Meaning Nothing in the Kickstarter craze) and as you say nowadays Valve isn't making games (until we see HLVR in motion, at least). I've never been particularly fond of Newell for many reasons, but "Xen is bad" is a truism that is too often repeated without a proper explanation. I'd explained why, in my very humble opinion, Xen has problems, but after playing legit bad games (Blood II takes the cake, and I'm one of the weirdoes that appreciates Daikatana as a failed attempt) it's merely worse than what came before in the same game.

    Merely being a bit contrarian on the Xen issue. I'd say the the least fun levels of Half Life 1+ expansions are in Blue Shift, due to lacking creativity.


    Not even the FEAR devs managed to keep up, after all we got FEAR 2. Sure, there are reasons why FEAR 2 is bad (cooonsole deeesign) but mine was merely idle and lazy dreaming. Much like I wondered back then why no action RPG ever took Dark Messiah's gameplay: idle thinking.
     
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  23. Lemming42 Arcane

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    This is a really good point. Take the Xen levels and shove them into any of Half-Life's major rivals - Unreal for example - and they'd probably be viewed as average and nobody would be shitting on them 20 years later. At most, people would stick to criticising the parts that actually deserve criticism, like the overly-scripted nature of the Gonarch fight.
     
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  24. JDR13 Prophet

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    Er... so your entire argument is to list other games that haven't aged well?

    That doesn't make HL better. It just means there are games that have aged even worse.
     
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  25. Dayyālu Arcane

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    Nah, my point is even simpler. For something to age badly, what comes after must be superior.

    Considering that the breed of shooter that Half Life can be placed in pretty much died in the 00ies, what can be directly compared nowadays? Next you'll say that Quake aged badly for unclear reasons? Why Half Life aged badly, and in comparison to what? There are contemprorary shooters (2019-era) that show superior qualities? (if you reply Dusk I'm going to tear your throat out).
     
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