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Black Mesa Source

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Yeah, the Source games and mods haven't been Steam free since the pre-Steam days.

 

No source games existed before Steam heh.

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So, I downloaded Black Mesa Source. This will be the first time I've really wanted to play a Half-Life game. Any tips? Perhaps I should record myself playing it; some guy did that and now a lot of people like his videos and stuff.

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There is no way in hell the devs won't get picked up by Valve. This is some serious high quality stuff right here.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I actually feel sorry when the guards die when I play BMS, they feel so much more real. And the music, the new additions to "scenery" really makes this feel immersive. I love this to no end.

 

Edit: And the immersion is totally dead now that Ive fought some soldiers....

"Life sucks sober!"

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Edit: And the immersion is totally dead now that Ive fought some soldiers....

Oh please, you can barely hear what they're saying usually. And even at the time when you hear them talking during On A Rail it's not THAT bad.

 

Really, the whole hate with the voices is such an overreaction. I spent more time worrying how I'm gonna survive the next area over how bad the voices were, and they weren't, really.

http://steamcommunity.com/id/Kaweebo/

 

"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones."

 

VALVE: "Sometimes bugs take more than eighteen years to fix."

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Edit: And the immersion is totally dead now that Ive fought some soldiers....

Oh please, you can barely hear what they're saying usually. And even at the time when you hear them talking during On A Rail it's not THAT bad.

 

Really, the whole hate with the voices is such an overreaction. I spent more time worrying how I'm gonna survive the next area over how bad the voices were, and they weren't, really.

 

They do repeat lines a LOT though. I can't count how many times I've heard one of them say: "Do it". I'm not even sure what the hell that's supposed to mean given the context. Considering this is version 1 of the mod, I'm hoping they'll eventually release some kind of alternative voice pack for people who genuinely hate the soldier's voice.

COURIER'S MIND: RISE OF NEW VEGAS

 

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2181

http://www.youtube.com/user/101Phase?feature=mhee

 

SEASON 5 WILL AIR IN SUMMER 2013!

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Edit: And the immersion is totally dead now that Ive fought some soldiers....

Oh please, you can barely hear what they're saying usually. And even at the time when you hear them talking during On A Rail it's not THAT bad.

 

Really, the whole hate with the voices is such an overreaction. I spent more time worrying how I'm gonna survive the next area over how bad the voices were, and they weren't, really.

 

The soldier A.I is good and all. (Muzzleflashes look so damn cool)

But I hate how they repeat everything constantly. Otherwise they sound pretty good, reacting to being shot in different limbs is cool, but sounds a little off.

Another complaint: WHY IS THE MP5 BURST?! I HATE BURST!!

 

Other than that, this is one of the best things I have ever played.

"Life sucks sober!"

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It sounds to me like you're just clicking it. If you hold down the mouse button it sprays. If you just click it shoots three bullets, but holding it down keeps it going until the clip runs out, automatic.

http://steamcommunity.com/id/Kaweebo/

 

"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones."

 

VALVE: "Sometimes bugs take more than eighteen years to fix."

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Okay, I beat the mod yesterday, thought on it a little, then replayed up to the end of Questionable Ethics. Here's my thoughts on it so far, good and bad, some major things, and some minor things.

 

Firstly, they've done a lot of things with graphics that I love. When you shoot an enemy at close range, the gun actually gets splattered with blood. If you switch to a 'clean' gun, your hands still stay dirty. If I recall correctly, that didn't even happen in Episode 2. It's the big things that make the game, but the small things that make you appreciate it and the amount of work they put into making it.

 

Second, I LOVE the weapon balancing in this game. Every weapon has a place, and they seem to know just what the typical player would like to see. The idea for ironsights on the magnum was excellent. It provides just enough zoom so that you can use it as most players do (A quasi-sniper rifle) and yet the crossbow still has a use because of it's scope (more on that later). The pistol doesn't get much use after you get the shotgun and the MP5, but I've noticed that it draws quite quickly, so whenever a mag runs dry I switch to it straight away. It serves it's role as a backup gun flawlessly, whereas in HL2 the pistol didn't really have any use at all after you had the crossbow and the 357, not even as a backup gun as the 'primary' weapons reloaded very quickly.

 

I've heard people say that the MP5 isn't very good, but I must disagree. I think they got the balance perfect with the gun because it's much more accurate and powerful than it was in HL1. I can actually point it at an enemy, fire ten shots, and it'll probably die. In HL1 it felt like I was using an automatic BB gun. A potentially big thing is the significantly reduced ammo capacity of the gun, both in the mag and in reserve. I'll admit that the magazine does empty quite quickly, and it still catches me off guard sometimes, but I approve of the change because not only does it make more sense (an MP5 in real life only holds 30 rounds, after all, and MAYBE you could fire for two seconds before the magazine was empty) but, it allows the MP5 to be a much more powerful weapon, in terms of damage and accuracy, but without being perfect (so you'd never use anything else). And the way I played HL1, because of the MP5's lack of accuracy and damage, I'd essentially have to close the distance with soldiers as fast as possible to get full use out of it. With the new MP5, I actually get to have firefights instead of being forced to Banzai charge every time.

 

I am also very fond of the new grenade launcher because of how the grenades behave. The trajectory is very flat now, and the grenades move very rapidly. It makes it easier to use in a pinch, and makes it feel like it's a much more powerful weapon (even though it isn't, compared to, say, HL2). I think it's fair that you can only have three grenades in reserve, but I DO wish that you could find more of them to replenish your supply.

 

The shotgun in BM is the best balanced one that I've ever used in a game. It has plenty of ammo in reserve without being ridiculous (you'd almost never run out of ammo for the HL1 shotgun if you got it all the way up to 125). It's a very efficient weapon, and it actually has good range, making it a very versatile and powerful weapon, but it's still not as useful at range as the MP5, so both weapons have their roles.

 

I do not much like the crossbow, however. Ammo is quite scarce, and when I have it I'm not very inclined to make use of it. The scope is terrible. I get what they were going for, but I just can't use it. Until Gordon figures out to close the other eye when looking through the scope, my revolver will be my long range weapon.

 

The rocket launcher is absolutely wonderful. The rockets move very fast, and the guidance system is extremely reactive. If I recall correctly, it takes just as many rockets to destroy a helicopter in BM as it did in HL, but the weapon itself feels so much more powerful than it did in HL. It's a great feeling to place the laser on a vehicle, fire, and see the rocket slam into it less than a second later. Even despite this, it isn't easier, because the helicopters put out a lot more firepower than they did in the original game as well, plus they're far more maneuverable. In short, it makes the weapon much more satisfying to use, while still making the enemies it's intended for challenging.

 

When I first fired the Gluon gun, I was in awe at how mighty a weapon it was. It takes a moment to charge, then the beam arcs forward. The ground shakes and enemies utterly disintegrate. The beam itself is beautiful to look at. It's probably the most fun weapon to use, by far.

 

Now a few small things. In general, the weapon models look really nice. I'm particularly fond of the revolver, which I think looks even better than in HL2. The Glock is also excellent. The MP5 was okay, and the shotgun could have been better, but generally I think they did a great job of making the weapons nice to look at.

 

I've noticed that a lot of what the developers did was keep the game 'the same' in places, while making it less frustrating. For example, when you're climbing the ladder above the toxic waste in Blast Pit on the way back up after starting the generator, you don't have to creep around a ledge and make a jump. Instead you get a few planks to walk across. It doesn't make the game easier or harder, but it does make it less frustrating. In that same level, when you're dodging the monster in the silo, if you go to the upper level first (for the fuel), on your way back, you can simply drop through a hole in the catwalk to the floor below, bypassing the monster and saving you a trip. I'm not sure if you could do that in HL1 or not, but it made that area less annoying.

 

While we're on the subject of blast pit, it was an excellent idea to include satchels along with grenades. It really lets you think out how you're going to do it. In HL1 it was just 'throw grenades and hope you get to the door in time'. In Black Mesa you can get creative. Toss a grenade towards the ladder on the opposite side, and drop a satchel at your feet. Sprint around the catwalk while it's busy at the ladder, then detonate the satchel back where you were before, drawing it's attention and saving a grenade. It made that part a lot less painful.

 

In Power Up, the Guard in the control room will turn the train platform for you, instead of you having to run up and do it yourself after driving the train forward. Like I said before, it doesn't make things easier or harder, but definitely less annoying.

 

It's nice to be able to have as many people following you as you can find instead of the two person headcount limit in the original game. At one point in office complex I had two scientists and three guards in my 'squad'.

 

While we're on the subject, it's nice when NPCs found in certain places actually have unique dialogue if you bring them along, like the Guard behind the gate in Office Complex (where you get the revolver) and the one at the start of Questionable Ethics. And instead of everyone doing what you say, they actually do their own thing. If a scientist says he isn't going to move, he stays put, unlike in HL1 when he'd come with you if you asked. It makes them feel like real people instead of just annoying robots who get stuck behind walls (which they do a lot less of than they did in HL1, by the way, but that much would've been obvious).

 

One thing bugged me though. When a Guard fires his pistol, there isn't really any visible recoil, and there was in HL. It looks odd.

 

When I run into guards, it's nice to see them using weapons other than the standard sidearm. If you run into a guard using a revolver, it's awesome because it seems to be just as powerful and accurate in his hands as the player's. I've also seen guards with shotguns. However, I've never seen a guard pick up a weapon if it was better than his own. If me and a security guard are strolling through a room littered with dead bodies and guns after a massive firefight, I think he should stop and pick up an MP5 if all he has a 9mm pistol.

 

This is a small thing, but I do wish you'd get the crowbar and the pistol in the same places you did in the first game. It throws players off when they don't get the crowbar where they expect to see it, and personally I was wondering if I managed to miss it somehow.

 

The dialogue in the game is funny and very Valve-like. In particular I enjoyed the conversation that you hear when you go through portal 5 in Lambda Core (I'll say no more about it though, for those who want to hear it for themselves).

 

The achievements are nice additions, but sometimes not clear about what you're supposed to do. For example, why is there an achievement for killing enemies with reprogrammed sentries? How do you reprogram sentries? All they do is shoot you until you kill them, and they don't start working again if you set them back up. There's no computers or switches nearby either. Is that just something they had an idea for, but later scrapped (while leaving the code for the achievement in) or am I missing something?

 

It's very satisfying when your followers comment on what you've done. When I killed two Vortigaunts in office complex with one headshot each from my revolver, the scientist behind me commented on how it was 'impressive'. This was surprising, as in no Valve game that I have played have the NPCs had much to say about your combat prowess while actually in combat. There's another instance (though scripted) near the end of Questionable Ethics where this was also took place, but I won't say anything more at the risk of spoiling something. Somewhat related, it's also nice when they panic in combat (since they ARE civilians) and cheer when enemies fall. It really makes them seem like people. In BM, I'm unable to leave anyone behind if I can take them with me, because I'd feel like I was leaving someone to die. In HL1, I could care less because they were frustrating to have with me since they always got stuck behind the slightest obstacles, and they rarely had anything to say anyway. Somewhat related, it's nice when they justify not going further, instead of just stopping somewhere. In particular, this is noticeable near the end of Office Complex, where the scientist and the guard that you may or may not have with you actually give reasons why they have to stay behind. In short, it becomes rewarding to bring people with you, and when they can't accompany you any further, there's actually a good reason as to why, instead of "You're going to have to leave me here, Gordon." Why do I have to leave you here? Because of this two foot high overturned plastic table in front of the door?

 

The new dialogue from NPCs really helps to move the plot along. HL1 had a plot, but it was mostly just 'go here because that's the only hallway out of here.'. In BM, you have an objective from start to finish. The Guard in Anomalous Materials suggests going to the Office Complex to look for help, instead of the player just randomly ending up there in his trek to the surface.

 

I have mixed feelings about the soldiers in BM. Generally, their AI is pretty good. They close in when you're reloading, they actually work as a team, and they're not nearly as stupid as in Half Life. However, they could stand to use grenades more often, if only so I can't hide behind a box and take potshots until they're all dead. And if I have a satchel sitting in a corner where it can't possibly be noticed, they shouldn't somehow be aware of it's existence and avoid it. If I carefully set a trap where it wouldn't be noticeable, they shouldn't know it's there and refuse to run in. And they really, REALLY need more dialogue. All I hear is 'Do it', over and over and over, while some lines I've only heard once. It gets annoying to hear them. However, I really like their uniforms. They're very detailed and they really look like marines (Instead of bulky short people with guns, like they did in HL).

 

Combat with aliens tends to be more challenging. Headcrabs are much more faster and agile, to the point where the only weapon that you can really fight them with efficiently at close range is the crowbar, unless you want to waste a whole lot of ammo. Houndeyes are also very powerful, due to the fact that they move MUCH faster and their attacks charge quickly, and on top of that they tend to attack in large groups. Vortigaunts are also much more dangerous, as their attacks charge up faster as well. The Bullsquid is as resilient to damage as ever, but seeing how it's a fairly rare enemy, it could stand to do more damage with it's primary attack. I hear a scientist shout a warning to watch out for it's saliva because it's acidic, but I don't really care because it doesn't do all that much damage. Despite being uncommon, they really aren't any more dangerous than anything else, they just take more bullets to kill.

 

Tripmines are useless. Really, they are. I try to use them. I've done everything I can think of. But since soldiers are somehow aware that it's there, even if it's immediately around a 90 degree turn in a corridor, they never run into it. I suppose you could use a tripmine to 'lock down' an area, since a soldier wouldn't run through it, but generally I never found that necessary since I don't often end up getting flanked. I haven't tried using them on aliens yet, but that would be kind of wasteful since they're easier to kill than soldiers.

 

I like the grenades. They have that same look of the HL grenades, but they're so much more useful because you can throw them farther than ten feet and they roll. It seems silly that you can carry ten of them but only three for your grenade launcher, however. I'd rather be able to carry less grenades but have them be more common to pick up. It's a warzone after all, there should be plenty of explosives sitting in supply depots, at least on the surface where the military reigns supreme.

 

While we're on the subject, the surface maps were perfect. I loved the cliff section because of the absolutely amazing view of the canyon. It actually had depth. You can really appreciate the scale of the area in BM like you never really could in HL. Near the end of the segment, two airplanes swoop down and bomb a distant building on the other side. I watched in awe as the bombs exploded, and I could see the shockwave traveling from the point of impact, slowly across the canyon, and then it reaches you along with the sound of the explosion. I reloaded and watched that scene again several times.

 

Tanks seemed like they were too easy to destroy. They take a long time to line up a shot with you, they don't have any kind of support weapons (like a mounted machine gun) and they don't take all that much firepower to destroy. The infantry that accompanies them are much more dangerous, to be honest.

 

It's great seeing military aircraft in the skies in BM. It would've been nice to see more bombings though, and maybe even a dogfight between a fighter and one of the Xenian flying creatures, though that might have been impractical for the modders to do.

 

The particle effects (I think that's the term for it) are good, such as the frost in the air in freezers, for example. However I've noticed that they tend to overdo it. Frost is nice but I shouldn't be blind and drowning in lag because of it.

 

When you're exposed to radiation, the screen gets a layer of static added (specifically when the Geiger counter starts ticking). Okay, that's neat and all, but it really annoyed me because it's very distracting and it doesn't even make sense really, and I haven't figured out how to turn it off yet. Essentially, they really seemed to get excited over some visual effects they could do, and overdid them. Sometimes, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

 

Despite the best efforts of the dev team, I did run into a few bugs. For example, in Lambda Core, instead of getting crushed at one point, it instead trapped me in a wall, so I had to reload. It's minor, but it's there. On surface tension, I ended up walking off the map at one point because I was able to jump over an electrified fence without taking much damage. I wasn't trying to find a glitch or anything either. In Apprehension (when you slide out of the pipe from the trash compactor) I took some damage from falling right before the load screen, and the damage indicators didn't go away for a while afterwards. Quite distracting.

 

This is particularly nitpicky. When you're calling in air strikes at the end of surface tension on the Gargantua, it's actually mortar shells (you can see the shells and the smoke trails arcing from the right, behind the rocks). It seems like they may as well have called it artillery strikes since they redid the voice anyway, but yeah, that's really minor.

 

As far as the airstrikes themselves go, they were underwhelming, and there wasn't very much that you could blow up, just some crates (out of sight too) and the radio tower. The explosions themselves weren't very large or 'powerful' either. If you only get one chance in the game to direct that much firepower, then I want to be able to level the area, like you sort of could in HL.

 

The voice acting was pretty good in most places. I thought it was weird when you were listening to the soldiers talking about who the player is ("So who is this guy, Freeman, anyway?"). The other soldier was telling it like it was a spooky ghost story. I felt like I was supposed to leap out of the shadows and shout "BOO!" at the end of it.

 

I enjoyed how they changed some of the puzzles in places, like On a Rail for example. They're still there, but they're new, so the player actually feels like he's playing a new game instead of just HL with better graphics. You actually have to stop and think about what you're doing instead of just blitzing through like someone who's played Half Life a dozen times could do on a replay.

 

So I'll wrap this up since it's already getting really long. In short, Black Mesa is absolutely amazing. The graphics are gorgeous, the soundtrack is both different from the original while still maintaining that 'Half Life feel', and the weapons and combat is very balanced and they've managed to ensure that every weapon the player carries has a purpose, something that even Valve didn't really manage to do. They set their goals for the project and they've met them, if not exceeded them, and in general Black Mesa is more fun to play than either the original game or the sequels from Valve itself. It feels genuine in every way, and except for the few things I've mentioned (but no game is perfect) they've made one of the best games I've ever played. They gave themselves the goal of remaking Half Life, and they did that, and more.

"I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London." - Wernher von Braun

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I'm not reading it because I haven't finished. Be sure to put into spoler tags any spoilers please.

''Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.'' - Steve Jobs

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Very long text frowm you twilight... Here's my short alternative, my brother almost beat the mod, so far that he has all the weapons already. I myself have been mostly watching but I basically got the whole experience from the mod like that.

 

Conclusion about the mod, (It's not spoiler unless you don't even want gameplay info) what to expect gameplay wise: Feels like Half-life story with enhanced Half-life 2 gameplay without the futuristic concept, More realistic, throw and pick up objects at stuff/monsters, high graphics, smarter cpu, harder difficulty, lots of blood and bleeding, more zombie types, more and bigger rooms, more realistic rooms. Generally physics are awesome, Mines, Snipers, Helis, Tanks, Mortars, Maps and vehicles from Black Mesa are much much more enhanced in in Black Mesa (I won't spoil stuff but yeah), Most importantly has achievements!!! And Gordon can throw the grenade very far now ;)

 

Who should play it: Anybody who likes action at all and has a decent cpu and graphics card (5 years old max for high graphics).

 

Is it a copy of Hl1: No it has just enough differences to make the gameplay different yet arguably even richer with more choices rather then the linear stuff of hl1.

 

Rating from me: 9.5/10 (.5 off for no XEN :( )

 

In short, spread this game to the Cod/Halo generation who relies on graphics, they will enjoy the gameplay and the graphics won't bother them ;) !!!!

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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Tripmines are useless. Really, they are. I try to use them. I've done everything I can think of. But since soldiers are somehow aware that it's there, even if it's immediately around a 90 degree turn in a corridor, they never run into it. I suppose you could use a tripmine to 'lock down' an area, since a soldier wouldn't run through it, but generally I never found that necessary since I don't often end up getting flanked. I haven't tried using them on aliens yet, but that would be kind of wasteful since they're easier to kill than soldiers.

 

The only use I've ever had for trip-mines in HL1 or Black Mesa is to spawn them in the first chapter and plant one where the scientist who's "expecting an important message" goes when you mess with that computer in the corner.

I have the perfect comeback. A Spaz-12.

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I may be the only one here who actually read all of Twi's post, and I agree with the majority. The one thing I would like to point out is that the devs actually said that the whole "mortar instead of airstrike" thing was intentional, for realism's sake. How the hell could anyone call in fighters to bomb an area without needing any kind of confirmation and target verification for the pilots?

 

Also, if I hear one more person bitch about the soldier's dialogue, I can't be held responsible for what I might do. FOR FUCK'S SAKE, THE VOICE ACTING AND DIALOGUE WAS CHEESY AND DUMB IN THE ORIGINAL; WHY SHOULD THEY CHANGE IT?

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@ Twilight, what the hell do you mean by untill Gordon figures out to close the other eye when using scope? As far as I saw when using scope you can only see scope and that's it. And I actually really liked the new scope.

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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Black Mesa. Where to begin? HOW to begin? How to do both of those rhetorical questions yet keep the post brief? I was initially worried news of release was a sick joke, and it'd never see release. I am glad to be wrong.

 

I played it on the day of release. My mind was blown. Every single expectation of the kind of game it would be exceeded.

 

The gameplay, care to detail, good writing. (IE: Dialogue giving explanation where to go) It is all there. A person could easily believe it to be an actual licensed game.

 

To sum it up as shortly yet accurately as possible: "It is a labor of love by true fans of the original Half-Life."

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To sum it up as shortly yet accurately as possible: "It is a labor of love by true fans of the original Half-Life."

Accurate indeed. I think that should be the tagline for it.

 

Yeah, the Source games and mods haven't been Steam free since the pre-Steam days.

 

No source games existed before Steam heh.

Technically, no. The only Valve game to exist before Steam was Half-Life pretty much and the official Valve-released mods for it like Counter Strike, and Half-Life used the Quake engine, which was called the Half-Life engine until Half-Life 2 was released, where it was retroactively dubbed the GoldSrc engine which had been an internal name for it up until that point.

 

The source engine came about the same time as Steam and Steam actually launched before HL2 was released, since HL2 was one of the first games to allow people to preload the game before it was released so they could play it on the day of release.

Check out my reviews at https://alyxxgameroom.blogspot.com
Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.vgr.com

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