Black Mesa

#15 | PC | 19 Hours

A remake of the original Half Life, Black Mesa finally released last year. Having recently started playing games on PC, Half Life was always a series I had heard about, “WHENS HALF LIFE 3 RELEASING!” , but never looked into it further. With Black Mesa, I think I am starting to understand why the series is so beloved.

You start as a scientist in a research facility. Very quickly though, things will go from a mundane day into a tense experience. I am sure the overall feel has changed with updated lighting, but Black Mesa for long stretches felt like a horror game. Even without creatures trying to kill you at every turn, the world was fully alive. Besides the standard shooting, Black Mesa offers a variety of puzzles and platforming that did make me think a few times as nothing is painted as the obvious next place to go.


Playing on keyboard and mouse, the game controlled fine. A majority of the levels were long, but because of the worlds mysterious charm to find out whats around the next corner it generally worked. That being said, the levels that overstay there welcome feel abysmally long. By the time you have seen a large variety of what the facility has to offer, the game changes its environments up which kept it refreshing on the eyes.

Sound


The sound is overall a bit of a disappointment. While what is there is generally good, the overall mix didn’t function correctly. Sharp pitches rang out at odd times and caused me to raise and lower the volume on multiple occasions. There was also a few odd bugs were an enemy would die shouting, but the noise they made upon death wouldn’t stop until I was in the next area.

Story


The game does not sit you through cut-scenes, rather telling it through a few short interactions with passing AI characters, as well as interpretations of the world and whats going on around you. There is a mysterious character in the game that pops up from time to time, and the game leaves you with a cliffhanger instead of giving you any further explanation.

Replay Value


While there isn’t a ton of replay value to try different things out, what is there is really good, giving Black Mesa a reason to replay in the future. From start to finish it took me just over 19 hours to complete, so you definitely are getting your moneys worth with this game.

RecommendationYes
DifficultyMedium
Time to Completion19 Hours
Price$20

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