Black Mesa is a Crowbar Collective’s downloadable remake of the FPS gem created by Valve. The latter company tends to dominate the headlines today for their Steam games service but, before that, the company were the devs behind one of the most iconic series of all time: Half-Life. Spawning a sequel as well as numerous spin-off properties, Half-Life came out in 1998 at a critical time for the FPS genre in general.
Download Black Mesa
You can download Black Mesa from Steam. As of the time of writing it is still in early access. To commence your download, click on the Download link at the end of the review. To see the game in action watch also the amazing Blac Mesa: Xen Trailer embedded below.
The Game Review
Introducing Hollywood-style storytelling to a genre that was, up to that point, known mainly for DOOM and Duke Nukem style stories, Half-Life’s narrative was earnest, timely, and thoroughly engrossing. Coming during the height of the 1990’s obsession with extraterrestrials and conspiracy theories, the events that went down at the Black Mesa Research Facility were very much in line with other popular media at the time.
As the game’s hero Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist employed at Black Mesa, players had to survive while also trying to figure out how to reverse the rift through which the alien invaders are pouring through. It’s an amazing action title and story all in one game.
Critically acclaimed upon its release, Half-Life changed the way the industry viewed first-person shooters as a storytelling medium. Giving rise to a sequel that still rests on a cliffhanger today, Half-Life’s contribution to both FPS games and the series itself is somewhat overshadowed by the epic tale’s incomplete nature.
Indeed, if people talk about Half-Life now, they talk about the lack of Half-Life 3 or how Half-Life 2 still doesn’t have a sequel. And that’s only natural: Released in 1998, the original game can almost buy alcohol for itself at this point. The mechanics, graphics, and general feel are very much rooted in that era so you can’t really blame gamers for overlooking it in favor of Half-Life 2.
Black Mesa: the Remake of the Classic Game
That’s where the fan-made remake of Half-Life, Black Mesa, steps into the picture. You see, Half-Life isn’t just some prequel to a greater story that you can skip over – it introduces a lot of core concepts that are front and center in Half-Life 2. Players should experience, bot dedicated fans and newcomers alike. But if old-school gaming isn’t your thing, then Black Mesa should be where you experience Half-Life for the first time.
Developed and published by Crowbar Collective on Steam with Valve’s blessing, Black Mesa is a mod for the original using the Source engine. Crowbar Collective is attempting to remake all of the various parts of Half-Life and should have their latest release, Half-Life: Xen, completed in 2019. Aside from update graphics there are also be minor tweaks to gameplay and the introduction of modern conveniences that make the game flow a little better. The story, characters, and plot elements remain completely unchanged. Purists need not worry about something new cropping up out of nowhere. This remake is as lovingly crafted as they come.
- The original Half-Life game but with updated graphics
- Same classic gameplay in a new updated format
- The plot is still so compelling all of these years later
- You can also play Half-Life
- Delay in completing Xen means you will wait a while to finish a game that is 20 years old
- Some people don't really care about graphical updates