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Fans Bring Back Half Life Game Series: Black Mesa Mod Launches 9/14 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
MojoKid writes "In a little less than two weeks, Half Life fans will have an opportunity to relive Valve's original 1998 title Half Life, albeit reborn and modified using the company's Source engine. The ambitious third-party project is called Black Mesa (previously known as Black Mesa: Source) and it's been in development for eight years. Black Mesa will deliver Half Life as you've never seen it before. It will have all new graphics, maps, a new soundtrack, updated voice acting, support for multi-core processors, hardware accelerated facial animation, and other goodies."
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Fans Bring Back Half Life Game Series: Black Mesa Mod Launches 9/14

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, sure it will.
      • by Jonah Hex (651948)
        I've been disappointed that I couldn't download and play early builds every time I've looked at the project. They really should of released early to get more people interested, I'm dying to see it as much as the next original Half Life player (yeah I'm old) but with only soundtracks and demo videos available I'm not as excited as if I'd played a new build every six months or so. - HEX
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:01PM (#41216697)
          Therein lies the root of my cynicism. Nearly a decade in the offing, little more than a few trailers and some concept them suddenly *boom*. I wish the team every success, but I'm afraid it will take more than a countdown and a nugget of backstory before I can offer them my congratulations.
          • by NoSleepDemon (1521253) on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:40PM (#41217031)
            Anon doesn't deserve a downvote, the mod has been "nearly done" for a while now, it's pretty much the Duke Nukem Forever of mods. I do hope that the wait was worth it, and I shall certainly get the mod and see for myself, but cynicism in this case is quite forgiveable.
            • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday September 03, 2012 @08:02PM (#41217701)

              Why? A mod is not done until it is done, and when it is being created by fans for free, it tends to take a while and proceed entirely at the pace of the people creating it, which (since they aren't being paid to do it under a certain time) is "whenever they feel like working on it." All properly done video games are "nearly done" for a very long time (years, sometimes) because going from nearly done to actually done is usually the longest part. Sometimes, they never actually do get finished even if they are released.

              And Duke Nukem Forever is rather a bad example, given that, you know, it actually came out. More importantly, to my knowledge the developers of Black Mesa have never announced a release date or given a completion quantity ever, so the fact that they are now means there is no prior justification for such cynicism, since your hopes have never been actually let down. They have only been let down in your mind, which expected it to be finished before now. You really shouldn't be cynical if they've never actually failed yet.

            • "Nearly done" is a long ways from "It will be here in 11 days." 11 days from release, DNF had already gone from "vaporware" to "whatever the opposite of vaporware is" to "gold." The mediocre reviews had not come out at that point, but it was a real thing.

              Was there a countdown that got down to "less than 2 weeks" that was then pushed back for DNF? I can't remember any, but I wasn't waiting for that game.
            • by Pseudonym (62607)

              To be fair, this was a "spare time" project by fans, which means that schedules are inherently unreliable.

              The good news is I won my bet about whether Black Mesa or Ep3 would come out first.

              • The good news is I won my bet about whether Black Mesa or Ep3 would come out first.

                Well.. not quite yet :D

          • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday September 03, 2012 @08:11PM (#41217777) Journal

            What has me worried is TFA states, and I quote "This will include our re-envisioning of Half-Life all the way up to Lambda Core."...uhhh...that's nice, except that is NOT where HL 1 ends, there's four more levels after that, Xen, Gonarch's Lair, Interloper, and Nihalinth.

            So they've spent all these years and its just gonna end before it gets to the climax? What good is that?

            • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Monday September 03, 2012 @10:08PM (#41218671) Homepage Journal

              except that is NOT where HL 1 ends, there's four more levels after that, Xen, Gonarch's Lair, Interloper, and Nihalinth.

              There's a reason why the "disappointing last level" page on TV Tropes used to be called "Xen syndrome". Perhaps they intentionally set out the parts not widely thought to suck.

              • except that is NOT where HL 1 ends, there's four more levels after that, Xen, Gonarch's Lair, Interloper, and Nihalinth.

                There's a reason why the "disappointing last level" page on TV Tropes used to be called "Xen syndrome". Perhaps they intentionally set out the parts not widely thought to suck.

                Thanks a lot, I just lost three hours to TV Tropes again.

            • They've said they will be releasing the rest at some point; they have this much polished now, and would prefer to give us something now rather than nothing for another however-much time until they have Xen onwards finished.
          • As someone who assisted in making a mod that took 7 years to release for Deus Ex, just because it's taken time doesn't mean the work is done. Volunteer projects have people coming and going, changes in art decisions, changes in tools, etc.

            • As someone who assisted in making a mod that took 7 years to release for Deus Ex, just because it's taken time doesn't mean the work is done. Volunteer projects have people coming and going, changes in art decisions, changes in tools, etc.

              Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Deus Ex was one of my favorite games. I saw the ReTex project fall apart and thought that was the end of it and haven't looked into it since. .

        • Each to their own. I think I would be less interested if I played betas of it every few months. I tried this with Endless Space and although I liked 'having a say' and getting in early, now that it's released it's also old to me and not exciting any more. Still fun for a few hours of a rainy day but it doesn't offer anything new any more. The same would be true of this project had I been in on the dev - by now I'd be tired of it but instead I'm eager for it to be released and see it fresh as a finished
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well to be fair they are basically releasing the original HL 1 in completely new HD format, so I imagine they had to get a greenlight from Valve before doing any releases. This isn't like some mod where you take the engine and cook up your own stuff, this is HL 1 scene by scene perfectly copied.

          Personally as someone who owns the HL series I hope Valve snatches this up and just adds it to the HL goodness, from what I've seen it certainly looks better than Valve's own HL Source.

          • by Pseudonym (62607)

            Actually, it's not "perfectly copied". It follows the original story, but it updates the way the story is told. Some of the boring bits from HL have been skimmed a bit, the scale of the facility has been widened, and retcons from the later games were incorporated. (Barney is a full-fledged character, for example.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          They really should of released early

          You really should have used "should've" or "should have". "Should of" is wrong.

  • Details... (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday September 03, 2012 @05:32PM (#41216439) Homepage
    They haven't completed it yet but still plan to. They are releasing up to the Lambda Core, so Xen and Multiplayer support will come later. That's still most of the game right there.
    • Re:Details... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, 2012 @05:45PM (#41216545)

      Couldn't they just skip the lame Xen stuff & make it an improvement on the original?

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Mod parent up. After the first play through I always just quit when I hit the tedious Xen crap.

      • Maybe they will actually make Xen fun to play, who knows.

        • Crank the difficulty up to hard (as you should with any 14 year old game) and riding the backs of space birds in the land of Xen is as much fun as any other part of the game.

          In other words, get off my lawn unless you are going to mow it.
      • by EdIII (1114411) on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:55PM (#41217173)

        Geeez, I need to take a vacation or something. My first thought was, "What the fuck does virtualization have to do with a Half Life mod?"

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        That's probably what they're doing, to some extent. They've already said that their goal isn't a 1:1 remake of Half-Life (that's what Half-Life: Source is for after all), but that they're aiming to improve on the few places where Half-Life could use improvement.

        Xen being the section most in need of improvement, I think they're fully justified in releasing right up to that section now, and finishing it later. It's even a decent point, story-wise, to cut out - if Half-Life were a TV episode, jumping into the

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          That's probably what they're doing, to some extent. They've already said that their goal isn't a 1:1 remake of Half-Life (that's what Half-Life: Source is for after all), but that they're aiming to improve on the few places where Half-Life could use improvement.

          HL: Source is i just a port of HL to the Source engine. A good goal, but it also means the graphics of HL Source are a bit low-res purely because they're just using the same textures. In fact, this who mod started as a way to improve the HL graphics

          • by gman003 (1693318)

            Not sure where your second section came from (meant to reply to someone else, perhaps?) but I'll respond anyways.

            Blue Shift, Opposing Force and Decay were made by Gearbox, a rather respected game company (they see a lot of work building off other games, doing the PC port of Halo (which was awesome) and finishing Duke Nukem Forever (less so); on their own they're famous for Brothers in Arms and Borderlands).

            Opposing Force is easily on par with Half-Life - the puzzle elements and level design were weaker, but

      • Gman comes out and says "Doctor Freeman... we're just... ah... going to skip this (clears throat) next bit."
      • by Chryana (708485)

        I liked the Xen personally... You want more of the same old tactical shooting which is offered everywhere? Then pick up one of these tactical shooters instead, they're a dime a dozen.

    • by antdude (79039)

      I am going to wait until they finish the mod fully so they can work out bugs and I don't have to replay with newer versions. :)

  • No Xen. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623) on Monday September 03, 2012 @05:37PM (#41216471)
    Because that would require creative imagination and energy.
    • No, it requires time.
    • by Narishma (822073)

      No Xen is a feature, as far as I'm concerned.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No Xen.
      Because that would require creative imagination and energy.

      Past experience says otherwise.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So we'll get a glimpse into Freeman's Mind, yes?

    Please?

  • I've been following this project since 2009 and am extremely happy they have, what looks like, a legitimate release date.
  • Does Source run on Linux yet?
    • by tibman (623933)

      Valve has shown pictures of l4d2 running on Linux. But i doubt they will be ready soon.

  • by tunapez (1161697) on Monday September 03, 2012 @07:10PM (#41217303)
    Won't get excited or RTFA until I know, will it require a connection?
    • by Nyder (754090) on Monday September 03, 2012 @07:15PM (#41217325) Journal

      Won't get excited or RTFA until I know, will it require a connection?

      Yes, it requires that your computer is plugged into a power socket. If you have a laptop, it will drain the battery.

      • by tepples (727027)
        Then let me rephrase: Does it continue to require two connections, one to power and one to the Internet, even after purchase is complete?
        • by mactard (1223412)
          It's a free mod for Half-Life 2. So, yes. Steam.
        • by Narishma (822073)

          What purchase?

          • by tepples (727027)
            How often does Half-Life 2, the basis for this mod, have to contact Valve to renew its license to run on a given machine?
  • A timeless classic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday September 03, 2012 @07:27PM (#41217427)

    I played HL for the first time a few years ago; years after I'd played HL2. The game had tons of content, ingenious puzzles to solve, and maybe the best final boss I've ever fought in a FPS. Even with the low-end graphics, I still found this one to be a blast to play. Don't let the age of the game detract you from revisiting it.

    • Do, however, resist the urge to jump right into Opposing Force and Blue shift. They're decent, but not as good, a bit tedious if you've JUST played HL1, and never reaches the heights of HL1 or HL2.

      A bit like going back to foreplay after really great sex, except you know for a fact that it won't really go anywhere.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't listen to this guy - Opposing Forces was almost better than the original game. Do not skip it. Blue Shift, on the other hand, sucked.

    • by isorox (205688)

      I played HL for the first time a few years ago; years after I'd played HL2. The game had tons of content, ingenious puzzles to solve, and maybe the best final boss I've ever fought in a FPS. Even with the low-end graphics, I still found this one to be a blast to play. Don't let the age of the game detract you from revisiting it.

      I stopped playing games when I went to uni, shortly after HL came out. In my mind it's a modern game, and it's things like Quake and doom that are old.

      • I stopped playing games when I went to uni, shortly after HL came out. In my mind it's a modern game, and it's things like Quake and doom that are old.

        Heh. I somehow tend to count Quake as a "modern" game and Doom an old one. My division is really about the full-polygon engine, a technology which we are still using. Of course the new titles have taken it to completely new levels in regard of detail and physics simulation. Unfortunately sometimes the complex world is just props and a tube run in which you must press X when the game tells you to. :S In a way HL2 was one of the games that really started this trend.

  • Is it worth it? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by westyvw (653833) on Monday September 03, 2012 @09:07PM (#41218241)

    I recently played through Half Life 1. What fun! I introduced my son to it, he loved it too. Then he went to half life 2. He quit in about half an hour. We have talked about it, and while he is used to hi-res graphics and neat scenery, Half Life one, just the way it is, had atmosphere that just doesnt need an upgrade.

    Sure I will play the mod, but I just dont think it will improve on Half Life one at all, in fact, I think it will detract from it.

  • Now we find out if Valve is a gamer's company or not. If they're about gamers, they'll embrace this and use it to stoke interest in HL3. If they're all about lawyers (I'm looking at you, new-Blizzard), they'll kill this with C&D letters regarding trademark / copyright infringement.

    Golly, do I hope for the former.

    • Test already passed (Score:5, Informative)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday September 03, 2012 @09:53PM (#41218557)

      Valve has already "blessed" this effort, and the Black Mesa devs have said as much. There will be no C&D letters.

      From Valve [steampowered.com] (in January 2007...)

      Congratulations to the Black Mesa for Half-Life 2 MOD team for picking up the Most Anticipated MOD Award for the coming year from Mod DB. Over 80,000 votes were cast for MODs built for a number of different games, and they have been crowned this year's most wanted. More information on this ambitious project to recreate Half-Life 1 from scratch in the Source engine is available on their site. We're as eager to play it here as everyone else.

      The only thing Black Mesa did was remove "Source" from the mod name, but Valve allowed them to keep the domain because of fan base recognition [blackmesasource.com].

      • by Extremus (1043274)

        ... and Valve had already embraced other HL mods before.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "We're as eager to play it here as everyone else."

        Valve, waiting to play the mod? Oh, the irony.

        [Grumbles about lack of HL3]

  • As a linux person, any advice on the easiest way to play this? I played half-life in the day, but since then I think the only Valve games I've played are on consoles....I doubt this will be available on my xbox....
    Does Source run on Linux? How do you get the source engine? available by itself or does it have to come bundled with some other game?
    Looks like a fun game to play, but worried I can't get to it....
  • which happens to be Linux on all the computers I and my family own.

  • Half Life 2 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fnord666 (889225) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @09:01AM (#41221799) Journal
    If you are interested in playing this mod, you will need a game that uses the Source game engine. If you don't already have one, Steam has Half Life 2 [steampowered.com] on sale right now for $3.40. It looks like this deal will be available until 1pm EDT.
  • But will it work under Linux :)

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