Yesterday, Black Mesa Modification Team released the first part of their Half-Life revamp. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up on your Half-Life news (I know, I know. What news? We never get any news…) Black Mesa, a project in Source, is an attempt to upgrade the original, revolutionary Half-Life to the utmost potential of the Source engine. It promises a graphics upgrade making the game far more approachable for the modern gaming crowd, as well as better physics and lighting.
As of September 14th, the single player portion of the game was made available for download here, at the project’s official site. And better yet, it’s free. In addition to a few system requirements, you’ll need Source SDK Base 2007, which can be found and obtained for free in Steam’s “Tool” page.
Black Mesa is definitely a promising venture. This taste of the game, which will be released on Steam when finished thanks to Valve’s Green Light program when completed, has brought a classic to a brand new level. Here’s their trailer.
Improvements made in games in the fourteen years since the original Half-Life’s release had made the ’90s shooter, in its less-flashy state, harder to engage for us graphically-spoiled gamers in the modern day. But after having played through some of this revamped version, simple upgrades to lighting and texture alone have made stepping into the young, “I’m-just-a-scientist!” Gordon Freeman’s shoe’s much, much more immersive without losing any aspects of the original experience.
For those who have played the later games but not the original, I highly recommend downloading a copy and learning where our crowbar-wielding hero came from. For those of you who have played the original, well, c’mon. It is certainly a good enough experience to warrant a replay, especially now.