Black Mesa - Review

Author: Davide "Quedex" Giulivi
Date: 2020-07-30 22:03:00
Beautiful things take time.

The young researcher Gordon Freeman will presumably have spent years to graduate from MIT. Entry into the headquarters of his first employer, located in the torrid subsoil of New Mexico and accessible only by a slow monorail tram, requires just as much patience. The reconstruction, by a handful of voluntary modders, of the entire Black Mesa complex, where the government carries out curious experiments based on anti-mass spectrometers and materials of alien origin, could consequently only take years. Eight, to be precise, spent using Valve's Source engine to narrate the misadventures of a young doctor of theoretical physics, his efficient safety suit and his beloved crowbar.

Years go by, but the legendary introduction on the monorail still impresses.

If you are old, plot and protagonist may remind you of something. Something perhaps already revisited years ago by Valve itself, which limited itself to raising the resolution of a few textures and improving the lighting of the original title in its Half Life Source, keeping the game mechanics unchanged. To you old people it must be said that Black Mesa goes much further and, in addition to introducing new polygonal models for characters and environments, a renewed AI of the enemies, an original and full-bodied musical sector and a physics of objects worthy of the third millennium, comes to contemplate the structure of the levels, widening it in some sections and cleaning it up of those boring platform sections which represented the only weak point of one of the most significant FPS in history. Of course, Gordon still has to jump between moving rotors and dizzyingly rusty pipes, but the On a Rail, Surface Tension and Lambda Core sections are now much more enjoyable and easily passable than in the past and leave more space to the logical puzzles typically faced by those who have to deal with bullet-resistant gargantuan aliens or marine tentacles that can be eliminated only with a blaze of missile afterburner. If you are old, it is finally good to inform you that, once we reach the reactor, this prodigious effort of modding ends without allowing us to annihilate, in barrel of gluons, the Nihilath in its disorienting asteroidal habitat with low gravity, insinuating the hope that the team of development can work, in the next eight years, in creating an even better ending than the original.

The Vortigaunt, in this first episode, are particularly hostile.

As usual, young people have to worry a lot less. Between one flirtation and another of their exciting life, they can download the mod for free from the official website, take advantage of the Source SDK made available by Valve within Steam or wait for the consequences of the low-handed victory that Black Mesa has collected in the Greenlight section of the Gabe Newell platform. The result will be the same: a dozen exciting hours inside underground installations infested with aggressive jumping facial crabs, treacherous biting lianas, hideous acid spitting polyps and unusual dogs capable of investing us with sonic waves capable of violently throwing us against the walls .

There are people who just don't learn from their mistakes.

All under the gaze of an enigmatic and distressing man with a briefcase, probably absorbed in the idea that, if the playability of Black Mesa does not disfigure in front of the latest generation FPS, probably in 1998 his progenitor must have seemed a cursed prodigy in the eyes of contemporaries.

Davide "Quedex" Giulivi has been wasting money on hardware for twenty years and has always prided himself on looking like Gordon Freeman, especially when he wields a crowbar against unfortunate bystanders. You can find it on Facebook and Twitter.