Black Mesa


Gordon Freeman is iconic to the FPS genre. The crowbar wielding theoretical physicist that battles aliens is the lead character in Valve’s claim to fame, Half-Life.

Even today Half-Life stands up as nothing less than incredible, showing signs of the old style exploration in FPS with the more modern flavor of current gen games. Of course, after all this time, the fourteen year old game shows its age in the visuals, but who better to remedy that than the fans themselves?

Welcome, to Black Mesa. A full on remake of Half-Life in the Source Engine.

Every bit of the game has been touched upon, bringing it even more to life than it was originally while keeping the story alive.

For someone like myself, tired of the short, linear FPS that plague the current market, Black Mesa provides a new way to experience a game that most everyone knows and loves.

Amid all of the nostalgia that is invoked with Black Mesa, only one glaring issue presents itself to me: jumping was nerfed. Every crate that looks easily jumpable actually requires a crouch jump, making the game a bit more clunky than necessary, taking into account the large amounts of platforming required, though this is a minor complaint when I can enjoy a game that brought me into the gaming world with oh so much more atmosphere.

While this mod doesn’t include the Xen levels, it’s still very much worth a look considering its low, low price of free and the fact that the devs are working on expanding the Xen campaign to be released separately.

Pick up the mod here or grab the excellent soundtrack here.

If you have the time to try it out, go for it and relive the glory of the first, because we all know that a new one is a long while away.

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Do you believe in magic?

The mumbling ambiguously gendered psychotic arsonist that the Team Fortress 2 community all knows and loves finally got his/her/its “Meet the Team” short yesterday, and what a way to round off the set it was.

Valve’s Meet the Team shorts were created as promotional tools for their, at the time, unreleased class based FPS. They were simple videos of the character explaining a bit about themselves, just to add a bit more flavor. Case in point: Meet the Heavy, the first of them. However, over the years they’ve changed. Become more focused on telling an entertaining story. Meet the Spy was the first to really amp things up, telling the story of our chain smoking rogue through the eyes of the BLU team instead of the RED team. Then came Meet the Medic, which took it even further. Here we had a video that explained a game mechanic, teased a new weapon, and topped it off with moments of humor and epicness. All in four minutes.

And now, on the final day of the long awaited Pyromania update, we’ve been given this gem. Vision through the eyes of this abomination – the eyes of my favorite character. And you know it’s bad when the Heavy is scared.

Words cannot describe how I feel about Meet the Pyro, so I’ll give you the link and let you come up with your own explanation.

I’m here to talk about the update as a whole. New items that look fun to use. No obviously bad or over powered weapons that I can see, each having their own uses (though the one weapon with new stats that the Pyro got is debatable). A new map with a new gamemode that I have yet to see anyone complain about, unlike a certain other gamemode (coughmedievalcough). New hats created by the community. And lastly, a whole host of balance changes that make my heart fill with joy.

Oh, and pyrovision. Pyrovision cannot be described any other way but “ridiculous and silly”. An all class pair of goggles (or a balloonicorn) that sends you to Pyroland.

I can’t talk about the fabulous reskins of the stock weapons that Pyro got without saying “rainbows and sparkles”, so “Rainbows and sparkles” is what you get on those.

This updates makes me happy but at the same time leaves me conflicted about this game. It was never meant to be super serious, but this.. This silliness is going so far that it’s disturbing. But that at the same time supports my view of the Pyro being a psychotic manchild.

I suppose I just never expected the Pyro to be that far gone from reality. A perfect example of Light not being Good, whereas the medic was a good example of Dark not being Bad.

In other news, Tribes: Ascend is F2P on Steam now! Download it from here! Gotta Go Fast!

Also in other news, Super MNC is still my favorite game on Steam, find it here! Gotta Gorilla Fast!

As always, you can find me on Steam here.

Believing in magic,

Steve.