Poll Question 219 – If Black Mesa Source and Portal 2 were released on the same day, which would you play first?

9th April 2011

If Black Mesa Source and Portal 2 were released on the same day, which would you play first?

I’ll be honest, after seeing those inadvertently released screenshots for BMS, I am less excited than I was. Sure, they may not represent the final product but as people like to say, some things can’t be “unseen” and they are in my mind now.

Portal 2 looks beautiful but not being a great Portal lover and being a little worried that some of the puzzles will be quite complicated and demand some jumping/timing skills, I also am worried that my interest will wane.

I suppose that I would play Portal 2, mainly because I will probably wait until hundreds of people have played BMS to find the bugs etc, then I’ll play the patched version. Apologies for the pessimism.

The Poll


  1. AzzX

    Black Mesa.

    As much as I love Portal, the first one was always a casual distraction. Half an hour here, twenty minutes there. Nothing like the straight 5 hours I put into Half Life 2 when it launched.

    Half Life is severely lacking in my diet and I am feeling the unforeseen consequences.

  2. Portal 2 won’t be difficult. If you think Portal campaign was difficult then maybe. Valve already told that they will be teaching what to do step by step like in Portal. First one was quite simple for most people to a degree of being too easy. So I never considered Portal 2 as a complicated game. Keywords here are “step by step”. If you start from the middle of the game without playing the first chapters I’m sure it’ll be almost impossibly difficult. Valve knows how to make people feel smart you know.

    Black Mesa lost my interest a long time ago. So I wouldn’t consider it as my priority. If I have the Portal 2 and BM at the same time, BM will have to wait for Portal 2 to be completed almost 100%. So yeah.

    1. Valve already told that they will be teaching what to do step by step like in Portal.

      I have little doubt that they will clearly show how each mechanic can be used, but with so many more options it’s naturally going to be more complicated than the last game. It must be an incredibly fine line between making it challenging and fun without making it too hard for many players.

      Valve knows how to make people feel smart you know.

      Being amde to feel smart and actually being smart are two different things.

      1. That’s why I said they make you feel smart. Let’s just say most people are not that bright and Valve considers this too. It’s not all about intelligence too. There will always be newcomers, and people who are just there for the ride. Like the video you shared a couple of days ago (father playing Portal).

        You can’t expect them to make an unaccessible game at all. It’s Valve we’re talking about here. If they can’t create a “fun challenge” in Portal 2 nobody can.

        But then again, there are advanced chambers. Now that’s something else.

        1. Shugo

          Valve already said that they plan on shoving the higher end of the difficulty spectrum into the co-op multiplayer mode, because while it isn’t fun getting frustrated and stuck alone, it can be plenty of fun doing it with another person while both people put their heads together to figure out how to solve the puzzle.

          So while you may have doubts about the single-player campaign, don’t be so quick to discount the multi-player one.

  3. BMS anytime. I don’t like Portal, seems pointless to me.

    1. dougjp

      +1. Not interested in Portal at all.

    2. Salling

      Count me in on that one, I dont like games where I dont get to kill someone. 😉

      1. GLaDoS? A sentient machine? You MURDERED her.

    3. jo291

      The same could be said of all video games with that attitude.

      “I don’t like half life its pointless whats the point of running around shooting the same enemies over and over again?”

      “I don’t like portal whats the point of solving puzzles?”

      The point is that games are fun and occasionally thought provoking.

  4. MikeS

    Your post expresses my concerns regarding Portal 2 and BMS perfectly.

    I didn’t hesitate to vote for Portal 2.

  5. Soylent Bacon

    Well, BMS is free, isn’t it? When it comes to which one I’m excited about, I can’t really choose, because the shiny nostalgic soldier shooting appeals to me as much as the new puzzles, atmosphere, and humor, so I’ll let the tie breaker be the fact that I’m a cheap bastard who waits for Steam sales.

    As for concerns about Portal 2’s complexity: Didn’t Portal look the same way in the trailers? Before playing Portal, I was worried about doing constant mid-air portal-shooting acrobatics and mindbendingly complicated puzzles, but the challenge really wasn’t much of an issue when I ended up playing it, because Valve is so good about teaching the player what he needs to know. These game mechanics with different colored goo and lasers and such may seem like enough to make one’s head spin now, but after we’ve played the game, the knowledge of how to use what is given to us by the end of the game will come as naturally to us as the mechanics of the first game.

  6. Duke

    I’m not interested in either much, ….seen a bit of play for portal…and the BM teaser trailer, but nah….if I had to chose, I guess it would be BM. I’m looking for something entirely new, but so far, nothing I can see myself getting my teeth into. What I’d really like to see is a remake of Realms of the Haunting, but that aint going to happen.(as far as I know, despite a lot of calls for that to be done) Be great if some enterprising person would do that, a total conversion using original video, but with source gameplay or something. Ah well, dream on.

  7. I voted BMS because I would play it over Portal 2 simply because it would be free and I probably won’t buy Portal 2 on day 1 any way. However if I had both games in front of me ready to play, I probably would play Portal 2.

  8. Frohman Zelinsky

    Black Mesa Source
    Cuase I dont have money for Portal 2

  9. voldomort42

    Portal 2 because I haven’t been following BMS for a loooong time now and my interest in it has waned.

  10. Kyouryuu

    Portal 2.

    Given its 6+ years of development, there has been very little footage of actual gameplay from Black Mesa Source.

  11. Jgoodroad

    Black Mesa, only because my computer is powered via hamsters, and I will not be getting a new one until may.

  12. ikar

    BMS-BSS-OFS-HL2-EP1-EP2-EP3 and bests mods in between

  13. I would have to vote for Black Mesa Source.
    I have tried to replay Half Life a few times but I cannot get used to the poor, blocky graphics and terrible sound.
    Too much HL2 modding of late has got me used to atmospheric graphics and good sound. Funny, because my old PC had trouble playing Half Life due to its advanced graphics!
    Yes, I too have begun to believe BMS is a dream.
    But! If it does appear on my monitor screen I will be riding the monorail into the ” Mesa with a nostalgic feeling and great JOY!
    Portal was very frustrating as an experience and proved more of a chore. So much hard work for the promise of cake, but I did get a song!
    So given the choice I’ll always opt for the shooter.

  14. Hec

    Oh almost not a question for me, I surely play BMS first, I love the fact that is about HL universe, I mean is HL1 with source steroids, once i’ve done that I can pass to portal 2, I mean I am scared about if Portal 2 is so hard than disencourage me a little!

  15. I’d definitely play Portal2 first. BM:S is just a cosmetic upgrade to a game that I’ve already played 100 times. Though I am looking forward to it.

  16. Anon_251098

    Portal 2 all the way.

  17. tr0nic

    BMS will never come out. let’s face it! Looking forward Portal 2, already pre-ordered… it will be so much fun to play co-op and to make maps designed for co-op as well as single-player!

  18. David Lundvall

    I have played Half-Life already. So waiting another week, playing Portal 2 first, won’t be too hard. So Portal 2 is my first pick, even though I prefer Half-Life environment and universe much more.

    And I too think that Black Mesa Source will have million of bugs.. So waiting will only make for a better experience.

  19. Fang

    Portal 2.

    Why would I be excited over BMS when I already own HL1? Portal 2 would be new and exciting while BMS while still being a great game wouldn’t really just be that exciting.

    And what screenshots where released? Could we get a link to that?

  20. Jike

    Which inadvertently seen imagesof Black Mesa are you actually talking about? Have they released new ones or do you mean the ones, that have been out in the wild for quite a while now?

  21. Falconer

    At this point, I’m thinking Duke Nukem Forever will be released before BM:S. So, Portal 2 gets my vote. No real excited anticipation for the former anymore.

  22. GoodGuyA

    Black Mesa: Source, because I don’t have to pay for it. Still don’t know if I should get P2 right away. No incentive for pre-ordering.

  23. czeapek

    but….Black Mesa Source should not be done until now? Sorry but this is another promised game that we keep waiting for…i do not really understand why they change the release game every time….

  24. Got to be Portal 2!
    I really don’t understand the appeal of BMS. Maybe if it was a full new game set in black Mesa I’d be interested, but really it’s just the same thing I’ve played before, only probably buggier and without the Valve level of polish. I mean are HL1’s graphics really that bad? Once I get into the game I never even notice them because of the classic gameplay.

  25. Gman_Ghost

    I’m all about mods, I don’t even care much about Portal 2 at this rate, am more of a Half-life story arc myself and Portal 2 doesn’t reveal much about it.

  26. Marnamai

    Definately Portal 2 for me, BMS = been there done that just in a shinier package.

  27. Black Mesa (Source).
    Then Portal 2.

    Both have epic graphics, however no matter what, I feel like if I dont play Black Mesa soon enough I may die of lack of epicness.
    I mean, P2 is epic, but BMS is the king of all epic.

    OK I dont make sense and sound weird, fine.
    People say they are worried that Portal 2 will be really hard, but like Soylent Bacon said, the same happened with Portal 1 yet it wasn’t as difficult as the trailers showed. Why haven’t people made the same link with Portal2?? people these days…

    Conclusion: HL1 is the best game -graphics. BMS (will be) is the best game +graphics +sence(some things in HL1 just didnt add up). P1 is fun, but was short and has more potential. P2 looks fun like P1 but this will be longer and fill the potential of P1.

  28. Major Banter

    A moot point.

    Whichever finishes the download first.

  29. frumbert

    I answered BMS because I really enjoyed the sense of story that HL1 had. I also enjoyed (to the horror of the rest of the HL community) the idea of the world design in the levels that happened after Lambda Core (e.g. everything Xen).

    Portal was a distration. It was fun to poke holes in walls and fall 30,000 metres for a while but after the puzzles got too fiddly I gave up. I don’t play Valve games in multiplayer ever, since I’ve prety crap and I’d prefer to play against people I know – life got in the way and I don’t have time to play that anymore. So a whole heap of what they are promoting with P2 is on my “will not play” list, so that’s less than appealing.

    I reason that I WILL be playing P2 before BMS simpy because BMS hasn’t released a statement for almost a year, no new screenshots, no mention of any of the Xen levels ever – it looks like BMS didn’t get out of BM… I’ll probably never play it.

    1. Have you not finished Portal 1? Well then you cant have a true opinion on it.

      1. frumbert

        sure I finished it but after replaying it a few times and trying a few maps I didn’t find it had the sticking power of hl2 maps (or minecraft, chip, chip, chip, damned addictive games) – portal2 is all well and fine and will probably introduce some interesting new factors – but it’s not going to be the be-all-and-end-all of games this year. If BMS came out I’d play it. If they released some info on Xen I’d be even more interested since that was where the HL story really got interesting. Portal’s story is pretty much going to be “evil computer turned on again, escape again”.

  30. BMS.

    And I won’t play Portal2 ’til I play Portal, and that’ll only happen if the price drops to $5… <__>

  31. SPY

    i can give a small anwer to this question;
    Black Mesa ofcourse!
    Portal 1 was not a game I liked, didn’t even finish it (and that does tell enough I guess).
    so Portal 2 is also not my cup of tea, I have seen severel teasers and gameplay movies of it, but didn’t liked it anyway, even with the new content.


  32. Ezequielhl

    Black Mesa Source, all the way. I can’t emphatyze enough of how I prefer it without sounding biased, so just that.

  33. s.anchev

    Now that I’ve finished Portal 2, I can say it clearly : nothing what BMS team have done could equal the awesomeness of P2…

  34. Quite uncannyily, I only checked on BMS yesterday as I haven’t checked for almost a year and not seeing anything on the forums I frequent, I checked to see if they had finally given up. BMS does look the dog’s nads but it has done since they started. 7 years later, I have lost so much interest that if they did release it, I don’t know whether I should wait another 7 years to play it. I appreciate that it is being (still?) created by volunteers but 7 years? Come on. Having seen their site yesterday, I have no doubt this will never be released. Portal 2 gripped me from the word go, I pre-ordered and have finished it about 10 times so far (plus the co-op) and will be playing it again and again. BMS is just HL1 with knobs on so having played HL1 so many times, BMS may not have the replay value, hence the choice of Portal 2 for me.

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