Poll Question 287 – Are you waiting until they release the final (Xen) section to play Black Mesa?

18th December 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Can you believe I haven’t even finished the tram ride at the beginning yet?

It’s true. I started to record a “Let’s Play” video and then got distracted.

Then I just focused on other things. I think it’s because I want to give it my full attention and there is always something to do with the site that takes precedence.

I’ve got to the point where I will wait for Xen and hopefully that will also be enough time for the people who played it first time to replay play it as part of the TREE event.

Anyway, how many of you have not played it? I bet it’s a really small percentage.

Time to vote


  1. Already played and completed it two times.

  2. Unq

    My answer is “not really.” I would like to play it all at once, but I actually have started playing. Got up to about the big elevator down in Unforeseen Consequences but just haven’t had the time to play more of it, since I have a special project taking up much of my time at the moment.

    Some of the design decisions also were odd, which put me off a bit. For example, why get rid of the HEV suit’s introduction speech? I mean, I realize it’s Half-Life “reimagined” but why remove such an iconic moment?

    1. RossBondReturns

      They couldn’t use the H.E.V. introduction because it would have given them huge issues with VALVe.

      That said just talk to the scientist after donning the suit and you get IMHO a much more interesting set of dialogues anyway.

  3. In some way’s not playing a map or mod as soon as it is available if a part 2 or series is promised can seem like a good idea. But over the years there have been a few where the follow up never materialised. Imagine deciding not to play HL2/EP1/EP2 until EP3 comes out, you’d have a long wait!!!

    If I were a modder/mapper, I would want as much feedback (praise?) as soon as possible before my creation got forgotten and put to the back of the shelf. In the case of Black Mesa, I think I’m not the only one who looked forward to it for a long time, which the servers crashing under the load on the release day seems to bear out.

    There are obviously circumstances that dictate when you can play, but I suspect most played Black Mesa as soon as the download finished.

  4. I love how black mesa is just different enough to trick you. I am currently stuck in the conveyer belt part. the first three smashers keep getting me. When I have time I will beat it as I hate to cheat. Right now, I just want to play something and not be aggravated.

    1. I might be thinking of a different part, but are you remembering that you can turn off the crushers temporarily? How about that you can change the direction of the conveyor belt so that you aren’t running against it?

      1. I am walking in the direction of the conveyor belts. I think I did forget that you can temporarily stop the crushers. I will investigate this later today. thanks

  5. I started to play and got halfway through. THen suddenly, my weapons did no damage at all to any enemy. I shoot clips into a grunt and he didn’t die. I really don’t wanna re-download it since my slow internet So I’d rather wait untill its finished.

    And by the way, how is things going with the site? Any major damage?

  6. I’m too impatient. I downloaded it as soon as I could.

  7. I don’t have complete it yet because I let it in standby for two months. I resume since last week but playing slowly. I’m now at the beginning of “Residue Processing”

  8. My computer isn’t good enough to run Black Mesa, so ehh.

  9. Thanks for this topic!!! I was turned off by the downloading problems initially and said “later”. Then I promptly forgot about it. Downloading now 🙂

  10. AI

    I voted “no”, played it twice, loved it!! Just installed “Uplink” and giving it a go! Got to test out my rebuilt computer on something! I think “FarCry 3” will be next on the list!

  11. I’ve yet to finish it too. So I’ll probably wait until Xen is released. I also can’t deal with distractions when playing this game, but only because I want it to be a pure experience in that I am not worrying about something else I should be doing and there being no background sound or people to tell me to turn the volume down.

  12. Stanley Dunigan

    I managed to get Black Mesa downloaded two weeks after it was first available. I hurriedly did a playthrough of it while writing a walkthrough for it, since I was under the mistaken impression that the TREE for it was going to be started soon. Even if I’d known better, I still would’ve played it and started the walkthrough, simply because I wouldn’t have been able to resist!

    BTW: Anyone who wants tips for the harder parts of the game can check my “Hints and Tips” guide that’s on GameFAQs while waiting for the Black Mesa TREE event and my full walkthrough to be finished.

    1. I don’t need it yet, but couldn’t find: “Hints and Tips” guide that’s on GameFAQs. Spent lots of time viewing the links on the right to no avail.

        1. dougjp

          Ah! Its a different web site, not here. Should have been a link then by the OP. Thanks Phillip.

  13. Played it many times, and now playing each chapter on hard trying to get through without dying on each one. The game is too brilliant to just wait.

    Just uploaded Uplink and will be playing it too.

    I have mentioned this before..if modders start making their HL1 mods using Black Mesa’s engine and models, I’ll start downloading and playtesting the HL1 mods!

    New content will be released for Surface Tension, even though it is already the longest chapter in Black Mesa. But not by the developers of BM. But by a seperate community project.

    1. I have mentioned this before..if modders start making their HL1 mods using Black Mesa’s engine and models, I’ll start downloading and playtesting the HL1 mods!

      What you are asking for doesn’t make sense. Black Mesa was made using Source; the same engine as Half-Life 2. HL1 mods are made using GoldSource which is a different engine. What you are asking for is for HL1 modders to change engine and most don’t want to as it’s a big change.

      Eventually, mods will be released using the assets created by the Black Mesa team but they have apparently said they won’t release those until after the release of Xen. But they will still have to be made in Source.

      1. Right, I know it uses the HL2 engine. I meant that modders using the BM (HL2 engine) and BM models to make their HL1 mods. Using Black Mesa resources in other words.

        1. Okay, so when you say “HL1 mods” you just mean mods set in Black Mesa. I understand now.

  14. Played and completed it several times. It was more fun once I got the directory name right and could see the Achievements. I have left the game in my SourceMods folder so I can play it again when I want. Does anybody know the ETA on the Xen part?

  15. 2muchvideogames

    I recently finished Black Mesa too, and it’s as spectacular as you are all led to believe. Which is why I am here to point out some problems with it that I have encountered, which you should expect if you haven’t but are planning to play this very good mod.

    – Some people may experience issues involving ragdolls falling thru the floor. All the time. It’s a hassle to fix because every time you want to play you have to change something and then change it back after you quit.

    – The soldiers are unfairly accurate with their smg’s. Imagine playing against aimbots in CS. That’s how accurate they are.

    – One whole section of ‘surface Tension” is missing. It is the map after the Osprey battle where a soldier throws a satchel at you in a pipe and where you have to get a barney to open a parking garage for you. Most of that entire map is NOT in Black Mesa. According to tvtropes this is not intentional; the mapper responsible for that section supposedly quit the team so they had no choice but to cobble up a weird transition for it. It’s a HUGE and obvious flaw in this otherwise faithful and very impressive remake.

    1. …but that was my favorite part of the game

    2. Somone has recreated that part of Surface Tension for Download. Here is a video (I know I already posted the video link, but for anyone who missed…)

      And the DL link! (I didnt post that before!)

      The problem is from what I gather, these new Surface Tension files REPLACE some of the one’s already in BMS now, which means (I think) you’ll get to play this version, but large parts in BMS that exist now will go missing!

      I wish this mod (above) had its own .exe and could be played seperatly. 🙁

      1. RossBondReturns

        No no no.

        Nothing from BMS Surface Tension goes missing.

        What Uncut does is re-add the sections that the BMS team could not complete due to that sections mapper leaving. It leaves the rest of Surface Tension intact. And makes the Garg encounter in the courtyard a much more dynamic experience.

        It replaces, for the better, the enemy that you fire the first TOW on at the end of the Osprey Courtyard battle…and then adds THREE NEW LEVELS…and then adds a fixed way better Garg Encounter all the way through to the start of Forget About Freeman!

        I believe the Final Release might be out now.

        Very much worth the download.

  16. Hec

    No. Actually BM was one of my first priorities as soon I started my crhismass vacations, and indeed I think the release of only the pure Black Mesa levels was a right choice, that’s the way BM can proove is a great inmersive mod, then with the Xen levels released a little bit after the BM ones you can perfectly close the thril of the whole mod as once, that’s why I decided to play and review the first part inmediately.

    My whole feelings about it are that this mod was as amazing as the first time when I played the original HL1 game.

  17. Murrrsu

    I already played the most of it, but unfortunately, for some reason, my computer freezes at a certain point… So I haven’t been able to finish it yet. 🙁
    Maybe someday I will actually take some time to try to adjust my settings so the game wouldn’t freeze… someday…

  18. I downloaded BMS early and marvelled at the new graphics, chuckled at the ponytail reference and breathed a huge sigh of relief that my duel-century, home built PC could play it!
    I will finish it soon, as I stopped to clear by mod backlog and replay G-String before the new version arrives. Just finished the newly repainted and awfully pretty Mission Improbable, with its added third level Combine complex, WOW!
    So I’ll probably being playing the whole game and finally completing Half Life by the time my backlog is cleared!

    And I still have to complete HL2.ep.2!

  19. MisterAddy

    I played it through once when it came out. Honestly I don’t enjoy it as much as the original, there are quite a few issues and I thought they cut out too much. Of course I appreciate the massive amount of work put into it and the graphics are exceptional.

  20. One of the BMS team members has responded to me on Steam and claims they are working hard on Xen, and pulling bugs and stuff.

    But he couldnt give me any word on a release date…

  21. I started playing BMS soon after it was released but I didn’t have enough time to finish it before other more pressing real life issues needed tending to.

    I was quite impressed with the little of it I’ve experienced so far but I think I will most likely wait for the Xen chapters to be released before I continue. I’ve waited long enough for the initial release that waiting a little more for the final sections won’t make too much difference.

    I prefer to finish everything in one go than play it in separated sections so if I had finished all of BMS as it stands, I may not play the Xen section at all, unless it was of significant length.

  22. Greenman

    I’d like to say I haven’t completed it because I’m waiting on the Xen chapters but truthfully I just didn’t enjoy it.

  23. Completly off-topic, but that new feature of showing our number of comments is cool XD

  24. JG

    To be fair, it’s a really… really… really long tram ride.

    The tram ride was a cool idea at the time, but from a modern gaming standpoint, it amounts to an unskippable 10 minute intro cinematic with little exposition and a lot of emphasis on “Look at our cool visuals.” Sure, the visuals impressed me a lot at the start of BMS, but I was halfway through the tram ride before the inner voice chanted “Are we there yet?”

  25. lj4linux

    off-topic: MERRY CHRISTMAS !

  26. I downloaded it as soon as it was officially out but stopped playing right after the tram ride. Ok, the visual style is amazing and the mod seems to be extremely professionally done, however it doesn’t seem to be a 1:1 copy of Half-Life 1 and I’m afraid it will just not have that “magic” that the legend had.

    I’ll probably wait for the Steam release (the game was Greenlit) that will hopefully be even more polished, buy it to show developers some support for their fine work and then play.

    1. Blue Lightning

      You might like Black Mesa better…it’s not as linear. Try it.

  27. RossBondReturns

    I downloaded and played it on day of release.

    I have since played it multiple times and made a Let’s Play before my Compaq (practically) died…now I’m on a laptop that can’t run it at all.

    Black Mesa is FANTASTIC.

    I have also been playing each iteration of Surface Tension Uncut…I plan on firing up my dying Compaq one last time for a playthrough of the Final Release.

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