Poll Question 313 – What is your Black Mesa purchase plan?

9th May 2015

Unless you have been hiding away, you will no doubt have heard about the release of Black Mesa on Steam. It has received a lot of in-community attention and probably deservedly so.

I don’t have any problem with the team behind it selling their work and as a side note it would be interesting to know how many of the people who said that they wouldn’t buy mods have purchased it. It started as a mod but I digress.

Like some other RTSL readers I was a little disappointed by the price of 19.99 Euros but as Jason Gimba has said if releases like Stanley Parable sell for 11.99 Euros then it doesn’t seem too unjust. However, compared to Episode Two it doesn’t seem such good value.

I haven’t bought it yet for a variety of reasons but the main one is the lack of Xen. I won’t play it until I can play the whole game through and there’s no reason to buy it now. What are your thoughts on the pricing and your purchasing plan?

Time to Vote

You are allowed to select 2 choices, although if you select the first option, please don’t select another one.


  1. I have bought it already. I just wanted to give thanks and support the developers of this exellent remake. And BTW it costs only 7.3 Euros in Russia.

    1. And BTW it costs only 7.3 Euros in Russia.

      Wow, I wonder if you bought it and gifted it to somebody else, would the language be Russian or where it was activated.

      1. Now the language is English for all countries including Russia.

        1. I’m almost tempted to send you the money and ask you to buy it for me.

          1. If I remember right, your Steam account can get locked if you try to circumvent the system by doing that, so I would recommend against that.

            Either way, I’ve already bought the game as well. To me, the quality of Black Mesa is right there with current AAA releases, and considering that other mods turned full game, might be slightly cheaper, they also have less content, and a small capacity to have mods further added to the game. I think Black Mesa is well worth the 20$, and remember that unlike what the Skyrim mods did with Bestheda taking 50% of the profit, there isn’t anyone doing that with Black Mesa. Valve only takes 25%, which is the standard for any game sold on Steam.

            1. But what if it happens naturally? I have bought games for friends in other countries. I can buy stuff on the Amazon UK site and have it shipped to me in Spain when it is cheaper than the Amazon ES site. I’m not saying the devs don’t deserve reward but the difference is 2.5 times.

              1. I tried to buy BM as a gift for you but got the warning message “A gift version of BM can be added to a library of a recipient only if he is a resident of following contries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, Georgia (not a state of USA), Republic of Kirghizia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Moldova, Russia, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It’s not your day today, sorry.

                1. That’s very cool of you, thank you for trying.

            2. bolec

              1) Accepting a gift from Russia/CIS territory NEVER resulted in account getting locked. Worst case scenario: such game gets removed from your account.
              2) Since you can no longer receive gifts from Russia/CIS territory, he can’t receive such gift. Valve put regional restrictions on gifts from those territories, so it’s game over.
              3) Account could be locked if you used VPN to make purchases. Even activating games through VPN wasn’t that much of a problem, but using advantageous regional pricing is HUGE NO NO for Valve.
              -gifts from Russia/CIS aren’t possible due to regional restrictions
              -only use of VPN to buy games = account locked.

      2. Usually all Steam games support a complete language change, although you often need yo redownload the audio files after that.

  2. I don’t feel like buying it right now, but apparently that’s not a voting option. :p

    1. I don’t feel like buying it right now, but apparently that’s not a voting option. :p

      Yeah, it’s three voting options. Just not maybe the reason you have.

  3. You know my attitude. I’m gonna wait for a sale. I don’t usually buy stuff unless it’s at least 75% off.

  4. JG

    Well, any new game comes across as a poor value if you’re comparing it to the price of a game from 8 years ago. If a new indie game comes to Steam and asks $15 but you say “But I can get Fallout 3 for $5 during a Steam sale,” it’s not a very fair comparison. The only reason Fallout can do that is because it’s been out for 5+ years.

    I already bought Black Mesa. I think it’s a worthwhile improvement over the original mod and the bonus attraction of Steam Workshop for single player mods is a big deal to me. It’s more fun than most triple-A releases these days at $60. Also, there’s deathmatch if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s nice to have a new infusion of content for a single player Source game for once.

    In fact, since I doubt Valve will ever do it, it would be cool if Half-Life 2: Update offered some kind of Steam Workshop integration as well. Don’t know if that’s possible under their rules, though.

  5. Unq

    Already bought it. I haven’t played past Unforeseen Consequences in the BMS mod, but for me it was more a matter of supporting mod makers.

    I still want to play through the mod version before playing the game version, and with and without the extended On A Rail and Surface Tension chapters that other modders have released.

  6. Hec

    Wow, I have to say i didn’t know the Xen part it isn’t ready yet!!! I did play the free version of the mod which I think is a Personal Favorite for sure. But now that I know that is still uncomplete, it’s like a nonsense to buy an unfinished project.

    So I think I’ll purchase it once Xen is ready, and I’ll replay it the whole mod from scratch, so I can evaluate the experience as a whole, I’ll sure buy it, and well, I don’t know, maybe if they bring Xen in an update release, I could think in buy it now, but I’m not pretty sure if that’s really worthy now.

    1. JG

      I came to the realization when I finished Black Mesa that if the Lambda Core teleporter dropped me right in Nihilanth’s lair, I’d be happy.

      If the original Half-Life did this and we didn’t even know that the larger Xen existed, we’d still think it was a great game. Heck, we may even think it was a better game because it spared us the annoying platforming and an extra two hours of padding.

      1. Hec

        If the original Half-Life did this and we didn’t even know that the larger Xen existed, we’d still think it was a great game

        I disagree with this. Because, I think HL is perfect the way it is, I mean I wouldn’t shorten it’s length by any cause, I mean, Xen offers a special taste to the game. It’s like 2 games in one, the atmosphere is also pretty special too, so I think is worthy if the BM team recreates that place for good, it could be what it takes to make a classic great mod, in my opinion.

        1. Hec, You’re right about Half-Life and Xen. It’s another game!
          I played BMS when it was free, and i have it on DVD. So what?

  7. A friend bought this for me the other day. I would have happily paid the £15 for the pre-release version though. Changes have been made based on community feedback and it now includes multiplayer. That’s good enough for me. Better that than pay double for the complete game with Xen. 😛

  8. Mega Sean 45

    It’s pretty much exactly the same until Xen gets released. I’ll buy it then. Hey, is the uncut versions of On A Rail and Surface Tension included in this? I really hope so!

  9. Zekiran

    Still not ready, still not going to pay for it until it’s ready, and still pretty pissed that after so long of them saying it’ll always be free and it’s not… it’s not free. I’d have loved to be able to *donate* to them, along the way, in order for them to feel better about everything they’ve done. I’m definitely not paying for a beta, and that’s all this is, all the free download was. Sure – it’s good, it’s well done.

    It’s not finished.

    1. It’s not finished.

      They get around that by calling it “Early Access”.

  10. I’ve bought it already, I’m just waiting to find somewhere with unlimited broadband (we are on a 60G limit a month in our house).

    In the UK the prices don’t seem so large here as in the US (the price for BMS is £14.99),and also Valve games are sometimes just as pricey (Portal 2 also £14.99). But I think the main reason I bought it early is that I wanted to be one of the first to buy it. There’s something genuine about supporting a game all the way through, and when it becomes popular to say that you were one of the first. It’s kinda like people who say that they have played Minecraft since Alpha. Besides, paying 15 quid for a (nearly completed) single player campaign, multiplayer and development tools to make maps is as good of an offer as Portal 2.

    P.S. can someone who has bought BMS explain to me why the dedicated server needs as much memory as the game?

  11. The 20 € price surprised me too. I really don’t care about multiplayer, modding tools and workshop – the only thing I want is to play a polished and finished singleplayer version of BMS!

  12. VCD

    Besides the MP, is there any differences between buying the steam version or download it from their website?

    1. The campaign has been polished based on community feedback. Some of the differences have been subtle so far, (new voices, physics tweaks, new animations, etc) but I’m only on Office Complex so far.

    2. JG

      The version on their web site is the same release that came out 2-3 years ago.

      Aesthetically, there are a few general improvements, but they are quite subtle. This thread shows a few of them:

      Gameplay tweaks are also subtle, but the most noticeable is that the HECU have been toned down. In the original mod, they were incredibly frustrating to fight, even on Easy. Now, Easy lives up to its name, but even Normal is quite challenging. In general, the HECU succeeds thanks to inhuman accuracy rather than clever tactics, so I think there’s still a lot of work to do.

      You also get access to the Steam Workshop. This has been rather slow to take off, however. Unfortunately, the devs haven’t really supplied any example maps (and decompiling their maps is quite error-prone), so unless they get more active on that front, I have some doubts about its longevity.

      In conclusion – what’s there is more polished than the mod version, but there’s still a lot of work to do. It continues to baffle me why they went down the tangent of adding generic deathmatch rather than finishing off Xen and the rest of the campaign.

    3. Also I think there’s less waiting time between maps and overall performance might be improved (in the beta it always lagged when I started the game up and killed an enemy). What I hope to be in the game when I play it is no brutally accurate soldiers (and also an actual cross-hair on the crowbar so I can actually mid-air kill headcrabs).

      1. JG

        Yeah, the HECU are still very accurate. I do think that the balance has a long way to go.

        I think what it ultimately comes down to is that it is rarely advantageous to fight enemies in the arenas where you are supposed to be fighting them. There are several reasons for this. To me, all the “new” AI moves and fires at a brisk pace, so to reload is to die. They are probably moving at about 2x the speed of the Combine. When I put them in a standoff scenario, they zip between cover points like it’s no one’s business.

        That takes weapons like the Glock, Shotgun and the sluggish Crossbow right out of the picture and places all the emphasis on the MP5, with its vast 30 bullet cartridge, and gaming the AI so it has to funnel through doorways one-by-one. The number of instances where you engage HECU soldiers over vast distances is surprising, which further degrades the usefulness of anything but the MP5, whose long-range accuracy is unparalleled.

        In response, they said they’ve nerfed the MP5 in the next patch. I’m not convinced that’s the right way to solve this problem.

  13. I bought the game ass soon as i knew it was released.
    From after the mod release to the steam release , i have been exited over all the new models from bkdale86.
    But i will say that it was really interesting just walking around seeing the new features and models.

  14. I bought right away when it has got on Steam.

    By the way, it was said that the price might go up when Xen is released.

    It is better to buy it now at 19.99 and get Xen for free, rather than waiting for purchasing it.

  15. I’ll definitely buy it when Xen’s included or maybe if it’s on sale, if they’ve improved it enough over the free version for it to be worth it, I haven’t looked into enough to know what changes if any have been made.

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