Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two Half-Life 2 Mods you Should Look out for

Back in 1998, when first person shooters all revolved around dreary hunts for key cards to unlock levels, a start-up company called Valve Corporation released its first product and so forever changed the FPS industry. Half-Life and its expansions---Blue Shift and Opposing Force---did away with the key cards-centric gameplay and introduced players to an unprecedented plot-centric approach. No longer just mindlessly blasting through levels, Half-Life players were immersed in a catastrophic event involving trans-dimensional beings, zombies, and black ops marines*.

(*It makes you wonder what game developers were doing with the first-person shooter genre before Half-Life arrived. The Wing Commander series had sci-fi simulation fighter games that really had meat to them. The key cards might have been too shiny to resist.)

>>>Free first-person shooter games HERE

The mods and links (Atomic PC's exclusive review of Black Mesa Source, links to both mods' official sites, and Operation: Black Mesa's official trailer) after the jump.

Blast From the Past Using Today's Technology

Fast forward to the present and nearly all video games have taken whole chapters from the way Half-Life was structured. Games now have more eye candy settings than you can whale at. However, only a few surpass Valve's epic story about trans-dimensional invaders and a science facility's struggle to contain the catastrophe.

It's not surprising then that several individuals have started projects aimed at resurrecting the Half-Life experience using today's technology.

The Mods and why you Should be on the Lookout for Their Release

One of the Half-Life 2 modifications is Black Mesa Source, a FREE mod that rebuilds the very first Half-life from the ground up using Valve's Source engine. Thought it still is in the bug-testing phase, all you need to play it (when it comes out) is own a Source-powered game like Half-Life 2 or Counter-Strike: Source.

>>>Tactics and strategy games more your thing? Click HERE.

Cra_py Half-Life: Source it's not

Most people found Half-Life: Source to be a disappointment. Once this mod launches however, you won't need to shell out 10 dollars for a bland overhaul; what media the mod developers have churned out are awesome as evidenced by this trailer:

Another Source-based free first-person shooter project is Operation: Black Mesa, a freeware project (again, provided that you own a Source game) that is recreating Half-Life: Opposing Force. The developers have recently made a media release, assuring fans that the project is still ongoing.

A video showcasing Operation: Black Mesa's effects and creatures:

>>>Atomic PC's exclusive review of Black Mesa Source

It's pretty understandable that after the above August 31 review (and the fact that one of the project's devs mentioned a 2010 release), the Black Mesa Source forums are once again abuzz with activity.

Operation: Black Mesa videos:


Concept art

>>>Black Mesa Source official site

>>>Operation: Black Mesa official site