Gee, Man: More Beyond Black Mesa

By Alec Meer on November 5th, 2010 at 5:20 pm.

Remember Beyond Black Mesa, the remarkable-looking Half-Life fan-film? You’re probably hoping to see more of it, I suspect. Well you can’t. Not unless you work out my fiendish puzzle, something no human has ever done before. You have no chance.

Oh, bollocks. Alright, here’s your damn trailer:

Looks purrrrretttty good, huh? Half-Life’s remains Valve’s most fleshed-out universe, and on top of that it’s fat with potential for ever-more side stories. Until they get their millionaire fingers out of their millionaire bums and make an official HL movie, this is as good as we’re gonna get. That’s fine by me.

Hope we get to see the full thing soon.

.

98 Comments »

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  1. Bas says:

    Blah blah Episode 3.

    • MarkSide says:

      I concur.

      I have a master plan. I’m waiting for Black Mesa to come out, then I’ll play through that and then all the Half-Life games in sequence, hoping that, by the horrific and heart-rending end of Episode 2, Episode 3 will be out.

    • Eclipse says:

      I’m so going to do the same…

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      you are assuming EP3 is coming out…

    • Joshua says:

      You are assuming Black Mesa is coming out before Ep3 :P

    • Xercies says:

      Why are people excited…episode 2 wasn’t that great…

    • DrGonzo says:

      Because most people disagree with you.

    • Daves 1.1 says:

      XerXES…XerXES…

    • Bhazor says:

      Meh I’ve never seen what makes Half Life so special in the first place. I mean the first game broke alot of ground and completely changed the genre so that any game prior felt like a different era. Then Half-Life 2. Didn’t.

      I mean its a very good game with great pacing but I really don’t think it deserves the praise it seems to get. Especially the story which is either unnoticeable or in your face, trapped in a room with an unkillable exposition robot. The best thing to be said about the story is it’s easy to ignore.

      Basically I’m sad Breakdown and Stranger’s Wrath didn’t get all the slavering praise.

    • MD says:

      @Bhazor:

      I enjoyed HL1 more than HL2, and the second one didn’t have any staying power for me (as in, I can’t replay it, and my memories aren’t that positive) but I did have a lot of fun with it at the time. Don’t forget that it had a freaking gravity gun, which was a new thing at the time.

    • Iniudan says:

      @Bhazor

      How about it had the best physic engine ever made at time of it release ?

    • Lightbulb says:

      If the best thing you can thik to say about a game is “best physics engine” you’re just reinforcing the point.

      HL was an amazing, ground breaking game. HL2 was an FPS. I just about managed to play to the end and haven’t touched the episodes.

      Really should pick up Portal though. Played halfway through but for some reason on my old pc each quick load took (no joke) 2 minutes. Do you have any IDEA how often you quick load in that game?

    • Deviant says:

      @Bhazor tottaly agreed with you on Strangers Wrath, story seam more tense and interesting, instead that off Half Life 2 which only brings so little in a world in which stronger stories can be made!

  2. Michael says:

    Damnit, now I want to go back and replay all of half-life 2.

  3. Andreas says:

    This might be stating the obvious, but my jaw just fell off and went on a cruise ship.

    • Premium User Badge

      KindredPhantom says:

      A cruise ship in the Antarctic going by the name of the Borealis by any chance?

    • fearian says:

      I think I saw your jaw in portal as part of an easter egg!

      ..I’ll stop now.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      I’m wearing your jaw as a hat.

  4. the wiseass says:

    The thing is, these fan made movies often look good as trailer, but as a full length movie, not so much. The Zelda movie comes to mind. In a well made trailer you can show off only the good stuff while keeping the flaws hidden. I don’t think you can pull a Half-life movie off without at least a couple of millions of budget.

    • Rich says:

      I also think it would only work if set in the Half-Life universe, but not actually involving Freeman at all.
      Maybe a film about the resistance. Possibly in another City. Rumours of a messianic character appearing in City 17. Things get increasingly desperate for the resistance etc.
      Generally, I’m thinking of a film about relatively normal, unimportant people, involved in a war that is much bigger than them. Actually just remake Red Dawn.

      Also, there will be absolutely no roundhouse kicks and kung-fu nonsense. How many malnourished resistance fighters, most of whom will have been children during The Seven Hour War, do you think will be trained in martial arts?

    • Rich says:

      You could have a lot of fun with scenes in a Nova Prospect-like depot. Stalkers are pretty disturbing. Indeed anything vaguely reminiscent of the holocaust can stir something in your characters.
      You might have to forgo a Ravenholm though. Fun in game, but we don’t need another zombie movie.

    • Johnny Spankingbottom says:

      Well, duh, same goes for Hollywood, too. I remember the trailers for the 2000 Godzilla remake (size does matter, etc.) were finely fantastic. But the movie itself was a steaming pile of cranberries.

    • the wiseass says:

      Rich you just described what my favorite rendition of a half-life movie would be.

    • Fitt3 says:

      Red Dawn sucked so very, very much ass.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      Looks ok, but I too am not convinced. Everyone looks too young, there’s no way the fat guy could run from the guards and everyone is very clean.

    • Zombat says:

      They ARE remaking Red Dawn:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234719/

    • Cunzy1 1 says:

      If this film doesn’t end with the last survivor being hit by the train the Freeman turns up on then I will be sad/happy.

    • Anthony says:

      Escape From City 17 (Purchase Brothers) was $500 or $5000 or something (miniscule regardless) for that trailer. quadruple that amount of money, and multiply the trailer length to make a 2hr full-length, and u have $600,000, realistically add some money to that for advertising and production and distribution and whatnot youre looking at a movie at $1,000,000 at the ABSOLUTE MOST, especially with saving AD dollars on hype alone. Also a lot of other entities would pay for a ton of that. If there were a half life movie valve would fund it a bit, as well as any advertiser that wants in on it( they’d be dumb not to), and any film distribution/production companies.

    • Anthony says:

      basically movies shouldn’t cost as much as avatar did, especially with the FX advancements in both Audio and Video that save ample time, manpower, and thus $$$ :D

  5. karry says:

    Ehh…seems to be a very cliche’d action drivel. Not want.
    The “Escape from City17″ one was several times better.

    • Rich says:

      This character is far to good at fighting and seems to take the whole thing in his stride. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find many resistance fighters who lasted more than a few minutes. Although, the casualty rate seemed to go up whenever herr doktor was around.

    • Flint says:

      The lead guy seems to be Shepard from Opposing Force, so he’s not really your run-of-the-mill resistance guy.

    • Rich says:

      Ah, right. Well, I suppose that’s fair enough.
      Big flip-kicks though? The Matrix isn’t cool any more.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah that was a bit silly, but it was cool when he got hit in the face by a door and the glass broke in his face.

    • fearian says:

      I don’t know, for a small indie production like this, If you have the punches, pull them. As long as its not over the top ninja moves every five seconds, I’m all for an awesome flip at the right moment to keep things interesting.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Pulling a punch is the thing you do when you don’t punch someone. Like you are pulling back on the punch, and not connecting with full force.

      Thus saying you are pulling your punches in a situation means that you have something at your disposal that you could be doing, but you intentionally aren’t in the interest of holding back, for various reasons.

      It’s not pulling as in “pulling off” as in executing.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      @ Rich.
      Big kickflips? you need to educate yourself on some martial arts and military special forces training. They have skills! I’ve seen some pretty crazy fights!

    • Muzman says:

      There’s a pretty big difference between what people can do and what they would do in a real fight. Nobody ever does big moves like that. If you screw it up you’re dead. Stick with the small move that does more damage and leaves your feet on the ground ready for the next one

      But people’s milage may vary. Is it a matrixy comic book fest or a gritty-realistic war film? You may not like either very much.
      It’s true that people making low budget stuff like to show off if they can. They’re clearly not trying to sell it via drama and dialogue. It’s “we did stunts! We did slo-mo! Check us out”. You’ll get that. Can’t be to hard on them.

    • Lightbulb says:

      That skinny lad doesn’t really look like a US marine though does he?

    • Anthony says:

      Rich, don’t u remember the part where Alex Vans kicked the shit out of a bunch of Combine with her bare hands in Episode 1 or 2? Also Shepperd was one of the military soldiers sent in to eliminate all the Scientists and Aliens from Black Mesa, so I’d hope he knows how to kick serious ass when without a gun lol as any top secret military soldier would

  6. Mashakosha says:

    Does look pretty good. And despite common belief, not all fan made stuff is terrible drivel. I didn’t watch it myself, but MGS Philanthropy was supposed to be pretty damn good and I’m pretty sure that Sony didn’t have their claws in that.

  7. Cael says:

    I’d watch it but I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to see it. These artsy films have a habit of only showing at film festivals and never making their way to my computer screen.

    • DrazharLn says:

      They may well release it online, or at least for mail-order DVD.

    • Trevor says:

      In this case, showing it at a festival could be seen as a commercial venture, which they can’t do with copyrighted material, so it’ll probably just be released for free online, if at all.

  8. Premium User Badge

    thesundaybest says:

    People who made this trailer, meet Kickstarter. Kickstarter is your friend. It will help you make this movie.

  9. Eclipse says:

    there’s also Escape from City 17 that looks quite good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1UPMEmCqZo

  10. Nemon says:

    Fuck this. Episode 3 thanks, Valves way of misleading consumers with an episodic concept is one of the worst displays of evil behaviour throughout history. Game journalists should shun Valve until they start to shed some light on episode 3.

    [/rant]

    • Vinraith says:

      This is a fan project, you got that right? And as to:

      episodic concept is one of the worst displays of evil behaviour throughout history

      Seriously? I mean, seriously? Thanks for helping to lower the credibility of anyone with a legitimate criticism of Valve.

    • Nemon says:

      If you’re level of stupidity reaches levels adequate to take anonymous people’s internet ranting seriously, then yes – I am dead serious. And to fullfill Godwin’s Law I will claim that Valves evilness surpasses Hitler.

    • Nemon says:

      If your level of stupidity reaches levels adequate to take anonymous people’s internet ranting seriously, then yes – I am dead serious. And to fullfill Godwin’s Law I will claim that Valves evilness surpasses Hitler.

    • Urael says:

      I don’t like to succumb to stereotypes and internet cliches, Nemon, but maaaaan, that Tin Foil hat? you should seriously start wearing it. The voices are CLEARLY getting to you.

    • Nemon says:

      Crap, my your and you’re are not friends today. I blaim Valve for this as well…

    • Vinraith says:

      Not “seriously” in the sense of “is that hyperbole,” “seriously” in the sense of “did you actually just type something that stupid?”

    • Rich says:

      Did he really type something that stupid?
      “I will claim that Valves evilness surpasses Hitler”
      It would seem so.

    • dragon_hunter21 says:

      Ha ha ha. Silly troll is silly.

    • Helios_Five says:

      I suspect that might have been satire not trolling.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I vote satire too.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Corporation’s evilness depends on size. After surpassing certain threshold it starts to be evil, and after some levels it surpasses Hitler. If corporation is left to thrive it even surpasses Ultimate Evil (Hitler wasn’t half as bad as many other politicians or businessmen, even some contemporary to him). But in my book, in level of evilness, episodic games are many notches below Constant Internet Connection, not to mention other kinds of electronic shackles.

  11. Fergus says:

    Some day the endless cries of “Episode 3″ that come up whenever anything remotely related to Half Life is mentioned will make me snap, I shall find the nearest crowbar, and make regional news headlines.

  12. Lewie Procter says:

    We’re a couple of weeks from the 6 year anniversary of HL2 coming out, and 12 years since HL1.

    • Rich says:

      Surprise announcement! Surprise announcement! For the love of Bob, please let there be a surprise announcement!

      …so long as it’s about Ep3. If it’s related to any more non-HL Valve games, I’ll scream. Well, probably I’ll just groan a little and maybe mutter under my breath.

  13. Lord_Mordja says:

    Blue and orange.

  14. Sinomatic says:

    At 01:22 …L4D zombies?

    • bleeters says:

      That confused me too. Headcrabs, people! Headcrabs! On the heads!

  15. Pantsman says:

    The use of in-game sound-effects is a bit too over-the-top, and I really hope they have better actors than the guy doing the voice over, but otherwise it looks rather nice.

  16. Subjective Effect says:

    God, I must be one of the few people who is just not impressed by these “Half-Life” “films” at all. They just look like cruddy student/amateur films and to make it worse they are using an awesome crutch (HL) to try and be cooler than they are.

    If they were original with a good original idea, fine.

    If they were higher quality, fine.

    But they are neither. They’re just so… weak.

    • dervish says:

      But it’s related to a videogame that I like! It would be absurd to hold it to the same standards as everything else.

    • dragon_hunter21 says:

      This one doesn’t make me squirm when I watch it.

      Also, there’s the fanboy factor. The Transformers are no great accomplishment in movies, but they get a lot of tickets sold because, well, they’re Transformers.

    • Subjective Effect says:

      The M Bay Transformers films are terrible though. They get one or 2 things right (Blackout in the first one – why couldn’t the rest of the film have been like that start? New Soundwave updated to fit the times. And Ravage’s “hip” guns) but overall they are crud.

      Like these videos.

      Sure, there are cool elements but then the nastiest hoe you’ve ever seen with the fiiiiiinest hair has something going for her. She still nasty!

    • yar. says:

      I think it looks like an amateur film because it is. When you play Half-Life, you get into the role of G. Freeman and act out the same storyline as everyone else does when they play. Not very creative. These people just wanted to have some fun and try something new. You don’t have to knock an idea just because it doesn’t have a million dollar budget and professional developers.

      P.S. little pet peeve, adding “quotes” to something doesn’t really prove any point- at least not in the context you used

    • Subjective Effect says:

      I’m not wanting to prove anything, I just don’t know the correct anatomical name for that part of a big cat – you are going to supply that. Now. Now. Now. No google. Tell us. Now!

      tsk

  17. Tetragrammaton says:

    Production look amazing. The acting, however……

  18. A-Scale says:

    That is some absolutely terrible voice work.

  19. Oak says:

    “I’m a little teapot, short and stout…”

    • Daves 1.1 says:

      Here’s my handle ….

      and here’s my brand new release of HL Ep3 that went live to download on the 12th November after what some called ‘ a far too subtle viral marketing programme’.

      (My birthday is the 12th…Please Valve, make it come true).

  20. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    Looking good though I still am waiting for more from these guys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1UPMEmCqZo

  21. Seamus says:

    I get the criticism. In fact I completely agree with what even the really harsh critics are saying about this production…

    But you bet your last dollar I still REALLY want to see this. Like, with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

  22. Fathom says:

    This looks bad. Even for a student film. I don’t really care about seeing this because it has nothing in common with Half-Life at any real level. Just looks like a CGI fest done by kids with too much time on their hands and too little artistic vision.

    A good Half-Life student film is possible, people just have to stop trying to make things “epic” because that will never work when trying to not spend money.

  23. Henrik J says:

    “Half-Life’s remains Valve’s most fleshed-out universe” Considering that the second Half-Life game literally had no story what so ever, that says a lot about the games Valve makes.

    • Urael says:

      This needs to be said a lot more often. Do you take commissions? I’d like to hire you to spam every Valve-thread from here on.

    • Wilson says:

      @Henrik J – While I wouldn’t argue that the plot in HL2 or HL1 was particularly amazing, to claim the second one had “literally had no story” is just a touch unfair. For me, the big deal about the original Half-Life was the way the world was coherent and hinted at bigger events. The HL2 story didn’t click quite as much with me, but it still did an excellent job of creating a dystopian world and letting you run through it.

      When people talk about the story in Valve games I think this kind of atmosphere and character building is what they mean. TF2 doesn’t have much plot (two identical sides fight for stuff) but the classes have so much character that it feels more fleshed out than it actually is. I’m not terribly interested in Episode 3 unless they do some serious revamping of the gameplay, but I’m not quite sure where you’re coming from in arguing that Valve games don’t tend to have much story in them.

  24. Premium User Badge

    PeopleLikeFrank says:

    Woah there. No need to have every slider up to 11 in the post-production there folks.

    While it’s nifty that a group of amateurs are producing something with this much polish, I’d like it more if the polish wasn’t rubbing off the actual look & feel of HL. There’s an unfortunate trend with hollywood films to replace unique visuals from their source materials with a generic brushed-steel, blue-lighted sheen, and this to me looks more like that than anything Valve ever produced.

    Not that people don’t have a right to their own artistic license, but part of why I love Valve is that they have a sense of subtlety when it comes to design. Much like the Cinematic Mod ups the res while totally ruining the look, this just doesn’t have the restraint methinks.

  25. Philipp says:

    wtf sir, its finally about normal folks in a normal place? Not a fucking American coast with fake ppl? No voice that would fit commercials, no dumbed down super-symmetrical face?
    Moah.

  26. ix says:

    1:05 would you film makers please stop doing that. No human would survive jumping through a window like that.

  27. Lord of the flies says:

    What Bhazor said. I will forever hold Half Life up as an example of a gaming masterpiece. They took the gold source engine and made good, they sure did. I could probably bang on for at least three reasons why Half Life One is a masterpiece in my mind. Half Life two and it’s episodic babies didn’t really follow suit. They couldn’t. A fancy new physics engine does not a masterpiece make. Grammar be damned.

    Half Life two was still a jolly good game, but for a game mostly about shooting, the guns all feel pathetic until the blue one at the end. This is all off topic so I’ll wrap it up by saying that I’d look forward to any ‘episode 3′ far more if Alyx was dead and buried. Or if you let me kill her in game. Because I’d do it, over and over and over and over and over again. For weeks. I’d find new ways to get cupboards to fall on her or doors to crush her. She’s a nothing. Vaguely tomboy-ish do-gooder. I’d rather get drunk with Breen than fuggin’ dull-hoops-ladystunt. At least he’d have something interesting to say.

    About this video: Sure go crazy. For a small project I think it’s impressive (if heavy handed on special effects that in the end aren’t that special) but my suggestion would be to start by writing something that would work anyway as a film (something with dialogue and acting and a storyline and all those important little details that were overlooked in say… Cloverfield). The Half Life universe is cool, but it doesn’t make your thing cool by proximity.

    And stop taking it all so seriously, geez. Before you know it you’ll be writing all about your opinions on a comments thread as if they are important or something.

  28. Muzman says:

    Yes, just say no to Orange and Teal colour scheme (as others have mentioned)

    Seems nitpicky I guess for low budget guys trying to impress and mask their crappy video at the same time (which doesn’t mean they did a bad job necessarily but they were using consumer cam corders from what I saw), but that is one of the reasons the Escape from City 17 works much better. It’s light and colour is a lot closer to Half Life 2’s. Tose guys seem more buff in the digital effects department, so they have something of an advantage.

    I do wish people wouldn’t use the game’s sound effects too. At least not unaltered. We’ve all heard them so many times, and in a game context, it makes it screamingly obvious the while thing is phony.
    Still, good luck to them. It’s not like I’m not going to watch it when it comes out.

  29. The Sombrero Kid says:

    grrr vimeo you piece of shit

  30. creative42 says:

    I’m not one for watching movies, but that is one movie I’d love to see.

  31. Anthony says:

    Oh my god will people stop goin on about whether or not “Episode Three” will ever come ot. Valve has their hands more than full at the moment. And in all common sense you’d think by now there will be no game called “Half Life 2: Episode 3″, It’ll be called “Half Life 3″ and I’m guessing it won’t be around until the next Gen consoles are up and about, but it’ll be cross-released like HL2 when it was on both Xbox and Xbox 360. The next one will be released on (Xbox360, XboxSwitch540? lol, Sony PS3, PS4, PC, Mac, etc.)