Gordon Bennet: Black Mesa Source In Probable Action

By Alec Meer on August 7th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

I think I've been writing about this one game for more of my life than any other. That ain't right

Allegedly, at least. This footage of the aeons-in-the-making Half-Life 1 remake seems far too elaborate to be a hoax, so the real question mark hangs over whether it’s out there by accident or not. ValveTime.Net say they received it from an anonymous reader, and have no clue as to whether the footage represents a recent build of the Source Engine-based mod or not.

It looks rather as I’d expect a remake of Half-Life 1 in the Half-Life 2 engine to look, which I suppose is pretty much the point. I will not deign to pick holes in it as this could well be a very early build, though there do look to be some notable changes from the original. The redesigned satchel charge looks good though, eh?

The Black Mesa team have said “We are aware of the video, and of its source. But at the moment we have no comment.” Which is just as well, as commenting would waste valuable time they’d better spend finally finishing this exciting albatross.

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89 Comments »

  1. Eukatheude says:

    I mailed this to Nathan a couple of hours ago and got no answer :(

    • Llewyn says:

      Disgraceful! How dare he sleep! There’s News happening and it doesn’t stop just for some lily-livered games writer to lounge around in bed all night!

      PS: It’s somewhere between 4am and 7am wherever Nathan is.

      • Eukatheude says:

        I mailed him because he was posting at the time. It’s not like i’m complaining about the service or whatnot, i just need some love.

        • Jams O'Donnell says:

          He may have been happily snoozing with the site automagically posting a scheduled story though.

        • bglamb says:

          Yeah, there’s no way these guys keep good enough time to actually post on the hour, every hour.

          • brulleks says:

            HERE IS THE NEWS…

            Sorry, that response just emerges automatically from my bowels when someone posts the phrase you just posted, bglamb.

          • Eukatheude says:

            Never noticed that.

          • Fitzmogwai says:

            Bless you, Brulleks. Another ELO fan in the hivemind.

            And a cure’s been found for good old rocket lag.

      • Hisui says:

        Can you write that normally without the sarcastic, faux-outraged, annoying act? You didn’t need any of those sentences other than the last one. There was no offense done.

        • Llewyn says:

          The entire thread, including your comment, is an unnecessary bit of attention-seeking, starting with the OP’s apparent self-pity. You’re not being superior, merely hypocritical.

        • Eukatheude says:

          Jeez i’m sorry, tone it down a bit will you?

        • Lemming says:

          Who pissed on your cornflakes this morning, eh?

    • mandrill says:

      This thread, and the many others like it is why I read RPS. Thank-you for making me laugh out loud at the office and make my employers wonder why I’m reading a gaming website :D

  2. TheManfromAntarctica says:

    Graphis look dated and inferior to Half Life 2′s or any other Source mod.

    • Clavus says:

      Then you haven’t played HL2 in a while since this footage shows considerably higher detail textures than the ones in HL2. The Youtube compression seems to have darkened it all somewhat.

    • Hisui says:

      Worse than Half-Life 2? That’s some nostalgia goggles alright.

    • ShadowNate says:

      Graphics look awesome and at least on par with Half Life 2 EP2. It’s an excellent work on the mapping details. The level looks great!

      • Jackablade says:

        It does all have a certain blockiness that you might expect from painting over a 14 year old game with a new brush. Not that I’m complaining, mind. I think these folks have put an impressive amount of work into the project and am rather looking forward to taking it for a spin if it ever sees the light of day.

    • Eclipse says:

      No. You are wrong.

  3. Keymonk says:

    Oh, that voice acting…

    • Dr. Clockwork says:

      It could always be worse! It could be like the voice acting from The House of the Dead!

      Incidentally, my favorite line from The House of the Dead 2 is either the “Eh eh eh…” laugh that Goldman makes or that random NPC you save who has the ridiculously deep voice and says, “What’s wrong with this city?!”

  4. Hisui says:

    Unnecessarily dramatic-sounding soldiers with unnecessarily long dramatic pauses.
    “Oh yess…….. he’ll pay……… he’ll definitely pay…………….”
    I just don’t know why some voice actors can’t master the art of sounding like regular people. Isn’t that supposed to be the easiest part, considering that, well, that’s how regular people talk without training?

    Other than that, looks awesome! Certainly looks like a great alternative to playing the original HL1 in this day and age.

    • Morlock says:

      Yes……….the voice acting sounds……*poor*……..

      I am still amazed of how much this felt like the original. Can’t wait!

    • frightlever says:

      “I just don’t know why some voice actors can’t master the art of sounding like regular people.”

      Especially odd as these voice actors are probably just regular people. Pfft.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Considering all the voices were done by the same guy, i’d bet it’s just placeholder material.

      • Stochastic says:

        One of the devs wrote that the “art assets, level design, lighting, sound effects and music, voice acting, weapons, gameplay mechanics, etc. are all basically final. You won’t be seeing very many changes between what’s in the video and what’s in the final product.”

        Source: http://forums.blackmesasource.com/showpost.php?p=474198&postcount=164 Thanks to Innovacious for providing the link below!

  5. mikmanner says:

    The VO and Music especially are not working well, I never really liked Half Life music much anyways. This whole project I don’t really get, why spend so much time and effort remaking a game that was and still is good?

    I’m interested to see how they change it / reinterpret the game , which they hinted at on a previous RPS article, and that first trailer did make me excited but that was when Source still looked new and shiny.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Valve games have the best music of any games imo. Portal 2 reached new heights for music in games. The old ones have dated, but for their time they were excellent. I think this mod recreates them very well.

  6. Unaco says:

    What… What… What happened to the HECU Soldier’s cruel, distorted radio voice? Why would anyone think to change that? What were they thinking? Were they even thinking?

    Iron sights as well? Why change? We fear change!!

    • mikmanner says:

      I quite liked the iron sights, firing at distance from the hip feels really awkward to me now in this day of shooters.

      • Mman says:

        If it’s just the Magnum it’s fine (it would actually be kind of a cute reference to it’s secondary fire in HL1 Multiplayer), if it’s on any other weapon it would be terrible.

        • coldvvvave says:

          They put sights on top for a reason.

          • Mman says:

            Maybe you’re only referring to the Magnum and not other weapons, but the reason universal iron sights would be awful is because a mechanic like that dictates the design of a whole game (at least in a well-thought out one); iron sights intentionally slow down player movement and aiming is crippled if you don’t use them, which would force the game to be slowed down. Conversely, if iron-sights are completely optional and don’t change the game at all, why are they even there except as some arbitrary lip-service to people who aren’t going to enjoy a run and gun shooter anyway?

            I see that the developers have already confirmed that it’s a Magnum only thing though, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

          • StarkeRealm says:

            Mman, it’s a Punisher quote.

    • Oak says:

      Yeah, the clear voices were disappointing to hear. Hope they go back on it.

      That aside, can’t wait to finally play this. Well, can wait, obviously, and have waited, but I’m looking forward to it and all that. You get the idea.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Apparently it’s all optional, including voices and movement.

    • zeroskill says:

      The magnum and the crossbow have sights, you can disable them from the main menu, just fyi.

    • Voon says:

      Meh, the iron sights aren’t much of a big deal

      But the voices… now why the hell would they want to change that?

  7. abigbat says:

    Looks like I had imagined, which is a good thing. Not quite sure what all the complaining is about, this hasn’t in any way diminished my anticipation for the mod.

  8. Dominic White says:

    Just for a reality check:

    This is a mod.
    By a bunch of amateurs and fans.
    Remaking one of the most beloved shooters ever.
    For free.
    And bringing it up to modern (or at least semi-modern) spec.
    And once they’re done, they’re giving it away to everyone.

    Just keep all that in mind before griping. Yeah, they’re not working as fast as a AAA studio. Probably because they all have day-jobs and are doing this in their spare time, and have a tiny fraction of the manpower of a studio like Valve. Yeah, Valve could probably put this out in a year or two. That’s beyond the point.

    The amount of hate that this mod gets in some circles is baffling. Proof positive that you can do something cool, for free, for everyone out of nothing but love, and still get shat on for it.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      People these days seem to have trouble appreciating much of anything, and that`s coming from someone as sarcasm-happy as myself.

    • mikmanner says:

      Should we not criticize the gameplay, VO, music or graphics then? They’re doing it for free, therefore nobody say anything constructive against it.

      The people making it wont cry when they see these comments, they probably would like to be aware of recurring criticisms.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Feel free to criticize gameplay decisions, sound decisions or graphics decisions. Things that were done deliberately, like the iron sights or the non-distorted soldier voices.

        If, however, you find something to be simply of a low quality, this is a mod. What I’ve seen is far beyond most mods in terms of quality. If you think that’s too low, well then can you do it better?

    • Stochastic says:

      I think people are upset just by the way this has been handled. They offered almost zero communication for over a year after releasing an impressive trailer. In this hyper-connected age of ours they could have at least written a blog post every few months or updated their twitter feed from time to time. Also, doing a remake of one of the most beloved games of all time is inevitably going to invite discontent and nitpicking.

      Hopefully this will turn out okay and actually get released. It’s a shame it’s taken them this long to get the mod out the door as I lost most of my interest/hype about two years ago. Still, props to them on sticking to their guns and continuing to work on the mod despite a lot of heavy criticism.

    • Smashbox says:

      On the other hand, the amount of interest and criticism they get might be indicative of a massive amount of interest from fans, and a good predictor of the attention they’ll get on release.

      You’re right, to a certain extent. People on the internet bitch about everything all the time, but as long as you can understand that and … overlook the haters … there could be insight hidden in there.

      Of course, there’s only so much you can read before you want to explode.

  9. Lemming says:

    Remembering that this is a from-scratch mod, which some people seem to be forgetting I think this looks great! So the voice-acting doesn’t sound professional (hint: it isn’t), but the gameplay DOES look incredibly professional.

  10. Innovacious says:

    The lead dev responded to the thread about this on the official forums http://forums.blackmesasource.com/showpost.php?p=474198&postcount=164

    • Stochastic says:

      Interesting. So the build shown in this video is a little over a month old. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

      • ShadowNate says:

        It’s a good thing.
        He also addresses many of the complains (dark level, loud music etc) and he also said that based on the received feedback they already made all iron sights (crossbow and colt) entirely optional.

        • StarkeRealm says:

          Honestly, I hope these guys release a soundtrack, if that’s in fact all new music. (It’s been too long since I’ve played the original Half-Life, but that reminds me more of Unreal’s soundtrack… which is a very good thing…)

          • Tuskin38 says:

            Its their plan to release the soundtrack a month before the mod.

    • Rich says:

      Hmm. Don’t agree with their reasons for the voice acting style. No one empathised with the marines in Half-Life (not until OpFor anyway). Their crackly radio voices made them sound cruel and inhuman, which was carried forward into HL2. This lot just sound stupid.

  11. JoeGuy says:

    Do you guys think Valve will give them permission to use the origin sounds tracks/voice-work if it turns out decent and gets released as a source mod game?

    • zeroskill says:

      I don’t see a reason why Valve would have anything against it.

    • HothMonster says:

      You are allowed to use their assets to mod their games as long as it is not a commercial project.

  12. Totally heterosexual says:

    Oooh really nice. I never actually finished the first half life, the fights with the marines were really fucking awesome though.

    Will get this.

  13. faillord_adam says:

    Clicking on the video won’t work for me, anyone have the YouTube link?

    I blame LightSpark

  14. PoLLeNSKi says:

    This kinda makes me want to redownload HL, HL2 + EP’s and replay them through again… but since I’ll be playing this version soon enough I’m confused. Any suggestions for what I should play instead to scratch that itch?

    EDIT: For poster above:

  15. Carter says:

    Christ the comments over at Valvetime sure are angry, will reserve judgement until I’m playing it and I get to play with the brightness a bit

  16. Flint says:

    The only thing that I’d like is the return of the radio filter for the soldier chatter (it’s just such a memorable part of them), other than that looks pretty good. And I like the devs’ approach to make most of the big gameplay changes/additions optional.

  17. grundus says:

    I can’t hear anything because my Flash must be broken or something but from the visuals alone I can see why this has been such a long time in the making. I figured it would be a straight port of HL’s maps into Source with some rough edges rounded off, which surely can’t take THAT long, maybe with some fancy shaders and such, using HL2 textures. This, however, is excellent. I’m impressed and can’t wait to play it.

  18. colw00t says:

    I don’t know if they were just copying from the original animations or what, but they apparently have no idea how a revolver actually works.

    • noclip says:

      Neither do I, but yeah, even to me that doesn’t make any sense. The thing rotates as it’s being fired, not a second after.

  19. EdenCrow says:

    And then just before release the Source Engine 2 is announced officially and so the mod makers decide to start from scratch again and make the game in the Source Engine 2 instead.

  20. kyrieee says:

    I want gibs dammit, where are my gibs? =(

  21. Juiceman says:

    The voice acting is very disappointing. The Marines iconic muffled radio chatter is one of the things I remember most about HL1. Game still looks great, though. I’ll definitely play it when it comes out.

  22. Rich says:

    That MP5 sounds like it’s belt fed.

  23. Jupiah says:

    Videos been taken down by a copyright claim. Who is Daniel Junek?

  24. SkittleDiddler says:

    These YouTube “copyright claims” are getting really fucking old.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Technically, he does have a legit copyright claim here. But it does sit badly when the BMS team says “Bottom line is that sooner or later, you were going to see what you saw; that’s why we haven’t tried to cover everything up or get it taken down. There’s no conspiracy, we don’t have any ulterior motives.”

      So much for not trying to cover it up or have it taken down? I suppose it is their right, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      A visit to Valvetime.net reveals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O-LopmeppI&feature=player_embedded

    • Tuskin38 says:

      The Dev’s told ValveTime not to upload the video, but they did it anyways.

  25. The13thRonin says:

    In other news: Black Mesa Source still not released.

  26. GallonOfAlan says:

    I have also long suspected this.

  27. CrookedLittleVein says:

    Please don’t put ideas in my head.

    :(

  28. Hisui says:

    They didn’t get a cease and desist because it’s a Source Engine non-standalone mod. I’m not sure how Valve rules on those exactly, but Epic Games states that content from any Unreal series game can be used in any other Unreal series game, i.e. you could completely remake the original Unreal in Unreal Tournament 3. Maybe similar things apply for Valve game content in Valve game mods?

  29. Smashbox says:

    Valve isn’t known for releasing outside projects without taking the devs under their wing and polishing the .. er … ass out of their stuff.

  30. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    The only such thing Valve did was asking them to change the name to Black Mesa from Black Mesa Source, in order to avoid the possibility of it being confused for a Valve product. Other than that, the project has Valve`s blessing, along with their weird spatial distortion that puts everything they code into reverse-Narnia-time.

  31. zeroskill says:

    This happend quite often. People that, for some reason, don’t know what a mod is (yes such people do exist) assume this was being made by Valve. It sounds rediculous but yes it happens quite a lot.

    Actually I had just a person earlier insulting Valve for this mod, and how “low standand” it is in that persons opinion, and how Valve is COD-ifing the Half-lfie series (because Valve added Iron-sights to Half-life), yes unbelievable, but that is just how stupid people are on the internet.

  32. DrGonzo says:

    Yes, this won’t happen. However, Valve could well use the hype surrounding the mod and the news coverage it gets to announce something of their own. I can dream at least.