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[Half-Life] Black Mesa: Definitive Edition Out Now!

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Couple of hours into Black Mesa and I love it. Feels very much like HL1 but with some modern changes.

    Though I miss the pistol sound effect... And grabbing a medkit sound.

  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Some news from the AMA: Alyx's actor has been changed.
    We worked with Merle [Dandridge] at the beginning of HL:A development, but in the end, felt we wanted to go in a different direction. We love Merle, her work in Half-Life 2 was instrumental in bringing Alyx to life, and we hope to work with her again in the future.

    So that's odd. Oh, her father's voice has been changed as well, but that's because his original actor passed away.

    that's.... really fucking weird

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Some news from the AMA: Alyx's actor has been changed.
    We worked with Merle [Dandridge] at the beginning of HL:A development, but in the end, felt we wanted to go in a different direction. We love Merle, her work in Half-Life 2 was instrumental in bringing Alyx to life, and we hope to work with her again in the future.

    So that's odd. Oh, her father's voice has been changed as well, but that's because his original actor passed away.

    that's.... really fucking weird

    Well it's been 15 years and Alyx is supposed to be a prequel so it's possible that she just got too old or something.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    What "different direction" would there be?

    I guess if it's a prequel, it's possible that the original VA's voice has sort of aged out of the role. But that doesn't seem right, since Alyx looks roughly the same age, and Episode 2 wasn't really THAT long ago.

    It's more likely that "different direction" means "cheaper direction," I think.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    There was a voice actor strike that hit 3-4 years ago, which is probably very early during the game's development. I'd be curious to know if Merle Dandridge is union and if the new actress is not.

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    There was a voice actor strike that hit 3-4 years ago, which is probably very early during the game's development. I'd be curious to know if Merle Dandridge is union and if the new actress is not.

    The union thing turned out to be the reason why Troy Baker didn't come back in Borderlands 3, so maybe so.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I usually hate linking lengthy videos on a subject, but the Valve News Network guy interviewed her a month ago on that subject, and as far as she's expressed, she doesn't know why she wasn't invited back after doing work for the game originally.

    So it isn't just that they recast her. It's that they used her work and then swapped in someone else, though both of them I believe mention thinking they hear a bit of her original work in the trailer.

    It was a while back that I listened to it, but if anyone wants to dig in, here's her side of the story (to contrast with what Valve has said or does say on the matter)

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    Valve seems like such a weird company!

    cloudeagleLucid_SeraphpainfulPleasance
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Valve seems like such a weird company!

    I think it's just that those of us who experienced the likes the HL/TF games and their sequels when they came out still tend to think of Valve as a "game" company, when it's virtually anything but a game company at this point. The long-gone folks were the ones who were passionate about pushing the envelope of interesting and unique game ideas and were hugely dedicated to things like making sure characters had identifiable visual profiles in fast-paced multiplayer.

    The current folks are the ones who came up with sucking money from people via hats, helped popularize lootboxes, and added lootbox mechanics to buying games.

    Which is not to say the people working on this Alyx game are inferior to old Valve in any way, just that 2020 Valve is just not at all the 2007 Valve. If Valve is really going back into game development, I think they're basically having to rediscover how to do it at this point.

    MonwynmanwiththemachinegunLucid_Seraph
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    The sad thing is a lot of the people in that first group are also in that second. Valve staff didn't change that much; their priorities did.

    painfulPleasance
  • SyzygySyzygy Registered User regular
    How's the old joke go?

    "We here at Valve used to make games. Now we make money."

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Just a heads up from someone relatively In The Know that 90% of what Tyler (the VNN guy) comes out with is garbage - either made up, or sent to him by sources he trusts which are not real sources.

    Also, there is no issue with Valve and union actors - the people they use are mostly-or-all union iirc. Random example, Hal Robbins (Kleiner) lets his union membership lapse between HL products because Kleiner is his only role, and Valve pays the dues when they need him again.

    LaCabra on
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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Finished Black Mesa. My thoughts
    Getting to Xen - I really wish they'd tone down that fight in the portal room. It's supposed to be where you first encounter the Alien Controllers and get to learn how to fight them, but because there was no Xen in the initial release they kinda turned it into a giant setpiece fight to concluce the game with... but Xen is here now so they could tone this back. There's plenty of hard shit later, you don't need to make me deal with Vortigaunts and Houndeye's in this fight.

    Xen - Was initially blown away by what they made here. They really did a great job to make Xen feel like a more conducive whole, giving the player a stronger visual connection to the end goal, and even setting up how the Nihilanth's power crystals work. For the first half of the Xen chapter, I was completely down.

    But then it keeps going. And keeps going. I was so happy when I finally got to the giant space hamburger. And dear god someone at the Crowbar Collective is way too obsessed with lots and lots of Ickthyosaurs.

    Gonarch - I feel like things start to go downhill here. Firstly they made this fight way more annoying. In Half-Life you'd pretty much burn through a huge chunk of ammo to get the Gonarch to go to the next phase, and you'd replace a lot of it on the way to the next one. Here you basically burn through your ammo, get more teleported in, burn through that, get EVEN MORE teleported in and then finnally, maybe you can make the Gonarch go to the next stage.

    Putting long exploration/chase sections in-between the phases was a bad move too, IMO. It ruins the flow of the fight. Especially when you're having to spend 20 doing a water area puzzle and, oh hey, more ickthyosaurs.

    Interloper - I loved the Vortigaunt village at the beginning, and making the Vortigaunts sympathetic was actually great. (They need to backport that a bit to the Earthbound stuff though, as it comes out of nowhere a bit) and hte mechanic of the Controllers turning the vortigaunts against you, but you can kill the Controller and free them is great. I didn't kill a single vort in Xen!

    I thought the factory reimagining was pretty great too, but Iiteraly was going "Okay, this part is X level from Half-Life, this part is Y level from Half-LIfe" and was like "I'm pretty sure I'm close to the end" only to realize I wasn't even halfway. Again, it's just way WAY too long. Also I understand why they made the end portion so Gluon focused (they're echoing the super gravity gun from HL2) but it feels out of place, and they could have advertised how that infinite ammo system works as I had spent the beginning of that sequence standing back and sniping everything with the tau cannon because I was mostly out of the other types of ammo.

    Also, even more ickthyosaurs!

    Nihilanth - Was fine. Again, it's good they teach the player how to deal with the Nihilanths crystals as they go through Xen.
    I liked chunks of Earth getting summoned to the fight. Otherwise it was good recreation, though I'm a little sad the verticality of the level was dropped.

    Overall, Xen was very cool, but it's just too damn long, which is unfortunate becuase I feel like they did a good job rehabilitating that part of the game. They just went too far off in this idea of expanding Xen out and unfortunately makes it kind of a chore to play at parts, IMO.

    EDIT: They did get rid of the first part of Interloper with the giant elevator towers and having to jump on a manta flyer, so kudos on them for that. Easily the worst part of the original Half-Life.

    Undead Scottsman on
    Dark Raven XThegreatcow
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Half-Life: Alyx has an official release date now: March 23rd.

    Forar
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Shit, that's really soon.

    This is valve, did they mean March 23, 2025?

    autono-wally, erotibot300
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    Half-Life: Alyx has an official release date now: March 23rd.


    3 days after Doom and 2 days after my birthday? Thank you!

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    PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Black Mesa is apparently getting ready to leave early access and want people to test the latest beta version.


    Hello Black Mesa friends,

    We have pushed a build to public-beta on Steam. This is our candidate for our release out of Early Access! If you are interested in helping us test, we would greatly appreciate it.


    All Events > Black Mesa Events >
    Black Mesa Beta for 1.0
    Hello Black Mesa friends,

    We have pushed a build to public-beta on Steam. This is our candidate for our release out of Early Access! If you are interested in helping us test, we would greatly appreciate it. You can find instructions on how to opt into the beta here:

    Black Mesa EventFri, December 6, 2019
    Black Mesa Complete Beta
    The whole of Black Mesa, from beginning to end, is available on “public-beta”. Check out the known issues below, and give it a go! We are so pumped to have this out.




    What We Are Looking For

    Most importantly, game breakers. We obviously want the 1.0 experience to be as smooth and enjoyable as possible, so if you find any crashes or progression blockers, please let us know so we can fix it. The game has been very stable during our internal testing, but we need to test on a wider set of players and machines.

    We are also looking for difficulty spikes. Throughout all of earthbound we rebuilt combat spaces and upgraded the AI of the HECU and Vortigaunts. We think this dramatically improves the combat in the game. Let us know what you think, and let us know if there is a section that feels too hard.

    In addition to redesigning the combat spaces, we took time to make sure the player path is as clear as possible. Let us know if you find any part of the game unclear. We still have some sections of the game that make you stop and think, but we made a huge effort to keep the player’s momentum up throughout the game.

    Lastly, we need help testing the achievements. We now have 50 total achievements, so if you have trouble completing one, let us know on the Steam forums or Discord.

    KoopahTroopahDarkPrimus
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Shit, that's really soon.

    This is valve, did they mean March 23, 2025?

    They said in some interviews that it's actually been done for a while, basically, and they're just doing QA and polishing shit.

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  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular

    This is surprising? The Midwest always looks like the outskirts of City 17 around March.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited February 2020
    Played through Unforseen Consequences and to check out the updates and man, in my very brief appraisal, is that it really feels like they fine tuned the combat to feel more in line with HL1 while also bring some new stuff there. Vortiguants take longer to charge up their attacks now (like in HL1) making it easier to dodge, but they also duck and weave making them a little harder to hit. Bullsquid may have also been toned down to not take 50,000 pistol shots to take down now, though that one may have been hurt by an explosive barrel, I dunno. More analysis required. The big question will be how they tuned the soldier AI.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    I really miss bullsquid in the HL2 games. I feel like they added that extra little something to the ecosystem aspect of the game. Just a big angry predacious boar of a thing throwing everything into disarray.

  • KupiKupi Registered User regular
    I played through Half-Life 2 yesterday because I was looking for a game to play and didn't feel like spending money on anything new. Some miscellaneous thoughts:

    - With only a few exceptions, I resolved to never use Quick Save / Load and just rely on the automatic checkpoints. This is because I tend to reload at the slightest misfortune, resulting in having piles of health and ammunition but dying in one hit in actual practice. This felt a lot better than it usually did!
    - On Normal difficulty, almost all of the weapons feel kind of weak. Late-game Combine take multiple revolver shots (and you get all of twelve), the pulse rifle chews through all of its ammunition, even the shotgun takes a spot-on double-barrel shot to kill most things, and so on. And the things that are genuinely lethal (explosives, mostly) are just as likely to kick you back to your last save as anything else.
    - "Never break gameplay for a cutscene" is a fine principle in theory but it turns out that repeat players just take all the pathos out of it by bashing the NPCs over the head with a cardboard box or, in my case, after getting the pheropods, violating their personal space and playing with my squeaky-toy until they stopped talking.
    - When you fall off of a physics object because of the janky-ass platforming physics into a sand pit that summons four giant killer ants and then you can't get back onto the platform you were trying to jump across and when you actually get up there you fall off again because now you're fighting the janky-ass platforming physics and killer death bugs and now there are twenty killer death bugs, it doesn't feel real great!
    - I laughed at myself in one of the late-game cutscenes because Alyx started talking, I reached for my squeaky-toy, and realized that they took my squeaky-toy away. Nooooo! RIP squeaky toy.
    - The level design is goddamn incomprehensible in spots and more than once I died because I just plain couldn't figure out where the hell was anywhere that I wouldn't be getting blasted in the head by a Strider continuously.
    - Given the current political reality, the idea of Dr. Breen being an authoritarian despot who's charismatic, slightly morally ambiguous, and intelligent enough to have a PhD-level education seems adorably naive.

    ... all of which comes off as very negative, I realize. But I suppose it's to be expected of a game that's somewhere around 15 years old by now. The writing and aesthetics are still terrific.

    My favorite musical instrument is the air-raid siren.
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Black Mesa beta spoilers
    THEY PUT THE SHOTGUN BACK WHERE ITS SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!!!

    That is all.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Had fun running through Blast Pit today, until I realized that I had left the Fancy Hat back in "We've Got Hostile" and had to find a thoroughly old save to go back to. :Razz:

    This achievement sucks!

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I'm up to Questionable Ethics so far in this 1.0 candidate version. The Marines definitely seemed toned down a lot; they're actually pretty easy now unless I'm having a bad aiming day.

    Found something in Residue Processing that surprised me
    There's an MP5 hidden in that stage! Game changer! The game has changed!

    Seriously though, getting a decent weapon and good amount of ammo for it is HUGE for that part of the game. I'm surprised they put it in, even if it's a bit hidden.

    Hat achievement continues to be a drag. Damn thing likes to roll off edges when you set it down.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular


    Black Mesa 1.0 coming March 5th

    March is a big month for Half-Life.

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  • ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    After all this time, I don't think I'm ready for this sudden amount of Half-Life.

  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Zxerol wrote: »
    After all this time, I don't think I'm ready for this sudden amount of Half-Life.

    Yeah, maybe whet my appetite with some Quarter-Life first

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    They put out a new patch for Black Mesa, which I was initially happy for.

    Until I realized it broke save compatibility.

    I was in the middle of my hat run and had gotten all the way to Gonarch's lair.

    And now that save is inaccessible.

    I am legit pissed off right now.

    It was already an incredible annoying achievement to get and now I have to start over and I'm incredibly pissed off.

    A warning would have been nice!

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    They put out a new patch for Black Mesa, which I was initially happy for.

    Until I realized it broke save compatibility.

    I was in the middle of my hat run and had gotten all the way to Gonarch's lair.

    And now that save is inaccessible.

    I am legit pissed off right now.

    It was already an incredible annoying achievement to get and now I have to start over and I'm incredibly pissed off.

    A warning would have been nice!

    Had this issue in the beta, almost to the exact same extent (I was in the middle of the Gonarch sequence). On the upside, the level will still be unlocked from the start menu so you can at least start from there instead of going through the entire game to get back there.

    Further, Xen proceeds quite a bit faster when you're cruising through to catch up to where you were instead of taking it slow and looking at everything.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    They put out a new patch for Black Mesa, which I was initially happy for.

    Until I realized it broke save compatibility.

    I was in the middle of my hat run and had gotten all the way to Gonarch's lair.

    And now that save is inaccessible.

    I am legit pissed off right now.

    It was already an incredible annoying achievement to get and now I have to start over and I'm incredibly pissed off.

    A warning would have been nice!

    Had this issue in the beta, almost to the exact same extent (I was in the middle of the Gonarch sequence). On the upside, the level will still be unlocked from the start menu so you can at least start from there instead of going through the entire game to get back there.

    Further, Xen proceeds quite a bit faster when you're cruising through to catch up to where you were instead of taking it slow and looking at everything.

    Problem is, I was trying for the "Rarest Specimen" achievement, which requires finding a hidden item in Unforseen Consequences and carrying it all the way to the end of the game.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Oooooh.

    Well that just sucks.

    I wanna say that when I got bit by the broken save thing, it remembered all my weapons and items from the start of the previous level. I doubt it would've remembered the extra item, but it's worth a shot, plus trying to load a save from the previous level.

    Otherwise, yeah, you're outta luck.

  • ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2020




    and from IGN

    Zxerol on
    TetraRayKoopahTroopah
  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    I just can’t get used to that teleport movement system.

    CanadianWolverineFencingsax
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    -Loki- wrote: »
    I just can’t get used to that teleport movement system.

    Yeah it's fucking terrible. Luckily, it will have free motion as well.

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    CanadianWolverine
  • ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    Teleporting is there because of the issue of motion sickness concerns, which is a very real thing in VR locomotion. It's one of three options, including continuous and, yes, free movement. The videos show all of options.

    ElvenshaeTetraRayFiatil
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