I admired Black Mesa Source.
Simply put this is the best mod ever made, and when you add On a Rail Uncut and Surface Tension Uncut you have a complete kick-ass package. For gaming veterans it's a trip down memory lane, for newcomers it's a good way to see how that entire Xen/Combine fuckup happened. It does have its flaws, but it rocks nonetheless. All we need is Opposing Force redone in the same flavor and we can die happy.
The first time I played BMS I was completely surprised at how much emotion and genuine fright it evoked in me. Me, who have played HL, OpFor, BShift and all new Half Lifes to death numerous times. I thought nothing could surprise me - and it stands as a great testament to the skills of the mod team and valve that Black Mesa Incident can still interest you, immerse you in itself and give you lots of fun even after so many years.
And it all ends in Lambda Complex this time.
I know I will get some flak for this, but for me the entire Xen part of the game was a bummer. Lots of Mario-like jumping, fighting a giant testicle on legs (funny thing, Valve designers openly admit that they were at a loss about how should Gonarch look like - and one of them come up with an idea of giant testicle running around), and a great showdown between you and a huge, pissed off psychic fetus that talked in slow motion ,were placated a little by cool ending sequence with Gman hiring you. Still it didn't connect for me.
first part of the game is you being involved in a Resonance Cascade and its immediate aftermath. All looks well at the moment. You must escape, you hope to get help from the military and - surprise of surprises - HECU and Black Ops are here to kill you, not save you. You reach surface, are forced underground, you traverse old missile complex on a monorail, you launch a missile in hope to close the dimesnional rift, then you get beaten, left in trash compactor, you reach surface again only to find it to be a warzone. You try to find Lambda Bunker while the HECU begins to evacuate, bombardments tear into facility, and the feeling of being lost intesifies. Lastly, you try to reach Lambda Core in a deserted bowels of the facility infested with aliens in search for the science team that is rumored to have a cure for the alien invasion.
In a way, the game eclipses itself: You begin alone in dark corridors and you end up alone in other dark corridors. Simply put, the storyline, pacing and quality are top notch to this moment. You reach Lambda Core and there you hear that the onlyw ay to stop the invasion is to visit the borderworld Xen and destroy someone-or something- that is holding the dimensional portal open. No shit, it's up to you again. At this point you're considered something of a hero among the science personnel so they decide that you're the man for the job.
And here it goes. The last part of the game. Xen.
As much as I am a fan of HL universe, this was the part that was problematic for me. You enter other world, do a lot of jumping puzzles (ugh) and fight a boss that is weird...but not terrifying at all. Even though the Xen design was interesting, I was in for the survival horror in destroyed secret facility, not another one-man-army assault on alien world. It was the part of the game that stretched for way too long.
Now BMS ends before Xen. And developers say that they're working on Xen part and it will be a "game in its own right". Im curious, how many of you will play it? I probably will just for the old times' sake and to see whether they made it better or not. But that will be it for me. I loved the HL until Xen. Then it was a bland platformer.
So, what's your take on Xen Source?