Half Life - Black Mesa

I’m so ready for this: http://www.blackmesasource.com/

The original Half Life was a real… well… game changer. And I thought Half Life 2 continued to break new ground in the first person shooter genre. Half Life was the first FPS where I felt immersed in a story, instead of just shooting stuff for the hell of it.

So I’m glad that the original is being brought up to date, and thrilled that it has not turned out to be vaporware. The web site says they are releasing this year, so in a month or so we’ll have some new Half Life goodness with which to while away the hours.

That looks really good.

Am I the only one who enjoyed the first Half-Life (the horrible alien world at the end didn’t happen) to Half-Life 2?

I’m the opposite - I loved HL2 but didn’t much care for the first one.

In honor of Black Mesa Source I present the (in progress) Half-Life Machinima, Freeman’s Mind. One of the most hilarious web series I’ve ever seen.

Yes, I suspect most people are, hence my question.

I doubt that’s true. The first game has outsold the second by over 2 to 1.

Cite? A quick check on Wikipedia states that Half-Life sold eight million copies as of November 2004, whereas Half-Lif 2 has sold 6.8 million at retail alone, as of December 2008. And that’s not including Steam sales, which wikipedia also states “Although Steam sales figures are unknown, their rate surpassed retail’s in mid-2008.” If Wikipedia’s to be believed, it seems that Half-Life 2 has very likely out-sold the original–or at the very least, Half-Life has not outsold its sequel by anywhere near your “2+:1” ratio.

At any rate, sales figures are largely irrelevant as I’m curious about people who have played both games, and not just one of them.

I’m looking forward to this too. However, it’s been in the works for as long as I can remember, and for all I know, it’ll be released Dec 31st.

Actually, I think I found some more accurate figures.

Half-Life 1: 9.3 million, at retail
Half-Life 2: 8.3-8.6 million (includes Steam)

And then if you include Orange Box’s 3 million–and I don’t think it’s unfair to assume most of those buyers played Half-Life 2–then that comes out to roughly 11.5 million Half-Life 2 players. Granted, we don’t know what Half-Life 1’s steam sales are, but even still, the numbers are, at the least, pretty close, if not in HL2’s favor as far as the amount of people who own a copy of it in some way.

That said, HL2 is objectively not nearly as groundbreaking as HL1. HL1 didn’t invent AI: they just completely improved it far beyond anything seen before (and not much since). It had incredible stage design and well-done puzzles, as well as shattering the concept of FPS as “corridor shooters”. Moreover, it came from a company with no name and little marketing savvy, so its success was not onyl a surprise but absolutely incredible.

HL2, by contrast, was very well polished but considerably less original, involving impressive artistry, theming, and set design but not nearly as much originality. The AI is vastly less intelligent, although it’s interesting how they disguised that fact with the good area design and scripting. There’s more of a story (actually: there is a story at all), but it’s not very powerful.

Now, the Episodes tend to combine the two in really great ways, but they do have the downsides of being terribly short and taking forever to emerge.

Didn’t they already do this?
Half-Life 1: Source

The first game was published by Sierra. Valve was an unknown developer, but they had the savvy of an established and well regarded publishing house behind them to push the game. I don’t recall that the game came out of nowhere: to the contrary, I remember anticipation for it being very high.

Not quite. That version is the original Half Life with only some of the newer technology applied to it. The water effects and a few other things look as they do in Half Life 2, but everything else is original.

Black Mesa is a completely re-done version of the original. New graphics and everything from the bottom up, so they are saying.

That’s really, really weird. I checked the Wikipedia pages for both earlier when I posted the 2:1 and I swear the HL1 page said 20 million copies in the “Reception” section.

FWIW, Metacritic gives HL1 a 96, and HL2 a… 96. So that doesn’t settle anything. :smack:

I don’t know. HL2 ended really fast but the game was great. There were enough puzzles in there to make things interesting but the game did a good job of hinting you towards the answer. HL1, on the other hand was absolutely frustrating the first time we (joint effort with a friend) played it. I’ve replayed it a few more times and even on the second play through I was finding myself stumped.

While they didn’t last much longer under Vivendi I think that Sierra had plenty of marketing savvy. Remember that Valve did not publish Half-Life, the money and marketing (and there was massive piles of it) was Sierra’s.

It puts the half-life 2 game into the source engine, so you get more modern rendering effects and such, but it uses the original low res textures and low polygon models, so it still looks like an old game. This is a redesign to update all the art and models to modern standards.

A large proportion of those people already had HL2, though. Hence the whinging about Valve “forcing” everyone to re-buy the original (despite the orange box still being great value even if you ignored the redundant contents). My spare copy sat unused in my steam account until it mysteriously disappeared. Couldn’t even give it away, because of course everyone else had two copies, too. So I don’t think it makes sense to just add all of those sales on.

It really is rather good, isn’t it? The pace of the episodes has picked up of late, too, albeit because the guy who makes them seems to be being worked to death by Machinima.com. You would’ve thought the world of professional geek comedy would be all sunshine and laughter, but apparently it has more in common with Nike’s third world sweatshops…

FTR, there are always people in this forum looking for Steam gifts. I think we actually had a “give away your useless Steam stuff!” thread last year (in which I scored a copy of HL2 EP1).

We’re really splitting hairs now. Even without the Orange Box sales, my original point, that HL to HL2 sales were comparable, is still true. But because I had nothing better to do, I looked up console sales of Orange Box, which I don’t think it’s unfair to assume the vast majority of which didn’t already own Half-Life 2 (otherwise, why would they buy it on console, when their PC is perfectly capable of playing everything in Orange Box?).

As such, according to this source, it sold 1.5 million on both PS3 and 360 as of February 2008. And then considering I doubt everyone who purchased it on PC had previously owned it, I don’t think my figure was far off.