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Half-Life: Blue Shift

Half-Life: Blue Shift
3
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Developer: Gearbox Software
Genres: 3D Shooter / First Person Shooter
Release Date: June 12, 2001
Game Modes: Singleplayer

Solid level design and action, even if it’s over all too soon.

4_1Here we have the third and final official expansion pack for Half-Life. On the surface, Blue Shift is a quality game in its own right – it doesn’t require the original Half-Life to run, the levels are well built and sport a good amount of detail, the scripting pushing the story is impressive and the game comes with an optional visual update called the High Definition Pack, which replaces some of the original weapons, sounds and character models with more detailed reproductions. What’s more, the High Definition Pack may be applied to both Half-Life and Opposing Force as well.

But scratch the surface and you’ll realize it’s barely half the game you’d want it to be, though you could excuse the general lack of content and short campaign span when you consider Blue Shift’s rocky development. It initially started out as exclusive bonus material for the Sega Dreamcast version of Half-Life. When the DC version didn’t materialize, most of what was already produced has been ported to the PC, and you have the end result right before you.

To its credit, it plays a whole lot like Opposing Force in most regards, even surpassing it in many areas, but suffers, as mentioned already, from a really short campaign, no new weapons or foes (not counting the change of models implicit to the HD Pack), absolutely no multiplayer capabilities and some questionable level design decisions (how many headcrabs must we hide behind every corner, guys?).

The story, as you might have guessed, follows the same timeline from the original Half-Life, but lets you experience the resonance cascade and subsequent alien outbreak as Black Mesa security guard Barney Calhoun. You’ll experience the ubiquitous tram ride through Black Mesa in the introduction, and continue through the routines of a normal day’s work as part of the underground facility’s security personnel. You’re at the service of the lab-coated eggheads during the whole ordeal, of course, and will initially find yourself answering a security call through the maintenance access under fluctuating power shortages caused by those Anomalous Materials guys and their silly experiments.

Things go to hell pretty fast, and you’ll eventually end up visiting several new sections of Black Mesa in a far-fetched bid to escape the facility. Your fight will take you through several maintenance access routes, a rail yard, an underground power station and the alien world itself. The story is a lot more consistent, and comes through very well thanks to the level scripting and voice work.

12_1

We get a high-poly makeover, but no new guns. Seen here is an M16 skin replacing the MP5.

After saving a scientist from the military, your character must venture through several hotspots to fix an old teleportation unit which can beam you, and your fellow scientist friends, out of harm’s way. The action is occasionally interrupted by the odd puzzle, and I must say that Blue Shift has some of the more creative ones I’ve seen thus far in an official expansion. A few come off as blatantly illogical (pushing a barrel between two cut wires to complete a circuit) but most of the puzzles here are fun and efficient. There are, of course, tried-and-tested level design cliches aplenty. eg: an endless supply of crates, never-ending crawls through air vents, headcrabs waiting behind every corner…

Even so, it’s still a shame the game ends so soon. The range of aliens and weapons is slim indeed, not even encompassing the complete arsenal or plethora of enemies featured from the first game (and absolutely nothing from Opposing Force). The fights become predictable, and the final battle, while tense, falls short of an epic, conclusive struggle. Blue Shift is a fun dash through Black Mesa, but not nearly as long or as consistent as we’d have liked.


System Requirements: 500 Mhz CPU, 96 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, Win 2000/XP

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Tags: Free Download Half-Life Blue Shift Full PC Game Review

12 Comments

  1. how to put m16 skin and big shotgun and pistol skin plz help

  2. You have to install the HD pack. It is on the game CD

  3. thanks hey listen we are friends now?

  4. PRince Sharma says:

    It seems someone is still keeping these games alive..

  5. matt Pc FTW says:

    why is the download so slow wtf

  6. Matt says:

    why do you need a disc for Half-life to play Blue shift

  7. the article says “it doesn’t require the original Half-Life to run”

    You do need Half-Life to play Opposing Force however

  8. Matt says:

    but it says wrong disc or disc is missing

  9. You probably didn’t leave it mounted or something. The game works. used it to make screenshots and the video.

  10. Matt says:

    but can im download that game without a disc??

  11. Jo says:

    hey, I have extracted the file with power iso, and already installed it, but when I executed it some dialog box popped up and it say “no disc inserted”. how to handle it?

  12. derpyman 77 says:

    right click the iso file and choose power iso and find mount image

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