A new version and perspective of Half-Life. Fun, even now with no upgraded graphic support from Steam. But it's short...

User Rating: 8 | Half-Life: Blue Shift PC
Gearbox felt it was right (and money making!) to create another expansion pack (the first being Opposing Force) to Half-Life, the game that inspired so many others. It has been brought back to life several years after the original was released, and this time we are in control of the one and only security guard named Barney "Colhoun" (pronounced, kOwl-hoon).

Half-Life: Blue Shift brings new graphics to an old game, but not by much according to today's standards. Considering we are living in 2008+, you must have either registered this game with Steam from an old retail box back when the game was officially released or bought it directly over the Internet from steam and downloaded it. Either way, the ONLY way you could have 'activated' the High-quality models that were bundled with Half-Life: Blue shift is if you were to download a user created high-quality models from a website like Planet Half-Life or FilePlanet (even though a very incompatible-with-user-custom-content version was available on Stem for a while), and activate those instead. At it's time of release, the game gave you the choice of upgrading the models of Half-Life or keep them all the same they were. But that is very hard to get now these days with Steam (since the Steam version seems to disable it somehow).

Aside from the fact you cannot upgrade the current models of Half-Life, the game adds some new noticeable and tickling content: A new 'hand' model for Barney, a new scientist model (with a new voice acting job) that plays a huge role in the game, and never before seen areas of the Black Mesa 'research' facility.

There is another new voice actor for the person who does the other Security Guard's voices, but he is arguably (and in my opinion) not as good as the original. Even though he only plays scripts in the beginning of the game, he is noticeably different from the previous voice actor that played in the first Half-life release.

Since I do not want to spoil any of the story, I shall just say this:
The story begins with you, Barney, about to go on shift as an officer at the Black Mesa research facility. You get all ready and go down to fix some sort of elevator problem when suddenly a huge accident occurs, just like in the first Half-Life.

The game focuses on getting out of the facility alive, unlike Gordon Freeman who is constantly being thrown into new objectives such as launching rockets, getting from one side of the facility to the other, and ultimately stopping the aliens from teleporting out of Xen.

The game brings in brand new areas and awesome gameplay, just as Half-Life did. However, there are two problems with this addon pack: No new weapons, and very short with little back story to Half-Life (even though you do actually see Gordon Freeman as he passes by on a rail cart).

It has all the same gameplay elements as Half-Life that made is so famous. There are no cutscenes, and no part where you character actually talks. After all, that is how first person shooters were meant to be. Weapons and health are found as often as each other, which is usually inside crates or closets (and they are located in storage areas such as the lower levels and sewers). There is good weapon balance, such as the weapons from Half-Life were. As in the first scientist could aid you with health kits, however friendly security guards are very few to none at all. As again, this time you are fighting aliens and US military forces, just as Gordon Freeman did.

Another disappointment was the lack of multiplayer mode, which was even included in Half-Life: Opposing Force. But even then, I can think of little bonus content that would have made it so unique from Half-Life and Half-Life: Opposing Force.

But the very big thing that bugs me is that it is very short. It can be beaten within 10 hours or so if you understand enough about Half-Life elements. I did not mind much and I still found the game a good buy in order to completely form the Half-Life series.

It still is very fun and you will most likely play it through more than once.