Review by Arcademan6

"Lacking the suspense of Half-Life or the coolness of Opposing Force, this game loses something."

Blue Shift was originally a second chapter for the Dreamcast Half-Life. Considering the game would be $40-50 and had all three chapters, it would've been worth it. But Sierra decided that the DC is dead (it isn't, trust me), they cancelled the complete, already made game that would've made them a bundle and decided to put out the third chapter for the PC crowd. Thank the blade that I borrowed this from my buddy, even with Opposing Force (which I already have) it's not worth the $40. Read on, fellow gamers...

Gameplay: The same tried and true gameplay of Half-Life. Good right? If you've never played Half-Life, hey, great. But veterans like me expect a few new twists. Opposing Force had a creepier, lonelier atmosphere, rope climbing, medics, engineers, squads, a ton of new weapons (and you could use the old weapons with Impulse 101), a kick ass last boss, and plenty of new enemies, along with backstory of the Black Mesa experiments and a possible second reason for the aliens breaking out. This one spends most of its time fighting Marines (killing the lonely, creepy atmosphere), with a few aliens here and there (the bee troopers only show up twice). The second half takes place in an old lab where there are several of your comrade scientists. It's nowhere near as suspenseful, we've all seen these aliens before, it ends at the half way point in Half-Life, and you don't even get HALF the weapons from the first Half-Life (You get the pistol, magnum, crowbar, shotgun, MP5 (M16 with the HD pack), RPG launcher, grenades, and a satchel pack). Gone are the bow gun, egon gun, gauss gun, snarks, trip mines, and bee hive. No new weapons either. Disappoining.

Story: You play as Barney Calhoun, the poor bastard who was locked out of the door near the beginning of the Half-Life tram sequence. While you are on an elevator to some place, a power loss occurs. Must be Anomolous Materials, says the pissant little scientist. A panel blows, killing the scientist. Look outside the open place, and be treated to the coolest opening chaos scenes in all three games (The tram flying off the tracks tossing two guards and smashing into the boxes is so kickass). Not too far into the game, you'll encounter a man who is your only hope to survive... Supposedly it gets deeper into the Black Mesa backstory, but it doesn't. We learn about the problems with the computers in the complex, which we learned in Half-Life anyway (The gaurd at the desk mentioning a system crash and problems at the test chamber, along with the exploding panel.). We also learn there were several old labs being cover up with new labs, including the first teleportation lab. Nothing along the backstory revealed in the fantastic Opposing Force, which revealed dark testing with aliens... Nothing new, once again. No Administrator either! He shows up once in the beginning. That's it.

Sound: The same voices, the same sounds (except for the MP5 (M-16) and shotgun), the same crappy CD music (Shut it off, I'm warning you), once again, nothing new.

Graphics: The HD pack makes everything looks kickass. The MP5 is now a badass sounding M-16, the Shotgun looks more realistic and has a folding stock (can't use the stock, though). The Glock is now a Berreta, the S&W magnum is now one handed and looks much better, Snarks have antenna in Half-Life and Opposing Force, the bee hive has diffent markings, the rocket launcher looks improved, the crowbar is missing the red rubber, replacing it with red paint, the bow gun has a new finish, the grenades are smaller, etc. Great, but you can use the HD pack for Half-Life and Opposing Force as well, so you don't really need to keep this game for the great graphics.

The Pits: Let's get into The Pits! Gee, Gearbox knows how to make a quick cash-in, eh? This game is a short, miserable attempt to rape us of our cash. Yeah, so it includes Opposing Force, so what? We could easily get the Half-Life Platinum pack with HL, OF, TFC (Team fortress Classic), and Counter-Strike, and get more for the same price! So what if it has the HD pack? Doesn't require a CD key, so it's easy to buy the game, upload the HD pack, and return it the next day. Or just borrow it from a friend (like I did). No Multiplayer, no mods (it would've been great if it had a few single and multiplayer mods like the Platinum pack did), no new weapons, no new enemies, no new textures, you could say this game has a 'Half-Life'. Get it? Half its expected life! Hoo hah! Anyway, with no real upgrades besides the graphics, it's hard to warrent a purchase. Supposedly it gets deeper into the Black Mesa incident. It ends before Half-Life is Half-Done, and Opposing Force got as deep as it could, and cleared up the final events in Black Mesa's history. Nothing new to the legacy of Black Mesa. A few humorous parts are in this game, but still not enough. All you DC gamers who were looking foward to Blue-Shift, you didn't miss anything (besides Half-Life and Opposing Force, of course).

Buy or Burn?: I heard you can't burn it because the HD pack. Doesn't matter, you just pop it in, no CD key required, upload the HD Pack and return it to your friend, the poor fool who put down the cash for this. GearBox shoulda made this a downloadable mod, and the HD pack could've been a downloadable thing as well. Sierra decided to put out a cheap, $40 mod that really didn't sell well (or so I've heard) because Sony looked so menacing and that the DC version woulda failed, when many (me included) were gonna plop down the green stuff for it. Idiots.... Don't bother.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 07/27/01, Updated 07/27/01


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