Verfasst: 21. Januar
Half-Life: Blue Shift is the second and final expansion for the original Half-Life and was developed by Gearbox Software (the same developers for the first expansion Opposing Force) and published by Valve. A fairly short but decent expansion which gives us yet another perspective to the entire Black Mesa Incident from a different character.
This time the player takes on the role of Barney Calhoun, a security officer employed at the Black Mesa Research Facility and the man who has helped Gordon Freeman out of so many sticky and difficult situations. The game starts out with Barney Calhoun carrying out his duties and then being caught up in the Black Mesa Incident which, like Opposing Force, cleverly coincides with the original Half-Life’s storyline.
What Gearbox Software does well is maintaining the atmosphere and world of the original Half-Life while providing the experience through the eyes of someone else who was involved in the story of the original Half-Life. For me, Blue Shift felt like the final game in the Penumbra series (Penumbra: Requiem) as it ends the first Half-Life game’s storyline in a fairly chilled and relaxing way without forcing the player to battle an end boss whilst providing a few situations where a puzzle needs to be solved.
The core gameplay is the same as it is for Half-Life and Opposing Force with the weapons and other items not really changing which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The health system is also the same with some slight changes as those that were in Opposing Force. Since security officers do not wear HEV suits, they cannot make use of any HEV suit charger units that are located around the facility. Instead the player must pick up security officer issued body armour vests and helmets to replenish their armour protection. Something that I’ve noticed about Blue Shift is that you will find an enormous amount of first aid packs around each chapter and this makes the game less challenging. The player’s flashlight seems to have been designed differently with the way light is dispersed in dark places which felt a lot more realistic.
Structurally, the game is chaptered like the previous games and provides a fun, linear storyline that will keep you engaged and wanting to find out more. Barney Calhoun does not encounter any of the alien creatures of Race X as Adrian Shepherd did in Opposing Force, but does encounter hostility from the marines and the traditional Xen alien creatures.
Overall, there is not much more that could be said about Half-Life: Blue Shift. It provides a new and interesting perspective to the storyline which leaves a lot of questions and few answers. For those who want to return to the events of the Black Mesa Incident and see the situation unfold from a different viewpoint then I highly recommend Blue Shift. I personally found it a joy to play and think it is just as good as Opposing Force.